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# Darwin vs macOS

macOS consists of Darwin (kernel/userland) plus Mac stuff on top.
pkgsrc used to target Darwin, but given the tools issued discussed
below it is not clear that it works on Darwin without macOS.  Darwin
from Apple is no longer open source.

Users of non-macOS Darwin are invited to submit patches to this file.
The only known project is [PureDarwin](

Until then, this file remains macOS-centric.

# system tools issues

## native headers vs SDK

macOS used to include system headers in /usr/include, so that one
could treat it like a relatively normal POSIX system.  Starting at
approximately 10.9, headers were no longer available at the standard
location, and one has to use an SDK that puts headers someplace else.
pkgsrc supports this, but there has been some confusion where a 10.9
system produced binaries for 10.10, which only mostly works.  The
confusion is believed to be resolved.

### SDK version issues

The SDK supported versions and default versions do are not always the
same as the current system version.  The following may be useful in
understanding one's situation:

  /usr/bin/xcrun --show-sdk-version
  sw_vers -productVersion

pkgsrc attempts to query the system version, and then ask the sdk to
use that version.  See mk/platform/ for the code.

## gcc vs clang

Older versions of OS X (when XCode is installed) provided gcc, and
pkgsrc defaulted to using gcc.  With 10.9, gcc is no longer present.

## i386 vs x86_64 ABI issue

This entire section is only about Intel Macs.

OS X 10.6 and higher supports x86-64 binaries on Intel Macs with
x86-64 processors, which is now most of them.  i386 binaries are also
supported on most (all?) Intel machines.

### issues related to ABI 32 vs 64

Note that a pkgsrc package built in x86_64 mode will not run on an
Intel Mac that is i386 only.  For a longer discussion, see

Somewhat separately from pkgsrc's ABI choice, there have been issues
with packages which get confused because "MACHINE_ARCH" is in some OS
versions set to "i386" (on a 64-bit system!).  As of 2016 this should
be mostly resolved.
  version:  uname -m : uname -p
  10.6: i386 : i386
  10.9: x86_64 : i386

### default ABI

The ABI is chosen at bootstrap time and encoded into mk.conf.  So a
change in the default is about what a new bootstrap will do;
already-bootstrapped systems should remain unchanged.  They should be
able to build and run new packages using the old ABI value.

pkgsrc used to set the default ABI as i386, both on systems with i386
processors and on systems with x86_64 processors.  On 2015-11-09 the
default was changed so that ABI=64 is chosen on machines where "uname
-m" reports x86_64.  (It remains i386 on others, which are not capable
of running x86_64 binaries.)

Generally, users will not need to deal with the default ABI change,
except that packages are mostly only portable across machines with the
same bootstrapping parameters.

If one unpacks a new binary bootstrap kit over an existing
installation, one can end up with a mix. The standard advice is not to
do this, and to rrebuild/reinstall all packages from scratch or a
compatible binary package set.  But, one could also mark packages with
the wrong ABI as rebuild=YES and use pkg_rolling-replace.

### change in storage of ABI information

On 2016-01-24, the way ABI information was stored in pkgsrc was
rationalized and simplified.  The new code could compute the wrong ABI
for some previously-bootstrapped installations.  The problem can be
resolved by building bmake with MACHINE_ARCH=x86_64 and updating that
package, as described in mail archives:


(One would expect to be able to use make replace to do this.  One
minor issue is that it requires pkg_tarup, although that will be
present on systems of those who use make replace.  There also may be
an error with architecture mismatch from pkg_install requiring a "-f"
option.  Repeatable data about recovery is somewhat hard to obtain, as
most are past this issue already and no longer interested in

# Developer tools and prerequisites

## XCode

This section applies to 10.6 through 11.

If you haven't already, you will need to install the macOS
Developer Tools package (XCode) to obtain a compiler, etc.  The
procedure depends on the version of macOS; recent versions use the
App Store.

### Command-line Tools

If one installs "Commmand Line Tools", then pkgsrc can use the

Since Xcode 7 (installed from the Apple Store) the development
environment can upgrade itself without interaction from the user, but
will not automatically update the Command Line Tools.  This will
cause system header files like stdlib.h not to be found by pkgsrc.
The command `xcode-select --install' will install the Command Line
Tools for Xcode.

In the past at least, Command Line Tools for Xcode could be obtained
from <>

## cvs

Note that as of 10.9, cvs is no longer provided by Apple.  You can build
devel/scmcvs.  To obtain pkgsrc in order to bootstrap and build cvs,
it may be useful to `git clone`.

## X11

X11 used to be built into macOS, but as of 10.8 it is no longer
included.  You can install XQuartz from
<>, or try the newly-added pkgsrc

# macOS Versions

Because Apple drops support for previous hardware faster than the
hardware fails, many machines cannot be upgraded to recent versions of
macOS, creating a greater than usual desire to support old systems.
Because of the particular history of deprecation, most systems tend to
run relatively recent versions or specific older versions.

The stance of pkgsrc is generally to avoid breaking older systems
unless keeping support would cause difficulty, and to accept clean
patches when there is no harm to non-deprecated versions.  This
section is partly to document what versions tend to be used and why,
and partly to enable cleaning up bug reports without fixes for very
old systems.

pkgsrc PRs about 10.12 or older that do not contain fixes may be closed
without fixing.

macOS 11 (major versions are now just digits) is the current version;
hardware before 2013 cannot be upgraded to this version. Also this
version introduces support for Apple M1 processors, using the aarch64
instruction set.

macOS 10.15 is maintained and supports the same hardware as 10.14.

macOS 10.14 is somewhat old but still maintained.  It cannot be run on
hardware before 2012 and Macbooks before 2015.

macOS 10.13 is old; Apple ended support in January of 2021.
Significant amounts of entirely functional hardware cannot be upgraded
beyond this version.

macOS 10.12 is very old.  There is no known reason to run it, as all
(most?) hardware that runs 10.12 can run 10.13.

OS X 10.11 is very old; some hardware cannot be upgraded beyond this
version, but most of it is old and slow, dating from approximately
2010 or earlier.

OS X 10.10, 10.9 and 10.8 are extremely old; most hardware that can
run them can probably run 10.11.

OS X 10.7 is the last version that works on a few Intel Macs, e.g. the
Mac Pro 1.1 and 2.1 and some Mac Minis.

OS X 10.6 is the last version that works on Intel Macs lacking amd64
support, e.g. Mac Minis and Macbooks with Core Duo.

OS X 10.5 is the last version that works on PowerPC Macs.

OS X 10.4 (Darwin 8.11.0) is the last version that works on PowerPC G3
and slower G4 Macs.

# Bulk builds

Clearly, it is desirable for a bulk build to be useful on as many
computers as possible.  The main issues are which ABI and which macOS
version.  Targeting older versions makes a build run on more systems,
and targeting newer versions makes the build closer to what would be
obtained from bootstrapping on a newer version and thus avoids some
issues.   This section has pointers to active bulk builds.

## 10.4, --abi=32 powerpc, gcc

Sevan Janiyan <> provides a bulk build for the -current branch
(--abi=32, OS X 10.4/PowerPC, gcc 4.0.1 from Xcode 2.5, X11_TYPE=modular):

- <>
- US repo: <>
- Euro mirror: <>
- See <>

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