Thursday, 17 July 2008

Fink and ftp proxies

I have being trying to use the fink program to install other applications. Fink describes itself like this
"The Fink project wants to bring the full world of Unix Open Source software to Darwin and Mac OS X. We modify Unix software so that it compiles and runs on Mac OS X ("port" it) and make it available for download as a coherent distribution. Fink uses Debian tools like dpkg and apt-get to provide powerful binary package management. You can choose whether you want to download precompiled binary packages or build everything from source."
Although I had fink working well on my previous iMac, it has been refusing to work for a while now on a range of new computers. It just fails to make a connection.I had 2 hypotheses- (1) the Univesity have introduced some unseen security that prevents it from connecting (they don't like ftp) or (2) I had messed up some setting.

Something I saw in fink FAQ this week rang some alarm bells and made me go back to check my settings.

Issuing a fink configure command allows you to change lots of settings including proxies. I knew that I would have to go through proxies for both http and ftp. It turns out that my ftp proxy was not prefixed by ftp:// -instead only the address was given. I suppose I had assumed it would fill this in since an ftp address MUST begin ftp:// but no. Actually the fink instructions at this point give an example address beginning http:// which should also be ignored.

Stupid really in retrospect, I should have spotted this earlier. Anyway this solved the problem.

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