Getting Macports and Git Working on Snow Leopard 10.6

We just upgraded to Snow Leopard at work and while the OS is great I did hit a few problems. To start I realized that my install of Git was not working. Then I got farther down the path and realize that Macports was also dead. Then yet another step and I had no C compiler which meant Xcode and the Apple developer tools had gone the way of the buffalo.

After much hunting I got everything working and thought I would document the process for anyone else that is less techincal (like me) and would just like a clear explanation of the install process

Getting Xcode Working

So to start at the beginning of the trail I had to install Xcode as I needed a valid C compiler to install the rest of the items on my list. A number of tutorials suggested that I could install Xcode from the SDK as an Apple developer or from the DVD. While I am sure this worked for the tutorial authors installing Xcode from the SDK did not work for me. I still was getting errors with GCC and with not having a valid C compiler.

I may have continued to get errors because IT at work did an upgrade install of Snow Leopard instead of a clean install. I personally ALWAYS do clean installs. The time I just spent (most of a day) working on getting one piece working is probably about the same time it takes to get a system up and running from scratch. I have found that when I do clean installs of OS’s I have way less problems and they seem to run faster. Regardless of the reasons I found that I had to use the installer packaged with Snow Leopard to get Xcode installed properly with no more errors for C compilers and GCC.


With Xcode working properly I really had no trouble with Macports. I simply downloaded the Snow Leopard Installer and ran the package. Now I did make sure that ncurses was installed properly again by running:

$ sudo port -f uninstall ncurses
$ sudo port clean ncurses
$ sudo port install ncurses

Reference Link


Even after getting everything working I was still having trouble with Git. For some reason, above my head, Git was giving PATH errors on git-fast-import. I looked for a while and could find no solution that let me get past my ‘make’ and into a ‘sudo make install.’ Luckily my friend @jschoolcraft came online and pointed me to the OSX installer for Git and this tutorial that suggested the OSX installer instead of compiling from source. When I used the installer Git installed and worked with no problem.

The Round Up

So here are the basic steps I took to get Git and Macports working on my machine.

  1. Install Xcode from the Snow Leopard DVD
  2. Install Macports from the installer package
  3. Make sure ncurses is installed properly
  4. Install Git from the OSX installer

Here are is a list of the resources that I used to get this up and running. I’m sure there were way more I looked at but these are the ones that got my feet down the right path.

Becoming an iPhone Developer

Although I have been an Apple developer for a while I haven’t done anything as far as learning how to code for OSX and I am not an iPhone Developer. Becoming an iPhone developer is actually an easy process. Just sign into your ADC account a sign up.

There are 3 options for membership when signing up to become an iPhone developer. Two are paid and one is free. To start with I have gone with the free option though it seems there are some limits. (write down the limits).

I also downloaded the special content from Apple for iPhone developers. Really it’s just a series of videos that take you through Xcode, Dashcode, and Cocoa (the native OSX programming language).

Finally to actually be able to code for OSX and iPhone you need to download the iPhone SDK which includes all of the applications for writing code.

Unfortunately since I am not a paying iPhone developer I don’t have access to the iPhone 3.0 SDK. I haven’t found any info on when this may become available to non-paying developers but I hope it’s soon. The only application that I can think of building that isn’t out there wouldn’t require the new SDK but the function would be enhanced by push notifications. Ah well maybe I’ll pay someday.

Side Projects Keep you Smart

Most creatives work on side projects. Side projects keep us fresh they force us to learn new concepts or programming languages that just makes us better at our normal work. It can also open up new opportunities in our careers.

Currently I have two new side projects. First I have been a registered Apple developer for a long time but I have decided to make use of that. I will be starting to develop iPhone apps. Really this is mainly for my fulltime job but I am pretty interested in this so I’ll be spending my own time on it.

Second I’ll be putting some time into learning Ruby on Rails. I started attending a local meetup (the only one on my area) that is a meetup of Ruby guys. They have got me excited about developing with Ruby.

Upcoming I’ll probably be putting up some screencasts of my work in both of these fields. Wish me luck and hey if any of you are good at these things I’d love some links to resources and tips to watch out for in the comments.