Joy of Unix and Fink

So I got bored enough yesterday to install Fink and FinkCommander. These will allow me to install Mono and let me do C# on my TiBook.

From all the reviews/comments about Fink, it sounds as if it will be a no-brainer to install any Unix/Linux apps on OS X. Of course things are never that simple.

The prerequisite for installing Mono are pkgconfig and glib2, which Fink/FinkCommander installed without any problem. So far so good. Then I tried to compile/install Mono and got an error saying it can’t find the glib-2.0.

After trawling the net for information, it turns out that Fink installs software to the /sw directory where most Unix apps expect libraries to be installed somewhere normal, like /usr/ or /usr/local. So I thought, ‘Ok, I can change the prefix for the configure script or put the /sw directory into the PKG_CONFIG_PATH environment variable.’ Tried both of them and neither of them work. By then it was getting late so I gave up for the night.

This raise another interesting point. From all the mailing list posts that discuss this problem (installing Mono on OS X), it seems it will be easier to pull teeth out of the people who know the answer than actually getting a direct answer. And this tally up with my limited Unix experience few years back. Being a novice to Unix I had many questions. Granted, some of them are elementary. But I never, ever got a direct answer back. The answers were always, ‘Why don’t you take a look at x, y, or z?’ Never, ‘This is how it works and this is what you need to do.’

I guess it is a case of empire building/territory protection. And this is one reason I don’t like Unix/Linux, but love OS X. Give me the power of Unix but none the hard work! Shame no one has submitted a hint to this problem at macosxhints yet!

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