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Setting up a Binary Distribution Server for Fink

If you use Fink on more than one Mac that are the same platform (i.e. all Intel) and you install the same packages, it’s very useful to setup a Binary Distribution Server. If you do, you only have to build packages on one system, and then the others will download packages that are already built.

The documentation on how to setup a Binary Distribution Server is correct except for the Apache configuration that it describes, at least with the version of Apache2 that is included with Leopard. If you follow those instructions on Leopard, when you try to access the URL for Fink (which will be http://yourserver/fink) you will get the following 403 Forbidden error:

Forbidden

You don't have permission to access /fink on this server.

To fix this you need to include an ”Allow from all” in the Apache configuration, like this:

Alias /fink /sw/fink
<Directory /sw/fink>
  Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
  Allow from all
</Directory>

Note that this does allow anyone who has access to port 80 to read all the files in /sw/fink, which contains Fink package descriptions and binaries for all the packages you have built (but that shouldn’t compromise your security because it doesn’t include anything like configuration files).

© 2013 Nilesh D Kapadia