By default, Macports uses HTTP to fetch packages. For example:

--->  Attempting to fetch port_cutleaves-0.1.4_0.darwin_10.noarch.tbz2 from http://lil.fr.packages.macports.org/port_cutleaves

How should a user configure Macports to use HTTPS (SSL/TLS) instead?

2 Answers 2


The obvious solution would be to modify the source URLs for the packages. The source URLs for a lot of packages appears to be /opt/local/var/macports/sources/rsync.macports.org/release/tarballs/ports/_resources/port1.0/fetch/mirror_sites.tcl.

Having said that, I'm not sure whether it is a good idea to modify that file.

If you do a selfupdate your modified file will be replaced.

Also not all the mirrors are set up correctly to work with HTTPS. For example, the mirror in your example above http://lil.fr.packages.macports.org/ presents an error if you try to access it at https://lil.fr.packages.macports.org/ because the host name of the certificate doesn't match.

  • Is there an option to make Macports try to fetch only from those mirrors that offer HTTPS?
    – user5798
    Aug 6, 2014 at 22:51
  • No, there does not seem to be an option to tell Macports to only use HTTPS. Aug 6, 2014 at 23:49
  • You can set preferred_hosts in macports.conf, or use host_blacklist to blacklist mirrors that don't offer HTTPS. You can, however, not discriminate mirrors depending on whether they support HTTPS automatically.
    – neverpanic
    Aug 15, 2014 at 23:32

Why would you want to? If you're worried about the integrity of the downloads, you should know that MacPorts will also download and verify a detached RSA signature for each binary archive it downloads – the public key used for verification comes to your local machine using a tamper-resistant path (either an installer .pkg signed with a DeveloperID certificate, or – in case of key updates – signed with the old key).

For distfiles (i.e. source tarballs of software MacPorts wants to build), multiple checksums stored in the Portfile need to match for MacPorts to accept the download as authentic. The Portfiles also come to your machine using a tamper-resistant path.

Replying to your original question: You don't, the mirror infrastructure doesn't support it.

  • 1
    I've upvoted, because the "tamper-resistant path" info is helpful. However, there is another reason besides integrity to want an encrypted download path, and that is: privacy.
    – user5798
    Aug 15, 2014 at 23:41
  • I understand. Unfortunately, MacPorts' mirror infrastructure doesn't generally offer SSL/TLS at the moment.
    – neverpanic
    Aug 15, 2014 at 23:43

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