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I see as of 2.0 MacPorts is hosting pre-built binaries, which it would install by default if licensing is present and compatible. I'm looking for a more current version of rsync than ships by default with Macs, and has the necessary patches (which I believe are missing in the rudix makefile) and I would then distribute it like a regular install, for example nesting in a NetBoot or pushing out over a patch management solution instead of installing locally.

Where can I download the prebuilt binary, which I'm assuming I could treat like a package install, including man pages?

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Macports guide says

MacPorts can pre-compile ports into binaries so applications need not be compiled when installing on a target system. MacPorts may create two types of binaries: archives and packages.

However I found issues with packages a few years ago (which might have been fixed) and the following is more of how I view MacPorts.

If MacPorts does have a binary package which it does in most cases then it behaves exactly as a package install including man pages. The only difference is that you need the command line compiler and the MacPorts sources (not the sources of the packages) installed and that the code is in /opt/local.

Also due to shared libraries you can't just take an executable and run it it probably depends on other shared libraries which MacPorts also provides.

As for centralisation you could easily install on one machine and then rsync or rdist to all the others (or use other macOS replication mechanisms) or as MacPorts pointed out set up a local repo.

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packages.macports.org

HOWEVER, as I was informed in #MacPorts IRC, providing 'free' compiled binaries certainly isn't the purpose of the MacPorts project. MacPorts can create installation packages that get around the need for having MacPorts installed as well, but may conflict or be incomplete in unspecified ways. You can host a local repo of software for MacPorts to utilize as well, which is another option for distribution locally.

In this case I just was hoping to have someone with more experience building the rsync binary decide which patches are necessary for macs, and I would not exploit the service they're providing.

  • packages.macports.org is great. Didn't know that existed! – Wowfunhappy Apr 25 at 22:47
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The -b option have saved a lot of my time:

sudo port -b install  perl5.26
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<jmr> easye: the full story is                                                                       
      https://trac.macports.org/wiki/howto/ShareArchives2               [23:33]                      
<jmr> but if you only want to transfer one archive there is a shortcut                               
<jmr> the magic place is ${prefix}/var/macports/incoming/verified   

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