X11 on Panther

Today, in an effort to connect to the corporate exchange server from my Mac at work, I’ve decided to try to install Evolution [] an open source product similar to Microsoft Outlook. It’s been an interesting process.

If you decide to try it, you’ll probably have to take these steps (assuming you’re using Mac OS X 10.3 Panther)
1. Install xCode (comes with OSX). NOTE: Make sure you install the X11 SDK – it’s not selected by default.
2. Install Fink -[] Just go to the download section and pick the binary package and install it. The process is pretty straightforward. Make sure you drag the FinkCommander application that comes bundled with Fink to your hard drive. I found a couple projects that seem to try to do the same thing as Fink, but none seemed as complete.
3. Find the package you want to install and wait awhile.
4. Open a Terminal and you should be able to type the name of the program you installed and have it run.

At the time I’m writing this, Evolution has not been ported to Panther. So I decided to install KMail. Since I am installing it from source and it’s Friday after 6pm, it looks like I’m going to have to wait until Monday to see how it looks :).

Other things that are nice to know is that X11 is installed by default in the Applications > Utilities folder. At this point there are quite a few applications that have been ported to OS 10.2 but not 10.3. I imagine it won’t be long before they are ported to Panther, especially with the new X11 optimizations made by Apple. [].

Other X11 applications I’d like to be able to use are Nautilus (a cool file manager), kedit (a text editor) which reminds me, if you haven’t seen it, SubEthaEdit [] is an awesome editor for OS X (I’m all over the place) and the Gimp (an image editing package). There are others…

Fink uses a package manager based on apt-get which is used in Debian. Basically that means that in order to install any application you only need to go to the command line and type fink install applicationname. It automatically finds dependencies (other packages needed by your application) and installs them. This is one of the reasons I won’t even consider Linux distributions that are not based on Debian.

If you’re curious about Debian, try Lycoris, Lindows, Libranet, Knoppix, Mepis or Xandros. There are Debian based distros as well, but to my knowledge these are the most common. Of these, only Mepis and Knoppix are free. The reason I would not recommend pure Debian to anyone is because it is very, very difficult to install, though they are slowly working on that issue.

I’m beginning to like OS X even more every day 🙂