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PortAuthority provides a graphical user interface for the MacPorts package management system for OS X. MacPorts is a powerful command-line tool for installing and updating a variety of Unix-based applications for the Mac. Its power, though, comes at the cost of some complexity; in the past the only way to utilize MacPorts was to type in various commands into the Mac's Terminal application, which can be intimidating for those users without a Unix background. PortAuthority makes the process of installing Unix software easy.

What's New

Version 6.2.0:
  • Fix bug with updating ports.
  • Minor documentation improvements.


  • OS X 10.9 or later

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PortAuthority User Discussion

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Xipper Member IconReview+14

I was a frequent user of PortAuthority, but this app is worthless now. I don't understand why developers insist on trying to do things the way this one has. If you can't design a UI window that provides functional feedback of the build process that is going on to install/update a port, then spawn a terminal window with running the commands instead.

The app just crashes anytime I try to install anything, I can either wait 1-hour and force quit to try and use this "tool" (that I paid for), or I can simply run the command myself and have it actually complete the install in 5 minutes.

This is on Lion, but the developer claims the latest version is compatible.

Reply1 reply
Version 4.0.0
Wordtech Communications Llc (Developer)

I'm sorry it's not working for you, but it's also unfortunate that you didn't contact me to discuss these issues and see if we could find a solution--I'm not able to address bug reports in a Macupdate review. PortAuthority is Lion-compatible and works without problem on my system.

Bueller_007 Member IconComment+4

Use the official GUI: https://trac.macports.org/wiki/MacPortsGUI

Don't pay for this crap.

Reply2 replies
Version 4.0.0

Unfortunately, for Lion I'm going to have to agree. Pallet.app (the official GUI) works with some modifications on Lion:


And PortAuthority, at least for me bombs. I posted a support request to the dev at his forums here:


To be fair, Kevin *has* tried to be helpful. But on two machines (a Mini & my MBP), the fact is the the official GUI 'just works'.. and PortAuthority requires 'more tweaking' -- something I'd rather not bother with when the offical GUI is there, free, and working.


Wordtech Communications Llc (Developer)

@Leo: If you check the reply I posted at the forum link you cited, the fix for your issue was trivial: remove some outdated/stale libraries in /Library/Tcl/teapot. That would solve your problem. It's about the same level of configuration that you cite to get Pallet running (pointing it to a different Tcl installation).

@Bueller_007: Pallet is a nice, lightweight GUI for MacPorts, but it's far from perfect. I can crash it quite easily trying to install a port with variants. (PA doesn't attempt this, because I've never figured out an elegant way to present variants to the user--my view is that if the user is advanced enough to want a variant, then he/she can navigate the command-line.)

Wordtech Communications Llc (Developer) Member IconDev+37
Wordtech Communications Llc (Developer)

PortAuthority 4.0 is a nice update to the MacPorts GUI. It modernizes the UI into a fully-native one with Cocoa toolbars; it improves the print engine; and it improves the under-the-hood integration with AppleScript commands, which improves speed and stability. It's worth a look.

Reply0 replies
Version 4.0.0
Trashie Member IconComment+256

What is wrong with just using the terminal?

Reply3 replies
Version 3.1

Feel free. For others, who want a gui, this is an option.


Ummm... maybe because it's not user friendly?


Na it is easy just go to the mac ports site and read the commands. Grab iterm put the commands in your bookmarks and your done.

I am just never sure all this code written up for GUI's is ever necessary when there is a really well done simple shell method. I agree though each to their own. Go for it.

Friendly? I am not being funny really some of us old guys use the terminal more than GUI's as we find it friendly. Oh I am so old lol. :(

I remember punch cards I hope that puts things in perspective here. ;)

Gaoshan Member IconComment+79

In the interest of promoting open source, check out Porticus for a free MacPorts GUI tool.


Reply1 reply
Version 2.4

That's great and all but Porticus is not open source. Currently it's just betaware and it has not been updated in some time.

I've tried both and I must say that PortAuthority is more solid. Porticus always gives me build options that don't even apply to the package that I want to install. Granted it's not a Cocoa application or freeware, but it works very well and has a very responsive developer. Some of my suggestions have already been implemented!

zephyris Member IconComment+189

The interface is rather ugly looking for $20

Reply0 replies
Version 2.0
Jedik Member IconComment+9

No release notes? What's changed? It takes forever to launch, much more than the previous version (0.8). =\

Reply0 replies
Version 0.9
Anonymous Member IconReview

Yes, I agree with the previous post. But I think that it could be avoided with a little more care about the released version or at least with documentation. I was using the previous version with no problem. After upgrade it won't launch (kept boucing in the Dock then nothing) in the first time I run it. It worked the second time.

Reply0 replies
Version 0.7
Anonymous Member IconReview

Port Authority has the potential to be very useful. However, it has a number of quirks.

For example, downloading it and placing it in Applications will result in it hanging on launch. The application needs to be inside a folder named "Port Authority", inside Applications in order to work properly. Also, sometimes it won't accept your password (as in, you can't physically enter it in the password field).

Since it IS still a beta program, none of this should surprise you. If you prefer GUI to the command line, you should give this a try.

Reply0 replies
Version 0.7
user icon+43
Version 6.2.0
> 3 4


Current Version (6.x)


Downloads 22,260
Version Downloads 391
Type Utilities / System
License Shareware
Date 05 May 2014
Platform Intel 64 / OS X
Price $29.99
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