At its heart, Mac OS X is a Unix operating system. This means that plenty of Unix open source software compiles and runs on it. However, compiling software can be tedious, especially if it has many dependencies, or if it hasn’t been tested on Mac OS X. You have to perform the usual configure/make/make install process and hope it all works fine. Maybe you have to tamper with the makefile or even the source code. Moreover, you’ll need to make sure all libraries used by the software are installed. Here is where Fink comes in.