CodeByKevin has updated PortAuthority (, which provides a graphical user interface for the MacPorts software management system for Mac OS X 10.7 (“Lion”), to version 5.0. The new version adds support for installing port variants.

MacPorts is a command-line tool for installing and updating a variety of Unix-based applications for the Mac. 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 aims to bring the power of MacPorts to the traditional Mac user by providing a user-friendly graphical interface to MacPorts, according to the folks at CodeByKevin. Using a combination of windows, icons, and menus, PortAuthority users can search, install, update, and remove MacPorts programs and the MacPorts infrastructure itself.

In PortAuthority 5.0, port dependency command now lists dependencies recursively — not just the direct dependencies of a port, but their dependencies as well–to give a better idea of how large an installation may be. Alerts are now configured in preferences. PortAuthority 5.0 also offers expanded AppleScript support, restored Growl support, and a more responsive display of data from long-running scan.

PortAuthority is shareware; a license costs US$24.99. A 30-day demo is available. Upgrades are always free to registered users.