# How to install patches? (Or should we?)

Hi -

Hopefully this question is basic, but I haven't been able to find a clear answer online. (For the record, I am using the Sage notebook with the app version of Sage on a Mac.)

I consider myself a lowly and ignorant end user of Sage -- maybe one day I'll know enough to be able to contribute to development, but that day is not near. How do I (or should I, even) download and install patches, fixes and updates to Sage, short of doing a whole new installation from scratch?

More specifically: Suppose I encounter some bug or shortcoming with Sage, and I discover that there is already a ticket for that problem on the Sage developer trac. Suppose that that ticket is categorized as "fixed," and I see a link to some file (usually ending with .spkg, .patch, or .diff) near the top of the page. Is that file something that I, the lowly end user, am meant to download and install, hopefully fixing my problem? Or are those files on sage_trac really just meant for development work, and the fix will only trickle down to the end users once those fixes are incorporated into a future version of Sage?

If am I meant to be installing these patches myself, how exactly is that done? That is, where do I put the files, and what do I type where?

I feel like an idiot phrasing it in such basic terms. And I'm sure that the answers to my questions are already floating out there somewhere, but I haven't been able to find them. For example, the help stuff I've found out there for sage_trac is all about how to post or contribute to a trac ticket, rather than how to take advantage of the fixes found for that ticket.