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The HP-UX Porting and Archive Centre was established in August 1992 in the Department of Computer Science at Liverpool University in the United Kingdom, but has been run by Liverpool-based Connect Internet Solutions Limited since 1995. Its primary aim is to make public domain, freeware and Open Source software more readily available to users of Hewlett-Packard UNIX systems.

The archive began with an initial collection of 150 packages, all of which had been successfully compiled and tested locally by staff at the Liverpool centre before being installed and made available on the archive. The centre continues to act as a porting body as well as an archive site - all software held in the archive has been verified to run successfully on HP-UX PA-RISC (and now Itanium) systems. As of October 2012, the Centre held over 1,500 packages!

Initially, all software was distributed as source code only, but now, all packages added to the system are available in both source code and binary formats. By providing high-quality binary distributions of free software, the Porting and Archive Centre makes the tremendous body of useful free software available to the wider public (not just those gurus capable of configuring and compiling software) and dramatically increases the appeal and utility of the archive.