Difference between revisions of "Compile on MacOS"

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(Changed git clone URL to use github rather than sourceforge)
(Added nglib to Homebrew instructions)
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brew install --without-framework --without-soqt sanelson/freecad/coin
brew install --without-framework --without-soqt sanelson/freecad/coin
brew install --HEAD pivy
brew install --HEAD pivy
brew install --with-oce nglib
=== MacPorts Dependencies === <!--T:84-->
=== MacPorts Dependencies === <!--T:84-->

Revision as of 21:54, 28 March 2016

This page explains how to compile the latest FreeCAD source code on Mac OS X.


First of all, you will need to install the following software.

Xcode Development Tools

Unless you want to use the Xcode IDE for FreeCAD development, you will only need to install the Command Line Tools. To do this on 10.9 and later, open Terminal, run the following command, and then click Install in the dialog that comes up.

xcode-select --install

For other versions of OS X, you can get the package from the Apple developer downloads page (sign in with the same Apple ID you use for other Apple services). Specifically, you will need to download Development Tools 3.2 for OS X 10.6, and Command Line Tools 4.8 for OS X 10.8.

Package Manager

You will want to use a package manager to install prerequisite software, this page gives instructions for two of the common package managers in use for OS X: Homebrew and MacPorts. It's easiest to pick one package manager for your system, and not have multiple package managers installed concurrently. Currently (October 2015), Homebrew has more up-to-date libraries relating to FreeCAD than MacPorts.


To install Homebrew, enter the following in Terminal:

ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)"


To install MacPorts, follow the instructions from their website


FreeCAD uses CMake to build the source. Homebrew and MacPorts can install the command line version of CMake, or if you prefer using a GUI application, install the latest version from http://www.cmake.org/download.

For the command line version of CMake, from a terminal use either Homebrew:

brew install cmake

or MacPorts:

sudo port install cmake

Installing the Dependencies

All of the needed libraries can be installed using either Homebrew or MacPorts.

Homebrew Dependencies

brew tap homebrew/science
brew tap sanelson/freecad
brew install boost eigen freetype oce python qt pyside pyside-tools xerces-c boost-python
brew install --without-framework --without-soqt sanelson/freecad/coin
brew install --HEAD pivy
brew install --with-oce nglib

MacPorts Dependencies

sudo port install boost eigen3 freetype oce py27-pyside-tools xercesc Coin

Getting the source

In this guide, the source and build folders are created in /Users/username/FreeCAD, but you can of course use whatever folder you want.

mkdir ~/FreeCAD
cd ~/FreeCAD

To get the FreeCAD source code, run:

git clone https://github.com/FreeCAD/FreeCAD_sf_master.git FreeCAD-git

Building FreeCAD

First, create a new folder for the build:

mkdir ~/FreeCAD/build

Now you will need to run CMake to generate the build files. Several options will need to be given to CMake, which can be accomplished either with the CMake GUI application, or via the command line.

CMake Options

Name Value Notes
BUILD_ROBOT 0 (unchecked) The robot module depends on Orocos KDL, and the version of KDL included with FreeCAD currently (October 2015) doesn't build on recent MacOS. To build the robot module, install Orocos KDL (no MacPorts package is currently available), and specify FREECAD_USE_EXTERNAL_KDL=1 instead.
FREECAD_USE_EXTERNAL_PIVY 1 (checked) Homebrew only
FREETYPE_INCLUDE_DIR_freetype2 /usr/local/include/freetype2 for Homebrew, /opt/local/include/freetype2 for MacPorts Only CMake version older than 3.1.0
QT_QMAKE_EXECUTABLE /opt/local/libexec/qt4/bin/qmake MacPorts only (and probably temporary)
FREECAD_CREATE_MAC_APP 1 (checked) If you want to make a FreeCAD.app Then when you run "make install" it will create the FreeCAD.app where ever CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX is set to.


Open the CMake app, and fill in the source and build folder fields. In this case, it would be /Users/username/FreeCAD/FreeCAD-git for the source, and /Users/username/FreeCAD/build for the build folder.

Next, click the Configure button to populate the list of configuration options. This will display a dialog asking you to specify what generator to use. Leave it at the default Unix Makefiles. Configuring will fail the first time because there are some options that need to be changed. Note: You will need to check the Advanced checkbox to get all of the options.

Set options from the table above, then click Configure again and then Generate.

CMake command line

Open a terminal, cd in to the build directory that was created above. Run cmake with options from the table above, following the formula -D(Name)="(Value)", and the path to your FreeCAD source directory as the final argument.

$cd ~/FreeCAD/build
$cmake -DBUILD_ROBOT="0" ...options continue... -DPYTHON_LIBRARY="/some/path/" ../FreeCAD-git


Finally, from a terminal run make to compile FreeCAD.

cd ~/FreeCAD/build
make –j3

The -j option specifies how many make processes to run at once. One plus the number of CPU cores is usually a good number to use. However, if compiling fails for some reason, it is useful to rerun make without the -j option, so that you can see exactly where the error occurred.

If make finishes without any errors, you can now launch FreeCAD, either from Terminal with ./bin/FreeCAD, or by double clicking the executable in Finder.


FreeCAD development happens fast; everyday or so there are bug fixes or new features. To get these changes, run:

cd ~/FreeCAD/FreeCAD-git
git pull

And then repeat the compile step above.



"No CMAKE_Fortran_COMPILER could be found." during configuration - Older versions of FreeCAD will need a fortran compiler installed. With Homebrew, do "brew install gcc" and try configuring again, for Macports, do "sudo port install gcc49" and give cmake the path to Fortran ie -DCMAKE_Fortran_COMPILER=/opt/local/bin/gfortran-mp-4.9 . Or, preferably use a more current version of FreeCAD source!


See OpenGL on MacOS

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