Compile on MacOS

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Revision as of 00:07, 14 March 2015 by Ian.rees (talk | contribs) (Should've actually tried building before the last edit...)
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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.


Install the latest version of CMake from Although Homebrew will also install CMake, it only installs the command line executable.


To install Homebrew, enter the following in Terminal:

ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"

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 git:// FreeCAD-git

Alternatively, you can use the github mirror:

Installing the Dependencies

All of the needed libraries can be installed using Homebrew.

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

Compiling FreeCAD

First, create a new folder for the build:

mkdir ~/FreeCAD/build

Now you will need to run CMake to generate the build files. 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. 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.

Option name Value Notes
BUILD_ROBOT OFF (unchecked) As of 12/19/2014, the robot module fails to build using newer versions of clang (OS X 10.9 and later)
FREETYPE_INCLUDE_DIR_freetype2 /usr/local/include/freetype2 You will only need to set this if you are using a CMake version older than 3.1.0
OCE_DIR /usr/local/Cellar/oce/0.16.1/OCE.framework/Versions/0.16/Resources
PYSIDERCC4BINARY /usr/local/bin/pyside-rcc
PYSIDEUIC4BINARY /usr/local/bin/pyside-uic
PYTHON_EXECUTABLE /usr/local/bin/python
PYTHON_INCLUDE_DIR /usr/local/Cellar/python/2.7.9/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/include/python2.7
PYTHON_LIBRARY /usr/local/Cellar/python/2.7.9/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/lib/libpython2.7.dylib

Note: The above paths for OCE and Python are for versions 0.16.1 and 2.7.9, respectively -- change as needed.

Now click Configure again and then Generate.

Finally, 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.

Creating an application bundle



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 configuraiton - Older versions of FreeCAD will need a fortran compiler installed. With homebrew, do "brew install gcc" and try configuring again, or preferably use a more current version of FreeCAD source.

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