Compile on MacOS

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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.

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.


To install Homebrew, enter the following in Terminal:

ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"


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

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
brew install --without-framework --without-soqt sanelson/freecad/coin
brew install --HEAD pivy

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 git:// FreeCAD-git

Alternatively, you can use the github mirror:

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

Required options will vary depending on whether Homebrew or MacPorts is used. These instructions are valid for FreeCAD source 0.154651 (March 2015), other versions might require different options.

Note: The paths for packages like OCE and Python are version specific -- change as needed.

Using Homebrew

Name Value Notes
BUILD_ROBOT 0 (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
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

Using MacPorts

Name Value Notes
BUILD_ROBOT 0 (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 /opt/local/include/freetype2 UNTESTED - should only need to set this if you are using a CMake version older than 3.1.0
OCE_DIR /opt/local/Library/Frameworks/OCE.framework/Versions/0.15/Resources For OCE v0.15, which is dated but the latest available in MacPorts 14 March 2015
PYSIDERCC4BINARY /opt/local/bin/pyside-rcc-2.7
PYSIDEUIC4BINARY /opt/local/bin/pyside-uic-2.7
PYTHON_EXECUTABLE /opt/local/bin/python2.7
PYTHON_INCLUDE_DIR /opt/local/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/include/python2.7/
PYTHON_LIBRARY /opt/local/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/lib/libpython2.7.dylib
Shiboken_DIR /opt/local/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/lib/cmake/Shiboken-1.2.2/
PySide_DIR /opt/local/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/lib/cmake/PySide-1.2.2/


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, or preferably use a more current version of FreeCAD source.

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