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Revision as of 09:46, 30 May 2019 by Speleo3 (talk | contribs) (gitlab CI no longer uses homebrew)
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Using MacPorts

  1. Install Xcode tools from the App Store
  2. Download and install MacPorts
  3. Edit the MacPorts variants config (optional).
    Add this line to /opt/local/etc/macports/variants.conf
    -x11 +quartz
  4. In Terminal (Applications>Utilities>Terminal) type
    sudo port selfupdate
    sudo port install \
         cmake cairo boehmgc intltool libxslt lcms2 boost \
         poppler gsl adwaita-icon-theme gdl3 gtkmm3 libsoup \
         double-conversion \
         gtk-osx-application-gtk3 \
         -x11 +quartz
  5. In Terminal, get Inkscape
    git clone --recurse-submodules
  6. And build inkscape
    # use a clean MacPorts environment (optional)
    export PATH="$LIBPREFIX/bin:/usr/bin:/bin:/usr/sbin:/sbin"
    # where to build and install
    mkdir build
    cd build
    cmake \
    make install
  7. Run Inkscape

Speed up Installation

You can use ccache (sudo port install ccache) to speed up re-compilation. Also, ninja (sudo port install ninja) is a faster alternative to make. Modify your call to cmake like this:

cmake \
       -G Ninja \
       # more cmake options here

ninja install


Linking fails with:

ld: framework not found -lCocoa

A patch like this should help (reverts part of 48e6c2ea4f, see also !397):

diff --git a/CMakeScripts/DefineDependsandFlags.cmake b/CMakeScripts/DefineDependsandFlags.cmake
index 4cb63aae80..7a0b5cbc75 100644
--- a/CMakeScripts/DefineDependsandFlags.cmake
+++ b/CMakeScripts/DefineDependsandFlags.cmake
@@ -253,7 +253,7 @@ pkg_check_modules(GTKSPELL3 gtkspell3-3.0)
     message(STATUS "Using GtkSpell 3")

Using Homebrew

See for a collection of notes using homebrew infrastructure 🛣 to build Inkscape 1.x from master using CMake + Ninja


This page contains outdated information and needs to be updated.

Extension Python modules

In case you are using a Python version installed through MacPorts do a search for both modules and install the ones suitable for the Python version activated within MacPorts.

port search lxml numpy

For further info refer to the Getting Effects Working section of this wiki.

Creating an .app bundle


Creating a disk image to distribute Inkscape



User Examples

  • [] | A recent 2019 collection of notes about building Inkscape from master using CMake + Ninja | Notes
  • Adam Strzeleki has outlined some improvements to this process on the Inkscape email list. See his screenshot from January 10, 2008 here.
  • JiHO has a video of his builds here and here.
  • Mac OS X native (aqua), PPC-only, Tiger-only build of 0.47, can be retrieved here: [1]. NOT FOR PRODUCTIVE USE - JUST TESTING! - (Nevertheless I'm doing quite a bit productive work on it… (-;)

Apple Documentation

  • Introduction to Runtime Configuration Covers the Info.plist files, Preferences, Environment variables and has a list of the most important Properties that the Property List should contain.


  • Sveinbjorn Thordarson's Website The author of Platypus, the Script Exec wrapper that launches the Inkscape binary.
  • Creating OS X application bundles step by step Covers the bundle concepts, copying libraries into the bundle, editing libraries with the install_name_tool, the Info.plist file and adding an icon.
  • Bringing your Java Application to Mac OS X I would regard this a little dated, and the detail is (unsurprisingly) Java-related, but it is a gentle introduction to the role of the .app bundle and give a most clear account of how to create one.
  • The Gimp .app Howto This is a very bare document, and would be of little help to you if you were new to making packages. Note that it seems to refer to a more mature Clipboard technique and Online help than we currently have; and we ought to move to parity in these areas.

See also