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The directions for enabling python on OS X don't seem to be working for me. I'm running 10.4.9 using the binary pyxml package. Effects like "Lorem Ipsum" still whine about "The module requires PyXML. Please download the latest version from <>." after downloading.

--Cdimara 14:04, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

Note:I've been told there is an issue with pyXML 0.8.4 and Inkscape 0.45. And to use pyXML 0.8.4. I'm going to verify and change if necessary.

--Cdimara 18:54, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

A solution has now been found to the installation problems encountered some time ago; (June 2007). The matter concerned the use of an Apple G4 machine which was about to have its keyboard eaten in frustration. It was going to be accompanied by a light white wine, cream and herb sauce with a hint of garlic. However the user community came to the rescue with some advice which worked. The keyboard remains unconsumed, and all is well.

Please read on:

Installing ‘Inkscape’ or Dammit, Dammit, Dammit

If you have an Apple computer using OSX 10.3 (Panther) then please read the entire article featured below BEFORE proceeding. It worked for the author. ALL downloads should be virus-checked whether you trust the website you have taken them from or not.

If you have made any previous attempts to install ‘Inkscape’ then it may be necessary to ‘tidy up’ any remains from these attempts. To do this you will need to visit this URL and download a useful item called ’Blind’.

When you have done this, place ‘Blind’ in your “Home” folder location. When you double-click ‘Blind’ your machine will ‘reconfigure’ the “Home” window. This will show all of the ‘invisible’ files in “Home”.

If you find: (.inkscape) and (.inkscape-etc) then these should be removed by trashing them in the usual way. WARNING: DON’T TRASH ANYTHING ELSE. When you have done this, double-click ‘Blind’ again and your machine will return to its usual standard mode.

Special note: ‘Blind’ can be left where it is for the time being and used again if you ever have the need to do so. It can also be moved to other folders, (using drag and drop), and used at those locations to show the ‘hidden’ files in those places.

Next you need to install ‘X11’. ‘Inkscape’ only works in the ‘X11’ windows environment. To do this, go to this URL and follow the usual download procedure.

The ‘X11’ file that you will get must be placed in the file path: (Applications/Utilities/X11).

The X11User.pkg is the installer. When you double click on it, it will open up an ‘X11’ Installer window. Just go through the installer clicking "Continue" at the bottom until you finish the process, (It will go through Introduction, Licence, etc.). You shouldn't have to make any selections throughout the process, just click on "Continue" for each step.

‘X11’ will automatically install in the correct location. This is the file path: (Applications/Utilities/X11).

Next you need to get the right version of ‘Inkscape’. Visit this URL and follow the usual downloading procedure.

Go to the middle of the page to where there's a list called "File Releases". In the list shown, you need to download the file called: Inkscape-0.45.1+python-2-PANTHER.dmg. In time this file will be superceded by improved versions, so keep in touch with the 'Inkscape' website regularly.

When you have placed this (.dmg) file in your Applications folder, all you should have to do is double click the ‘Inkscape’ icon, and ‘Inkscape’ will unpack itself. You can then drag the ‘Inkscape’ application to your chosen place in your Applications folder; the (.dmg) file can then be put away in a place of your choice or trashed as you see fit.

The first time that you launch ‘Inkscape’ it will take a very long time to become active. This is because it must integrate with, among other things, the font library. On the author's machine, for example, there are 447 fonts. This meant that the first time ‘Inkscape’ was launched, it took just over 2 minutes 50 seconds; since then it takes around 26 to 36 seconds. Larger font libraries will take longer on start-up. BE AWARE: the first launch can be even longer than the author experienced.


Additional Information:

You may also like to add other ‘open source’ applications, which also work in the ‘X11’ windows environment. For example: the author also added GIMP (Gnu Image Manipulation Program) to the Applications folder.

Other graphics applications you might like to check out are ‘Expression 3’, also known as ‘Ex3’, ‘X3’ and E3, and ‘Blender’. These do not require the ‘X11’ environment but may be a useful addition to any creative repertoire. ‘Blender’ can be found at:

To obtain all of the above graphics applications the author used ‘Google’ as the search engine with the key search words in the box:

open source osx graphics software

This article was brought to you by the TwoMarks Corporation, Cyberian, Qrasch Graphix, Daemonix and Maelstrom. e-mail:

All information correct at time of original publication (August 2007).

Tried the steps but no go:

sh-2.05b# port -d install gtk2 +quartz+no_x11

gtkquartz.c: In function '_gtk_quartz_get_selection_data_from_pasteboard':
gtkquartz.c:207: warning: dereferencing type-punned pointer will break strict-aliasing rules
gtkquartz.c: In function '_gtk_quartz_set_selection_data_for_pasteboard':
gtkquartz.c:263: error: 'NSUInteger' undeclared (first use in this function)
gtkquartz.c:263: error: (Each undeclared identifier is reported only once
gtkquartz.c:263: error: for each function it appears in.)
gtkquartz.c:263: error: parse error before 'length'
gtkquartz.c:269: error: 'length' undeclared (first use in this function)
make[4]: *** [gtkquartz.lo] Error 1
make[4]: *** Waiting for unfinished jobs....
libtool: compile:  /usr/bin/gcc-4.0 -DHAVE_CONFIG_H -I. -I.. -DG_LOG_DOMAIN=\"Gtk\" -DGTK_LIBDIR=\"/opt/local/lib\" -DGTK_DATADIR=\"/opt/local/share\" -DGTK_DATA_PREFIX=\"/opt/local\" -DGTK_SYSCONFDIR=\"/opt/local/etc\" -DGTK_VERSION=\"2.20.1\" -DGTK_BINARY_VERSION=\"2.10.0\" -DGTK_HOST=\"i386-apple-darwin8.11.1\" -DGTK_COMPILATION -DGTK_PRINT_BACKENDS=\"file,cups\" "-DGTK_PRINT_PREVIEW_COMMAND=\"open -a /Applications/ %f\"" -I.. -I../gtk -I.. -I../gdk -I../gdk -I../gdk-pixbuf -I../gdk-pixbuf -DGDK_DISABLE_DEPRECATED -DGTK_DISABLE_DEPRECATED -DGTK_FILE_SYSTEM_ENABLE_UNSUPPORTED -DGTK_PRINT_BACKEND_ENABLE_UNSUPPORTED -DG_DISABLE_CAST_CHECKS -D_REENTRANT -I/opt/local/include/glib-2.0 -I/opt/local/lib/glib-2.0/include -I/opt/local/include -I/opt/local/include/pango-1.0 -I/opt/local/include/cairo -I/opt/local/include/pixman-1 -I/opt/local/include/freetype2 -I/opt/local/include/libpng12 -I/opt/local/include/atk-1.0 -xobjective-c -I/opt/local/include -DX_LOCALE -DG_DISABLE_SINGLE_INCLUDES -DATK_DISABLE_SINGLE_INCLUDES -DGDK_PIXBUF_DISABLE_SINGLE_INCLUDES -DGTK_DISABLE_SINGLE_INCLUDES -DGDK_PIXBUF_DISABLE_DEPRECATED -O2 -fstrict-aliasing -arch i386 -Wall -MT gtktestutils.lo -MD -MP -MF .deps/gtktestutils.Tpo -c gtktestutils.c -o gtktestutils.o >/dev/null 2>&1
mv -f .deps/gtktestutils.Tpo .deps/gtktestutils.Plo
make[4]: *** Waiting for unfinished jobs....
make[3]: *** [all-recursive] Error 1
make[2]: *** [all] Error 2
make[1]: *** [all-recursive] Error 1
make: *** [all] Error 2
shell command " cd "/opt/local/var/macports/build/_opt_local_var_macports_sources_rsync.macports.org_release_ports_x11_gtk2/work/gtk+-2.20.1" && /usr/bin/make -j2 all " returned error 2
Error: Target returned: shell command failed
DEBUG: Backtrace: shell command failed
    while executing
"command_exec build"
    (procedure "portbuild::build_main" line 8)
    invoked from within
"$procedure $targetname"
Warning: the following items did not execute (for gtk2): org.macports.activate org.macports.destroot org.macports.install
Log for gtk2 is at: /opt/local/var/macports/logs/_opt_local_var_macports_sources_rsync.macports.org_release_ports_x11_gtk2/main.log
Error: Status 1 encountered during processing.
To report a bug, see <>


AFAICT that's more an issue with MacPorts than with building Inkscape - as detailed on the wiki page - outside of MacPorts, i.e. using MacPorts only for the dependencies. Please ask on the macport-user mailing list for support to install gtk2 with the +quartz+no_x11 variants and provide the relevant log files there as mentioned in above error message. Also don't forget to provide information about your Mac OS X version and hardware arch (PPC, i386). BTW - don't you need to use 'sudo' with 'port install' to have the proper privileges to install files into '/opt/local' - or do you have a special setup and indeed work logged in as root (afaiu not recommended)? --~suv 10:55, 4 October 2010 (UTC)
Same error message in MacPorts ticket #26344 (gtk2+quartz+no_x11-2.20.1 Build error on 10.4) for building gtk2 2.20.1 on Mac OS X 10.4.11 with Xcode 2.5. Not confirmed yet, and no workaround described or patch attached. --~suv 04:29, 5 October 2010 (UTC)