Documentation/Building Guide/Building on MacOSX

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This document tries to wrap-up the build process for on Mac OS X using the native windowing-toolkit of the platform named Aqua.

To give a kickstart in the coding involved to get VCL ported to Carbon, please have a look at the excellent Pierre de Filippis Intro To Mac Porting.

We use the bash shell in all examples, since to our belief users of the C-shell are smart enough to figure out the differences anyway. If you want to dig deeper into the build process, please have a look at the description of the build environment here: Build Environment.


This document was derived from the description of the X11 build thanksworthy provided by Eric Hoch in this document: MacOSXBuildInstructions.

Here we would like to outline the things you need to build the Aqua Version (besides the OS).


Mac OS X version

=> Minimal version for AquaBuild is Mac OS X 10.4 ( aka Tiger ).

Due to important changes in the API, Aqua version cannot be built on Panther.


This is the only mandatory part to be installed to build Aqua version of

Current verified working version is XCode 2.4.1. Older are deprecated.

X11SDK (soon optional)

A dependency for Mozilla plugin needs some prototype defined in some Xlib.h header.

Please note, this dependency is not needed in runtime, but only at buildtime.

X11SDK.pkg archive is located in your Tiger's DVD, and has to be installed in the case of you're using Mozilla prebuild archives

This issue should be fixed soon: a fix is scheduled in cloph09 cws


Aqua version of does not build yet using Java SDK 1.6.0.

Please use either J2SDK 1.4.2 or 1.5.0

To change the Java version -> go into folder : Applications -> Utilities -> Java and modify.

Else, you'll meet unfixed build breakers (patches are welcome anyway)

Note: If you are interested in helping us with Java 1.6 a patch which enables the build using java 1.6 is available here. e.g. several known build issues have to be fixed e.g. hsqldb, but probably other modules are concerned.

Be aware that it may impact important work and/or incompatibilities will occur. Feel free to submit your patches at mac@porting mailing list.

Needed for Milestone build

prebuilt Mozilla archives

For the Milstone build, you'll have to put the prebuild archives of mozilla binaries in moz/zipped directory after renaming them properly.


Note: archives are Universal Binaries, and you'll have to rename them, depending on your architecture (eithe Intel or PowerPC)

Archives to be downloaded :

Strongly recommended


If you intend to build several times, you probably can benefit of ccache since it will speed up your future builds. The first time you make a build with ccache you won't notice it, but the next time the build will go up to five times faster.

You can install it using fink. It is simply named "ccache". For MacPorts users the package is called "ccache".

If you don't use fink, you can download and build it yourself using the source provided at

In order to use ccache you need to change the following environment variables assuming you're using bash, and just before doing configure command line:

export CC="ccache gcc"
export CXX="ccache g++"

Everything is installed ? Now choose the build you want to do...

1. AquaBuild/Milestone for Aqua build with current milestone

2. AquaBuild/Cocoa for advanced developers (Cocoa version, crashy, buggy and not complete)

Want to add a module into aquavcl03 cws ?

If you have changes and/or modifications in another module, a developer with correct rights will add it in the list.

See AquaPortCocoa for more informations

Important links or Cocoa development


Pierre Chatelier page about C++ to Cocoa conversion

Note: .pdf available in both english and french versions. Excellent.

Current Work in progress (not integrated )

Developers are working on the following Child workspaces (Mac OSX dedicated) :

  • macosxspellchecker  : use Mac OS X spellchecker

Concerned modules: lingucomponent, solenv

  • cloph09 ( remove X11SDK dependance for Aquabuild )
  • aquavclcarbonfixes ( Carbon version of Aqua ): fix the 5 most important issues.

concerned modules are : desktop, vcl

  • aquavcl03 ( Carbon -> Cocoa migration )

concerned modules are desktop, instsetoo_native, solenv, svtools, vcl

  • macaddressbook01 (QA in progress )

concerned modules are : scp2, dbaccess, extensions, connectivity

  • aquaremovescripts (nominated) :

concerned module: instsetoo_native

  • readme4macintel (status: undefined):

concerned module : readlicense_oo

Work in progress:

  • macosxdnd

Concerned mmodule is dtrans ( Drag and Drop )

Integrated in m226

  • aquaremovescripts

Integrated in m223:

  • aquavcl02

Integrated in m222 :

  • aquaremovefondu
  • macosxdmg23

Integrated in m221:

  • aquafilepicker01

All patches that developers have that need testing or peer review should be added here.

Known build issues

  • Panther build (X11 only) : currently broken ( work in progress )

Since latest resync, no build issues have been reported.

  • Tiger: no problem nor for X11 nor Aqua versions (main baseline)

  • Leopard (Intel only, because no PowerPC developer ): build broken, but Carbon and Cocoa version work already. Java is not found, but using a working preferences files, everything Java works ( seems to be only Java detection fails ). Native FilePicker needs some work.

Lot of warnings in vcl, due to other deprecated stuff

External links

  1. Bug Database
  2. Mailinglist: (subscribe is mandatory )
  3. IRC Meeting-Logs ( Previous_Mac_Meeting_logs MacOSXPortMeetings
  4. TX20:
  5. OpenOffice Source Directory Structure:
  6. Pavels Patch Wiki:
  7. Eric Bachard Wiki:
  8. Sebastien Plisson Wiki:
  9. Christian Lippka Wiki:
  10. Carbon:
  11. EIS:
  12. Runtime Configuration:
  13. OpenOffice Domain Developer


  1. Eric Bachard screenshots (some are from Stephan Schaefer)
  2. Most recent:
  3. Pavel Janik screenshots
  4. Important screenshot (eventloop issue): => See: OOoMenus-separator-and-disabled_entries.png
  5. Aqua look (the begining):


More menus:

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