Documentation/Building Guide/Building on MacOSX

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Cocoa migration is in progress

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

Important links for Cocoa development


Pierre Chatelier page about C++ to Cocoa conversion

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

(Outdated) : To give a kickstart in the coding involved to get VCL ported to Carbon, please have a look at the excellent Pierre de Filippis Intro To Mac Porting.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


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.

Additional dependencies for current Milestone builds

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 (either Intel or PowerPC)

Archives to be downloaded :

If you want to build using them on PowerPC or Intel architecture (with Tiger) please rename them this way  :

Archive Name in Intel architecture Name on PowerPC architecture

As you can see, P means PowerPC, and I means Intel

.. and put them into <ooo build directory>/680_mXXX/moz/zipped should detect and use them if you respect the configure command line as described in Milestone build.

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 build it...

=> Current Milestone is m233

Getting the code (checkout, merge and patch the puppy)

Create a directory for a given milestone, setup CVS access:


mkdir SRC680_ m233
cd SRC680_ m233


export CVSROOT=""
cvs login

(password is 'anoncvs' ) + Enter [bash,N] Note: The source should be downloaded to a path that does not contain any spaces, otherwise compiling might be troublesome.

checkout SRC680 (Master workspace since aquavcl01 integration) (1,5 GB):


cvs -z3 co -r SRC680_m233 OpenOffice2    # don't forget the "2" !!

Once done, you'll obtain milestone m233.

One-Time preparations and scripts's build environment is configured using the popular open-source configuration-management package 'autoconf'. So you can do your beloved './configure' command, but in our case this is done in the 'config_office' subdirectory. To save the configure parameters and use them with different milestones I used to link-in my shellscript to fire up the ./configure line.

My directory-structure looks like this:


Now I go to the 'config_office' subdir and link in my startscript: [bash,N]

cd SRC680_ m233/config_office/
ln -s ../../bin/

And this is how '' (to be written) looks like :


export BASE=`pwd|sed 's/\/config_office//'`
export OOVERSION=`echo $BASE|sed 's/^\/.*\///'`
echo Building from     : $BASE
echo OpenOffice Version: $OOVERSION
./configure \
--with-lang="de en-US" \
--disable-odk \
--disable-pasf \
--disable-gtk \
--disable-headless \
--disable-build-mozilla \
--disable-headless \
--with-build-version=$OOVERSION-`date +%d-%m-%y` \
--disable-fontconfig \
--without-nas \

Note : --disable-neon has been removed since m217 resync. See issue : [--disable-neon breaks aqua build]

--disable-odk : disables SDK build, and will avoid you to download some windows dll which is not needed for aqua-build.

--disable-pasf : pasf stands for Portable Audio System file. As we want to use system library rather than portable ones, we disabled this. However, at this time not all functionality will be available with pasf disabled. You might willing to use --with-pasf if you want working audio in your build.

--without-nas : nas stands for Network Audio System, it uses X11, if you want to use it in your build, just remove this flag. You will need to install the X11 package provided in your CDs/DVD Mac OS X installation. X11 SDK from xCode tools is not required for build this.

--disable-mozab: will disable the mozilla build (in the moz module), but mozilla pre-built archives will be used instead (they are mandatory to enable the macro security configuration dialog (see issue 79885).

Doing the build (about 4,5 GB)

Fine, now we have a (hopefully) working '' in the config_office subdir. We need to run it beforehand:

cd SRC680_m233/config_office/

This will setup the necessary includefiles and create a couple of files in the parent directory (bootstrap,, MacOSXPPCEnv.Set). If you are using the sh, ksh or bash you only need to take care for ''.

Now we need to get back to our base-directory, run the bootstrap script, source our Enviroment ( and finally start the build-process:

Mac Intel

cd ..
cd instsetoo_native
build --all -P4 --dlv_switch -link --dontgraboutput


build --all -P4 

if you run into trouble with --dlv_switch (see: | issue 77360)

On PowerPC

cd ..
cd instsetoo_native
build --all -P2 --dlv_switch -link --dontgraboutput


build --all -P2 

if you run into trouble with --dlv_switch (see: 77360)

The main purpose of the bootstrap script is to build (if necessary) the dmake utility used. Dmake once was a unix make-clone made by wticorp but got incorporated into OpenOffice since it was orphaned. For more information about dmake, it's history and manpage have a look here:

Sourcing is very important not only for building but also for running svdem later on. Here all the Environment-Variables for the Build will be set up. For a detailed description see Environment_Variables. Please note that on Intel machines, 'MacOSXPPCEnv.Set' should be substituted with 'MacOSXX86Env.Set'.

This Build process takes on my box (Dual 1.8 GHz G5, 1.5GB RAM) roughly 10 hours, and 3 to 6 hours on Mac Intel (3:30h on a 2GHz DualCore INTEL iMac). Be patient.

If you want to see how the progress on that build is you can use two build options to get a comfortable view:

build ... <see above> ... --html --html_path /Users/$USER/Sites

where $USER is your user name. Then you can load in Firefox (not Safari!) the HTML file via the in Mac OS X included Apache web server or diretctly form the directory /Users/$USER/Sites/. This file is automatically being updated and is showing the status of the build and also the time needed since the build started.

Installing, preparing and running

Find the Bundle

Once the build completed, the Final product ( en-US version ) is named : ( for version 2.3.0 e.g.)

And is located in instsetoo_native/ directory ( replace en-US with your locale )

File:Bundle location.jpg

Run the soffice.bin

In one line :

Double click the .dmg , drag the icon in the folder you want, and double click to run it !!

Note : soffice.bin leads XCode to not work (because of the dot in the name). The issue has been reported to xcode-users list.

We're nearly through, let's fire-off the binary:

But a lot has to be done, and if you want to trace (using gdb e.g.), just do:


and run:

gdb --args soffice.bin

(add any breakpoint you want)

r to run

Use vcl menubar and / or vcl menus

Native menus are defaults. If you want to use vcl menus, do:


Note: options to not recover is -norestore , and to bypass the user informations to fill in, use -nofirststartwizard

AQUA_NATIVE_MENUS=FALSE ./soffice.bin -nofirststartwizard -norestore

You can also insert environement variables in a Dictionary Class of Info.plist located in the Contents directory of bundle.

For example, you can add the following XML in a text editor (or make it generated by Property List Editor) in your Info.plist :


Notice that in order to work, the OOO_DISABLE_RECOVERY variable detection must be manually inserted in OOo code using the following patch :

This patch is outdated, but you can make the modifications yourself.

Notice the enviroment variable here. AQUA_NATIVE_MENUS is experimental stuff created by Pavel, SAL_NO_NWF was created some times ago, and is located in vcl/source/window/window.cxx . At the moment we have:

Variable Function
SAL_NO_NWF=TRUE disable native controls code
AQUA_NATIVE_MENUS=FALSE disable native menus code

Both changes are marked with comments in the source code, and when we remove them in the future, native controls and native menus will be enabled by default.

Debug and contribute

AquaBuild/Cocoa Informations <== Additionnal informations for advanced developers

Current Work in progress

Developers are working on the following Child workspaces, all Mac OSX dedicated (not integrated )

  • aquavcl04:

concerned module : vcl

  • readme4macintel (status:Nominated , means will probably be included in m234 or m235):

concerned module : readlicense_oo

  • macosxdnd

Concerned module is dtrans ( Drag and Drop )

  • macosxquicktime01 : use QTKit for sounds and movies

Concerned modules : avmedia, scp2

  • macleopardbuild : be Leopard compatible, building on Tiger

Concerned modules : to be defined soon


Integrated in m233

  • aquavcl03 ( Carbon -> Cocoa migration )

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

  • spotlightplugin01 ( add a new Sportlight plugin )

Concerned modules: extensions, scp2

Integrated in m229

  • macaddressbook01 (QA in progress )

concerned modules are : scp2, dbaccess, extensions, connectivity

  • macosxspellchecker  : use Mac OS X spellchecker

Concerned modules: lingucomponent, solenv

  • aquavclcarbonfixes ( Carbon version of Aqua ): fix the 5 most important issues.

concerned modules are : desktop, vcl, fpicker, libxmlsec, xmlsecurity, basic

Integrated in m228

  • cloph09 ( remove X11SDK dependance for Aquabuild )

Concerned modules: np_sdk

Integrated in m227

  • aquaremovescripts: remove useless Applescripts from Aqua version

concerned module: instsetoo_native

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 ): builds OK now (patches will be provided soon). See macleopardbuild cws
  • 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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