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Compiling on macOS

Compiling Mixxx for macOS is simple once you have all the dependencies installed. This guide assumes you have basic knowledge about using the command line.

1. Install Xcode Command Line Tools

Launch the Terminal application, and type the following command string:

  xcode-select --install

Click Install on the software update popup window that will appear, and wait for the download and installation to finish (about 150 MB). It gets placed in the following directory: /Library/Developer/CommandLineTools/

Note: If Xcode is already installed in your system, then Command Line Tools are installed as well (you can check this by trying to run clang or make from the terminal). To install the latest available version of Xcode for your macOS release, go to Downloading it requires a free registration at Apple's developer site.

2. Install build dependencies

Method 1: Homebrew

There is currently a major performance problem with Qt 5.14 and Mixxx on macOS. We recommend using our prebuilt dependencies until this is fixed.

Homebrew is yet another package manager for macOS. It is growing quickly in popularity. Assuming you have already installed Homebrew and gotten it working:

  • Open the Terminal application and use the following command to install the necessary libraries:
brew install scons pkg-config portaudio libsndfile libogg libvorbis portmidi git taglib libshout protobuf flac libjpeg qt5 chromaprint rubberband fftw vamp-plugin-sdk opusfile lilv lame

Next you need to set your environment variables so that the compiler can find Homebrew-installed dependencies. In the below code you should customize HOMEBREW_PATH to the path where your Homebrew folder can be found. Copy and paste the code below into ~/.bash_profile:

# See the note below about the Opus workaround.
export CFLAGS="-I$HOMEBREW_PATH/include -I$HOMEBREW_PATH/include/opus"
export CXXFLAGS="-I$HOMEBREW_PATH/include -I$HOMEBREW_PATH/include/opus"
export QTDIR=$HOMEBREW_PATH/Cellar/qt/`brew list --versions qt | ruby -ne 'print $_.split.last'`/

then run source ~/.bash_profile.

Opus Workaround: The version of libopus included with Homebrew has a bug where opusfile.h includes the file opus_multistream.h. In order for this file to be present on the include path, we need to add $HOMEBREW_PATH/include/opus to the include path. This will hopefully be fixed in future versions of libopusfile.

Legacy: Qt 4

Qt 4 is only supported in Mixxx 2.1 and earlier. Newer versions of Mixxx do not build with it.

If you will be compiling with Qt4, also run:

brew tap cartr/qt4
brew tap-pin cartr/qt4
brew install [email protected]

Set the $QTDIR environment variable (e.g. in your .bash_profile, as described above) to point to Qt 4:

export QTDIR=$HOMEBREW_PATH/Cellar/[email protected]/%VERSION%/

Replace %VERSION% with the folder name, e.g. 4.8.7_5 . Run

brew list --versions [email protected]

to see what version(s) you have installed.

Optional: ModPlug support

To enable libmodplug based module tracker support.

    brew install libmodplug

If you get the error No available formula for libmodplug , enter the following:

    brew create

Enter Formula name libmodplug if asked for, then enter:

    brew install libmodplug

Optional: Alternative MP3/AAC support

Mixxx supports using macOS-provided versions of the MP3 and AAC codec, so you do not need this step for MP3/AAC support. If you don't want to use the macOS versions of these codecs you can build the codecs into Mixxx directly. To do this, you have to install the MP3 and AAC codecs using Homebrew:

    brew install libid3tag libmad mp4v2 faad2

Method 2: Use a pre-built environment

These instructions only work for Mixxx 2.3 and later.

The Mixxx build server produces pre-built macOS build environments.

See and select the series of Mixxx you would like to develop for (e.g. 2.3.x-macosx). Download the latest build environment you see, or check build/osx/golden_environment to see the current official version.

After you extract your build environment, you need to tell Mixxx where to find it:

export OSXLIB=/path/to/build/environment; 
# Make sure to edit this to match what is actually present in $OSXLIB.
export QTDIR=${OSXLIB}/Qt-5.11.2; 
export PATH=${OSXLIB}/bin:${QTDIR}/bin:$PATH; 
export CXXFLAGS="-isystem ${OSXLIB}/include"; 
export CFLAGS="-isystem ${OSXLIB}/include"
export LDFLAGS="-L${OSXLIB}/lib -F${OSXLIB}/lib -Wl,-rpath,${OSXLIB}/lib"; 

You may need to adjust $QTDIR in the above example, depending on what is actually present in the environment.

Method 3: Manual

You can of course install all of Mixxx's dependencies by hand. We don't recommend it.

3. Get Mixxx

If you want to compile Mixxx, you'll need to download the source code. Either grab the source for the latest release from our downloads page, or checkout a snapshot from our git repository:

To update to the latest version of a git branch, enter (cd into) the directory you cloned the git repository into and run git pull. Refer to Using Git for more details.

4. Compile and install

Change to the newly created mixxx directory, and use scons to compile Mixxx:

cd mixxx
scons verbose=0

If you get an error about hss1394, set hss1394=0.

If you are compiling with Qt 4, set qt5=0. Qt 4 is only supported in Mixxx 2.1 and earlier.

If the build succeeds, there will be a mixxx binary in the current directory that you can run:

./mixxx --resourcePath res/

This runs Mixxx, telling it to use the res folder as its source of skins, controller presets, etc. This is usually desirable for local development.

Alternatively, you can build a macOS .app bundle by running:

scons bundle

This will generate a bundle in the osx64_build folder, which you can run by double-clicking on or typing open osx64_build/ Generating the .app has some expensive scanning and relinking steps so for iterative development, we suggest using the bare binary instead of creating a bundle.

Optional: Use Clang to build

On macOS, GCC is a wrapper around Clang – a compiler based on LLVM. Using Clang has various benefits:

The GCC wrapper around Clang on macOS tries to behave like GCC which loses some of these benefits. To use Clang directly, before running scons:

export CC=clang
export CXX=clang++

You can now use clang-specific SCons options.

  • To enable colorized output, use the color=1 scons flag.
  • To enable Address Sanitizer, use the asan=1 scons flag.

Optional: Alternative MP3/AAC support

As of Mixxx 2.0, Mixxx will use CoreAudio to decode MP3 and AAC files by default. If you want to use libmad or libfaad for MP3 and AAC decoding, simply set the mad and faad flags and clear the coreaudio flag. For example:

scons mad=1 faad=1 coreaudio=0

Optional: ModPlug Support

To enable libmodplug based module tracker support, set the modplug flag. For example:

scons modplug=1

Common error messages & solutions

ld: symbol(s) not found for architecture x86_64

OSX 10.9 Mavericks has changed the stdlib default to libc++. If you are on OSX 10.9 Mavericks and get this link error, try the “scons” command above like this:

scons stdlib=libc++
Error: QT path does not exist or QT5 is not installed.

If you installed Qt to a custom location you will have to provide this via the qtdir flag. For example, you could try:

scons qtdir=/Developer

Because /Developer is a common place for Qt to drop its frameworks.

Missing "initializer_list".

This most likely means you are building Mixxx with libstdc++ and not libc++. Mixxx versions newer than 2.0 now require C++11 so libstdc++ is no longer an option since it does not support C++11 features like initializer_list.

ld: warning: in /opt/local/lib/libGLU.dylib, file was built for unsupported file format which is not the architecture being linked (i386)

Try the “scons” command above like this:

scons machine=x86_64
Unmet dependency: Could not find libtag or its development headers.

Dependency errors happen from time to time , even if the dependencies are installed. This is not limited to ``libtag``. You are not able to compile the source, and the mixxx build aborts.

First, try updating brew and upgrading the packages

 brew update && brew upgrade

Force SCons to ignore any cached results, delete temporary files and return the source tree to the original state. From the Mixxx build directory, run

 rm -R config.log .sconsign.dblite .sconf_temp .sconsign.branch

Build Mixxx


If build is finished, start the executable

 ./mixxx --controllerDebug --developer --resourcePath res/

5. Configure your development tools

Now that you can build Mixxx, learn about developer tools that make Mixxx development easier.

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compiling_on_os_x.txt · Last modified: 2020/05/05 23:36 by dflow