Difference between revisions of "MacOSCompile"

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== Additional development tools  ==
== Additional development tools  ==
You need development tools, notably all the autotools, to build VLC correctly.
You need a number of tools, notably all the autotools, to build VLC correctly.
VLC has a way to build the specific versions of these tools required from source, here is how:
Here is how:
  cd extras/tools
  cd extras/tools
  ./bootstrap && make
  ./bootstrap && make

Revision as of 08:13, 9 April 2018

This is an howto to compile VLC media player on macOS (also known as Mac OS X), focused on VLC 3.0 and later.


Apple Software

  • You need at least macOS 10.10. Any later version is strongly recommended, though.
  • Xcode 9 and Developer Tools from developer.apple.com/xcode

Developer tools test

Make sure developer tools are installed by running

xcode-select --install

in the Terminal, if it pops up a window, click “Install”.

Compiler test

Ensure the compiler is found correctly by running

xcrun clang

in the Terminal, if this outputs anything else than clang: error: no input files, see the troubleshooting part of this document.

Get the source code

git clone git://git.videolan.org/vlc.git

Build VLC with a single command

Setup a build folder:

cd vlc && mkdir build && cd build

And run the build:


Wait and you have finished.

You can see more options for this build (change arch or sdk):

../extras/package/macosx/build.sh -h

In case this fails, please try the step-by-step build guide below using a clean checkout.

Build steps

Now, if you prefer, you can read the following detailed information on how the build internally works:

Additional development tools

You need a number of tools, notably all the autotools, to build VLC correctly. VLC has a way to build the specific versions of these tools required from source, here is how:

cd extras/tools
./bootstrap && make
cd ../..

Important: Add the extras/tools build results to your PATH, before doing anything else:

export PATH=$PWD/extras/tools/build/bin:$PATH

Prepare 3rd party libraries

To compile VLC, you need lots of other libraries, called 3rd party.

First, set the correct SDK version for the 3rd party libraries, usually your current OS X Version:

export OSX_VERSION=10.11

Then, prepare the 3rd party library folder:

mkdir -p contrib/contrib-osx && cd contrib/contrib-osx
../bootstrap --build=x86_64-apple-darwin15

Prebuilt libraries (recommended)

If you want to download a prebuilt package of all the needed libraries.

make prebuilt

Now you can just skip to the Update PATH section.

Build your own libraries (not for the faint-hearted)

Note: In order to build the libraries you need to use an OS X SDK Version lower than 10.12, the 10.12 SDK causes problems making it impossible to use the resulting libraries (and VLC build) on any macOS version lower than 10.12! You can set the SDK Version (if it's installed) using export OSX_VERSION=10.11.

You need to install the Java JDK.

If you want to build contribs from source, you first need to make gettext, which is needed for some other contrib libraries to build:

make -j4 .gettext

Now you need to update your path for the gettext tools to be usable later on, see the Update PATH section above.

Then fetch contrib sources:

make fetch

and build them with:


If you had no errors, the 3rd party libraries (contrib) are built correctly and you can proceed to the next step.

Update PATH

First we go back to the source directory:

cd ../..

And now we still need to add the contribs to our path, so they can be found:

export PATH=$PWD/contrib/x86_64-apple-darwin15/bin:$PATH

Bootstrap VLC

This will create the configure script:


Check that there are no obvious errors at this stage, like missing gettext or an error at exit.

Configure the VLC build

Create a build folder:

mkdir -p build && cd build

To list the different options of configure:

../extras/package/macosx/configure.sh --help

To build a binary with the previously installed x86_64-apple-darwin15 contrib:

../extras/package/macosx/configure.sh --enable-debug --host=x86_64-apple-darwin15

By default it will not use the installed SDK, like Xcode does, but use System Root. This means that if you built contribs on your own, the configure script might behave unexpectedly, for example enabling functions which are not present in a given operating system version. To work around this and build against the latest installed SDK, you can use:

--with-macosx-sdk=`xcrun --show-sdk-path`

If you want to use a different SDK, you can list all installed SDKs with xcodebuild -showsdks and to get the path for it, you can use the following command xcodebuild -version <SDK Flag from before> Path.
For example: xcodebuild -version -sdk macosx10.11 Path

Build VLC

Just do:

make -j4

and wait...


After make, you can just run VLC like so:


If you want a VLC app bundle, just do

make VLC.app

And use it like a normal .app bundle.

Package VLC Application for Mac

If you want a disk-image:

make package-macosx

Note: If you want a more fancy disk image, you need the dmgbuild tool, which can be installed using pip install dmgbuild if you have python installed using Homebrew.

Sign VLC Application for Mac

If you want to sign your application with a certificate, for example for Gatekeeper, you need to run:

extras/package/macosx/codesign.sh -i "certificate name"


3rd party packagers and PATH

Pay careful attention to remove any reference to 3rd party package managersfrom your environment. This is important to avoid conflicts between your package manager (homebrew, fink, macports...) and the contrib package manager we use to build our contrib.

It shouldn't be necessary, but it can happen.

git must still be accessible though!

export PATH=$PWD/build/bin:/bin:/sbin:/usr/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/local/bin

Xcode 'No developer directory' error

When running xcrun clang, if you see

Error: No developer directory...

then use xcode-select to select the developer directory within the Xcode package, to point to your xcode developer directory.

something like:

sudo /usr/bin/xcode-select -switch /Applications/Xcode.app/Contents/Developer