This is an howto to compile VLC media player on macOS (also known as Mac OS X), focused on VLC 3.0 and later.
- 1 Pre-requisites
- 2 Get the source code
- 3 Build VLC with a single command
- 4 Build steps
- 4.1 Additional development tools
- 4.2 Prepare 3rd party libraries
- 4.3 Bootstrap VLC
- 4.4 Configure the VLC build
- 4.5 Build VLC
- 4.6 Run VLC
- 4.7 Package VLC Application for Mac
- 4.8 Sign VLC Application for Mac
- 5 Troubleshooting
- You need at least macOS 10.10. Any later version is strongly recommended, though.
- Developer Tools from Apple from developer.apple.com/xcode
You need at least Xcode 9.
- Make sure developer tools are installed by running
xcode-select --install, if it pops up a Window, click "Install". If it shows
command line tools are already installedinstead, dev tools are installed correctly.
You need to check that all is working well.
If this outputs anything else than 'clang: error: no input files', see the troubleshooting part of this document.
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):
In case this fails, please try the step-by-step build guide below using a clean checkout.
Now, if you prefer, you can read the following detailed information on how the build internally works:
Additional development tools
You need development tools, notably all the autotools, to build VLC correctly.
Here is how:
cd extras/tools ./bootstrap && make cd ../..
Important: set the new PATH, before doing anything else.
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:
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.
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
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:
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.
First we go back to the source directory:
And now we still need to add the contribs to our path, so they can be found:
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:
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:
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.
xcodebuild -version -sdk macosx10.11 Path
make, you can just run VLC like so:
If you want a VLC app bundle, just do
And use it like a normal .app bundle.
Package VLC Application for Mac
If you want a disk-image:
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!
unset PKG_CONFIG_PATH unset PKG_CONFIG_LIBDIR export PATH=$PWD/build/bin:/bin:/sbin:/usr/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/local/bin
Xcode 'No developer directory' error
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.
sudo /usr/bin/xcode-select -switch /Applications/Xcode.app/Contents/Developer