Installing from SVN on Mac OS X

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Announcement: Please check Category:MacOS for more current solutions especially Scribus and Homebrew or Bleeding Edge nightlies supplied by Scribus Team on Sourceforge.
Macports (preferred option of the Scribus devs) and Homebrew are the 2 most popular methodologies to do this.


This document outlines the build process for Scribus 1.4.x.svn/1.5.x.svn from SVN. This is the currently supported build preference on OS X and is also subject to a different licence to the rest of the wiki. This does not currently outline the processs for packaging and bundling Scribus . OS X Tiger is not supported via Macports. Please see Installing Scribus on Mac OS X via Fink if you need to install on Tiger.

What we use

  • MacPorts or use Homebrew (formula has been tested and works as of Kunda (talk) 01:56, 13 June 2014 (CEST))
  • Qt
  • XCode from Apple
  • Scribus SVN

Install development packages

Steps to build and install Scribus 1.4.x/1.5.x on OSX (Intel only)

  • Install XCode (available on the Apple developer site)
  • Install MacPorts (downloadable from
  • Install Qt4 for Scribus 1.4.x, or Qt5 for Scribus 1.5.x, downloaded from [[1]]. You can also install it via macports if desired.

Building and Installing other required libraries with MacPorts

  • Install a few ports from MacPorts (any dependencies not already installed will be installed automatically)
    • Install CMake (sudo port install cmake)
    • Install freetype2 (sudo port install freetype).
    • Install lcms2 (sudo port install lcms2). This will also install jpeg, zlib, tiff
    • Install cairo (sudo port install cairo). This will install fontconfig too.
    • Install libxml2 (sudo port install libxml2).
    • Install subversion (sudo port install subversion), OR optionally install subversion from another source.
    • Install ghostscript (sudo port install ghostscript)
    • Install podofo
    • If you didn't install Qt from the download page and want to install from macports, run sudo port install qt4-mac/qt5-mac

You can of course do this all in one line (sudo port install cmake lcms cairo libxml2 ghostscript freetype podofo)

Building and Installing Scribus

  • Make a directory where you want to download to (eg, in Terminal, mkdir -p ~/scribus/150)
  • Change to this directory (cd ~/scribus/150)
  • Check out Scribus from SVN
  • Make a build directory (mkdir builddir)
  • Change to the build directory (cd builddir)
  • Run the cmake command, with the installation path set as you desire. Two common locations would be under /Applications or /Users/<your username>/Applications. As I like to keep compiled software separate to system installed applications, I use the second, but this is a personal preference:

cmake -DQT_PREFIX="/Users/<your username>/Qt/5.3/clang_64" -DBUILD_OSX_BUNDLE=1 -DWANT_UNIVERSAL_BUNDLE=0 -DWANT_HUNSPELL=1 -DWANT_GRAPHICSMAGICK=1 -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX:PATH=/Users/<your username>/Applications/ ../trunk/Scribus/ or cmake -DQT_PREFIX="/Users/<your username>/Qt/4.8.6/clang_64" -DBUILD_OSX_BUNDLE=1 -DWANT_UNIVERSAL_BUNDLE=0 -DWANT_HUNSPELL=1 -DWANT_GRAPHICSMAGICK=1 -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX:PATH=/Users/<your username>/Applications/ ../Version14x/Scribus/

  • make
  • make install


Now you can run Scribus from OSX if all has gone well.

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