Official:Compile Install with Macports

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Compiling and Installing Scribus 1.3.5+ On Mac OS X

This document outlines the build process for Scribus 1.3.5 or higher from SVN on Mac OS X. This does not currently outline the processs for packaging and bundling Scribus (yet).

What you need:

  • MacPorts installer (renamed from darwinports in version since 1.5)
  • Qt 4.5.x from Trolltech
  • XCode from Apple, either from the OS X install DVD or downloaded from
  • Scribus SVN

Building and Installing

Steps to build and install Scribus 1.3.5 on OSX/Aqua

  • Install X11 (available on the OSX CDs or from the Apple site)
  • Install XCode (available on the OSX CDs or from the Apple developer site)
  • Install MacPorts (downloadable from
  • Install Qt4 4.5.0+ for OSX (downloadable from

Install a few ports from MacPorts. Any other required dependencies will be installed automatically if they are not already. If you have already installed macports for other software, then you should run sudo port selfupdate and sudo port upgrade installed in order that the newest versions of your current ports and libaries are installed.

  • Install CMake (sudo port install cmake )
  • Install freetype2 (sudo port install freetype) The one included with OSX 10.4.9 is not as good as available from darwinports.
  • Install lcms (sudo port install lcms). 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.
  • Optionally (recommended)sudo port install podofo
  • Optionally (recommended)sudo port install boost
  • Optionally (recommended)sudo port install ghostscript
  • Optionally (recommended)sudo port install graphicsmagick
  • Make a directory where you want to download to (eg, in Terminal, mkdir -p ~/scribus/135)
  • Change to this directory (cd ~/scribus/135)

Check out Scribus from SVN

  • svn co svn://
  • Make a build directory mkdir builddir
  • Change to the build directory (cd builddir)
  • Run the cmake command: cmake -DBUILD_OSX_BUNDLE=1 -DWANT_CAIRO=1 -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX:PATH=/Users/username/Applications/Scribus.App/Contents/ ../trunk/Scribus/
  • make
  • make install

Now you can run Scribus 1.3.5+ from OSX if all has gone well.