Installing from SVN on Mac OS X

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This article is part of the HOWTOs series.
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This document outlines the build process for Scribus 1.3.5 or higher from CVS/SVN. This is an official Scribus Team document and as such is the currently support build preference on OSX 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 (yet). OS X Tiger

What we use

  • MacPorts (renamed from darwinports in version 1.5)
  • Qt from Trolltech
  • XCode from Apple
  • Scribus SVN

Install development packages

Steps to build and install Scribus 1.3.5 on OSX/Aqua(tested on Intel only)

  • 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 for OSX

Building and Installing other required libraries on Tiger/Leopard 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). The one included with OSX 10.4.x 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).
    • Tiger only: Install subversion (sudo port install subversion), OR optionally install subversion from another source.
    • Optionally (recommended) install ghostscript (sudo port install ghostscript)

Building and Installing Scribus

  • 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
  • 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 -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.