Installing from SVN on Mac OS X

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Announcement: This page is considered obsolete but still has relevant information.
Please check Category:MacOS for more current solutions especially Scribus and Homebrew or Bleeding Edge nightlies supplied by Scribus Team on Sourceforge.


This document outlines the build process for Scribus from SVN. This is the currently support 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 (yet). 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 (renamed from darwinports in version 1.5) or use Homebrew (formula has been tested and works as of Kunda (talk) 01:56, 13 June 2014 (CEST))
  • Qt from Trolltech
  • XCode from Apple
  • Scribus SVN

Install development packages

Steps to build and install Scribus 1.3.9 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 - you can do this from macports itself if you need to customise the Qt4 install or will use it for other development work

Building and Installing other required libraries on Leopard/Snow 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).
    • 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.
    • Install ghostscript (sudo port install ghostscript)
    • Install podofo
    • If you didn't install Qt4 from the Nokia download page and want to install from macports, run sudo port install qt4-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/

  • make
  • make install


Now you can run Scribus 1.3.9+ from OSX if all has gone well.

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