Version: 3.1.2
wxWidgets for OS X installation

wxWidgets can be compiled using Apple's Cocoa library.

Most OS X developers should start by downloading and installing Xcode from the App Store. It is a free IDE from Apple that provides all of the tools you need for working with wxWidgets.

After Xcode is installed, download wxWidgets-{version}.tar.bz2 and then double-click on it to unpack it to create a wxWidgets directory.

Next use Terminal (under Applications, Utilities, Terminal) to access a command prompt. Use cd to change directories to your wxWidgets directory and execute the following sets of commands from the wxWidgets directory.

mkdir build-cocoa-debug
cd build-cocoa-debug
../configure --enable-debug

Build the samples and demos

cd samples; make;cd ..
cd demos;   make;cd ..

After the compilation completes, use Finder to run the samples and demos

  • Go to build-cocoa-debug/samples to experiment with the Cocoa samples.
  • Go to build-cocoa-debug/demos to experiment with the Cocoa demos.
  • Double-click on the executables which have an icon showing three small squares.
  • The source code for the samples is in wxWidgets/samples
  • The source code for the demos is in wxWidgets/demos

More information about building on OS X is available in the wxWiki. Here are two useful links

Advanced topics

Installing library

If you want to install the library into the system directories you'll need to do this as root. The accepted way of running commands as root is to use the built-in sudo mechanism. First of all, you must be using an account marked as a "Computer Administrator". Then

sudo make install

Note that while using this method is okay for development, it is not recommended that you require endusers to install wxWidgets into their system directories in order to use your program. One way to avoid this is to configure wxWidgets with –disable-shared. Another way to avoid it is to make a framework for wxWidgets. Making frameworks is beyond the scope of this document.

Note: It is rarely desirable to install non-Apple software into system directories. By configuring the library with –disable-shared and using the full path to wx-config with the –in-place option you can avoid installing the library.

Apple Developer Tools: Xcode

You can use the project in build/osx/wxcocoa.xcodeproj to build the Cocoa version of wxWidgets (wxOSX/Cocoa). There are also sample projects supplied with the minimal sample.

Notice that the command line build above builds not just the library itself but also wxrc tool which doesn't have its own Xcode project. If you need this tool, the simplest possibility is to build it from the command line after installing the libraries using commands like this:

$ cd utils/wxrc
$ g++ -o wxrc wxrc.cpp `wx-config --cxxflags --libs base,xml`

Creating universal binaries

The Xcode projects for the wxWidgets library and minimal project are set up to create universal binaries.

If using the Apple command line tools, pass –enable-universal_binary when configuring wxWidgets. This will create the libraries for all the supported architectures, currently ppc, i386 and x86_64 . You may explicitly specify the architectures to use as a comma-separated list, e.g. –enable-universal_binary=i386,x86_64.

Notice that if you use wx-config –libs to link your application, the -arch flags are not added automatically as it is possible to link e.g. x86_64-only program to a "fat" library containing other architectures. If you want to build a universal application, you need to add the necessary "-arch xxx" flags to your project or makefile separately.

As an alternative to using –enable-universal_binary, you can build for each architecture separately and then use the lipo tool to glue the binaries together. Assuming building on a PPC system:

  1. First build in the usual way to get the PPC library.
  2. Then, build for Intel, in a different folder. This time use:
     export CFLAGS="-g -isysroot /Developer/SDKs/MacOSX10.7.sdk -arch i386"
     export LDFLAGS="-syslibroot,/Developer/SDKs/MacOSX10.7.sdk"
     ./configure --disable-dependency-tracking --enable-static=yes --enable-shared=no \
     --target=i386-apple-darwin8 --host=powerpc-apple-darwin8 --build=i386-apple-darwin8

You will need to reverse the powerpc and i386 parameters everywhere to build PPC on an Intel machine.

  1. Use lipo to glue the binaries together.

See also: