Version: 3.2.5
wxWidgets for macOS installation

wxWidgets can be compiled using Apple's Cocoa toolkit.

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 macOS is available in the wxWiki. Here are two useful links

Advanced topics

Installing library

It is rarely desirable to install non-Apple software into system directories, so the recommended way of using wxWidgets under macOS is to skip the make install step and simply use the full path to wx-config under the build directory when building application using the 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

Distributing applications using wxWidgets

If you build wxWidgets as static libraries, i.e. pass --disable-shared option to configure, you don't need to do anything special to distribute them, as all the required code is linked into your application itself. When using shared libraries (which is the default), you need to copy the libraries into your application bundle and change their paths using install_name_tool so that they are loaded from their new locations.

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`