Development environment on mac

John Ralls jralls at
Fri Oct 21 13:56:46 EDT 2016

> On Oct 21, 2016, at 7:05 AM, Phil Longstaff <phil.longstaff at> wrote:
> For a project I am involved with, I may need to move to a macbook as my
> development environment. Because my old windows/linux laptop is getting old
> and parts are no longer working, it may no longer be available to me. So, I
> may need to do any future gnucash development on apple products.
> For those here who use mac, what can you tell me? Are the tools we need
> readily available? Do you just dual-boot to linux or use a linux vm? What
> do you use?


Mike Alexander and I've been developing GnuCash on macs since we each joined the project around 7 years ago. There are two approaches described in (my way) and (Mike's way). I use my way to build the Mac distribution bundle.

If your new MacBook Pro (I wouldn't suggest trying to do serious development on an Air or plain MacBook) has sufficient storage I recommend VMWare Fusion and one or more Linux VMs: It's sometimes necessary to make sure things that work in the Mac environment also work in Linux.

The latest Gnu Emacs is bundled at and I highly recommend iTerm2 ( as a replacement for Terminal. If you decide you like Xcode, configure GnuCash with `cmake -G Xcode` and it will make an xcodeproject for you, or use Mike's Xcodeproject in GnuCash's root directory. Mike's is only for driving the debugger, the cmake-generated one will build, too.

If you have more questions ask here or on IRC; I'm there most days from around 10 - 5 Pacific time.

John Ralls

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