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Frequently Asked Questions


How do I install GEM and Pd on Mac OS-X?

See the readme for installing Pd.

there is also an installer for macOS.

How do you compile Gem on OSX?

i want to compile Gem on my OSX machine, but wonder how to do? what are you (the upstream maintainer) using to compile Gem for the releases?

available build environemnts

you should be able to build Gem either using autoconf or XCode


coming from a linux background (and often running builds on remote machines), i personally prefer the "autoconf" build-system

this is also used for the Pd-extended autobuilds

setup for Gem-0.92.0

  • PowerBook G4 running OSX 10.5.8
  • FTGL/freetype2 have been compiled statically into a universal binary beforehand (by somebody; the URL is dead by now; i happen to have a local copy on my machine)
  • all the rest seems to come with OSX
  • i used autoconf (rather than XCode) with the following configure-line::

    PKG_FTGL_CFLAGS="-I/Users/zmoelnig/Development/pd-gem/GemLibs/FTGL/freetype\ include/ -I/Users/zmoelnig/Development/pd-gem/GemLibs/FTGL/include/" PKG_FTGL_LIBS="/Users/zmoelnig/Development/pd-gem/GemLibs/FTGL/mac/build/Universal/libftgl.a" ./configure --with-pd=/Users/zmoelnig/Development/pure-data/pd --with-extension=d_fat --enable-fat-binary

notes on OSX-10.6 (aka "Snow Leopard")

  • since i only have a PowerBook, i cannot upgrade to 10.6 (which has dropped support for PowerPC)
  • users report that compilation works fine when forcing the build to be i386 only (OSX10.6 has no legacy support for ppc; Gem has no support for x86_64 on OSX yet). for this to work you have to specify --enable-fat-binary=i386


in build/osx-xcode you can find a xcode-project for Gem


you need FTGL (which in turn needs freetype)

for downloadable Gem-binaries it is better to have FTGL (and freetype) linked statically!


  • get freetype-2.4.4 from e.g. sourceforge and unpack it
  • ./configure --disable-shared --enable-biarch-config CFLAGS="-arch ppc -arch i386"
  • make && sudo make install


  • get FTGL from sourceforge (i did a checkout of the SVN trunk; today this was revision 1266)
  • ./configure --without-x --disable-shared --disable-dependency-tracking CFLAGS="-arch i386 -arch ppc" CXXFLAGS="-arch i386 -arch ppc" LDFLAGS="-arch i386 -arch ppc"
  • make && sudo make install

building Gem

these are the additional flags (rather environment variables) passed to Gem

  • ./configure --disable-dependency-tracking --enable-fat-binary=ppc,i386 PKG_FTGL_CFLAGS="-I/usr/local/include/FTGL $(freetype-config --cflags)" PKG_FTGL_LIBS="-L/usr/local/lib/ -lftgl -lfreetype"

This FAQ applies to: 0.92.3, 0.92.0, 0.92svn, 0.92.2, 0.92.4

How do i make library dependencies local?

I want to ship dependencies side-by-side with my external and not have to install in the "correct" path (e.g. /sw/lib/)


on OSX you can change the path where a library is searched for with the install_name_tool

using the special path @loader_path, the path where the external lives will be searched

here's a small script to make all /sw/lib/ dependencies "local":

  for f in *.pd_darwin
   otool -L ${f} | grep sw | awk '{print $1}' | while read i
   do j=@loader_path/${i##*/}
     echo $f $i $j
     install_name_tool -change ${i} ${j} ${f}

Here is the script that is used in the readanysf~ library for including lots of libraries using the above technique:

How do I make fat binaries?

I'd like to create multi-arch (aka: fat) binaries

multi-arch binaries (aka "fat" or "universal" binaries) are only possible on OSX.

super simple solution:

  • pass the --enable-fat-binary flag to Gem's configure. by default, this will create fat binaries for PowerPC (ppc) and MacIntel (i386)
  • you can also specify the architectures, e.g. --enable-fat-binary=x86_64 will create a "fat" binary with one architecture (MacIntel 64bit)

using compiler/linker flags:

  • add "-arch " (multiple times, if you need multiple architectures) to your compiler & linker flags; really, the super simple solution does exactly that behind the scenes
  • e.g. adding -arch i386 -arch x86_64 to your CXXFLAGS and LDFLAGS will create fat binaries to run on MacIntel 32bit and 64bit

generating fat binaries from non-fat binaries:

  • sometimes it is simpler to merge a number of non-fat binaries into a single fat binary
  • using lipo for this:
        lipo -create <file1> <file2> <...> -output <file>
  • e.g.:
        lipo -create ppc/Gem.pd_darwin i386/Gem.pd_darwin ia64/Gem.pd_darwin -output Gem.d_fat
by IOhannes m zmoelnig last modified 2007-07-18 11:49 AM

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