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Building Blender for macOS

Building Blender for OSX needs a bit of preparation. However the steps are not very complicated and if you follow the instructions carefully you should be able to build Blender.

macOS version 10.9 and newer are supported.

Build steps in a nutshell

  • Install Xcode Development Tools
  • Install CMake
  • Download sources from Git
  • Download external libraries from Subversion
  • Optional: Install CUDA Toolkit 9
  • Use make to build Blender
  • Optional: generate an Xcode project with CMake.

Install Xcode Development Tools

Download the newest Xcode package from the Mac App Store for your system (it's free).

Install CMake

CMake is a tool for generating build environments and it supports make and Xcode (among others). Download CMake here.

Download Sources and Libraries

Now you are ready to get the latest Blender source code from's Git repository. Copy and paste the following instructions into a terminal window. These will create a blender-build folder off your home directory and download the latest source code, as well as addons and external libraries.

mkdir ~/blender-build
cd ~/blender-build
git clone
cd blender
make update

For additional information on using Git with Blender's sources, see: Tools/Git


The easiest and fastest solution is to build Blender with the default settings, and simply run this in the Terminal:

cd ~/blender-build/blender

After the build finished, you will find ready to run in ~/blender-build/build_darwin/bin.


If you later want to update to and build the latest version, run:

cd ~/blender-build/blender
make update

If building fails, it sometimes helps to remove the ~/blender-build/build_darwin folder to get a completely clean build.

Optional: Build as an Xcode project

If you like to work with the Xcode IDE and build Blender from within it, you need to generate an Xcode project.

Generating the Project

Find the CMake App in your Application folde and double click on it to start it.


As you can see all you have to enter is the location of the sources in ~/blender-build/blender and a destination directory which i have chosen to be ~/blender-build/cmake (any location outside of the source directory is allowed).

Now Press the "Configure" Button. You get another Popup:


Here you can select which generator you want to use, choose Xcode. Now press the '"Done'" Button.

You get back to the previous seen but now you will see a big red list of options. You can scroll through the option list and set parameters to your needs. Click Configure again and the red highlighting should disappear. Then click Generate and your build environment will be created into the build folder.

Building Blender in Xcode

Now you can go to the folder where you generated the project, and double click Blender.xcodeproj to open it in Xcode. Choose "Automatically Create Schemes" if asked.

1. Change the Active Scheme popup in the upper left corner of the XCode 5 project window from ALL_BUILD to Install

2. Select menu Product->Scheme->Edit Scheme

Edit Scheme is located all the way at the bottom of the list of targets. Or just Press Command-<.
3. Select the Run item from the left view and you will see something like this:
4. Select the Blender App from the Executable popup menu.
You may leave the Debugger options at the defaults.

5. Click OK to save changes.

Now clicking the Run triangle next to the Active Scheme popup should now build the application and launch Blender under the debugger.