Building Blender/Mac

Building Blender for macOS

Building Blender for macOS 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 10.13 High Sierra and newer is supported for Intel processors. macOS 11.0 Big Sur and newer is supported for ARM processors.

Quick Setup

Install Development Tools

Install either:

  • Xcode from the App Store, to get a full development environment.
  • Xcode command line tools by running this in the terminal. This takes up less disk space.
xcode-select --install

Install CMake and Subversion

CMake and Subversion must be installed and available to be used by Blender.

There are multiples ways to install them. We recommend using Homebrew. Follow the install instructions on the Homebrew website, then run in the terminal:

brew install cmake svn

Other package managers like MacPorts and Fink work as well. You may also install CMake and Subversion manually. This is more advanced and requires ensuring cmake and svn commands are in the PATH.

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-git folder off your home directory and download the latest source code, as well as addons and external libraries.

mkdir ~/blender-git
cd ~/blender-git
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-git/blender

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


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

cd ~/blender-git/blender
make update

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

Advanced Setup

Build as an Xcode project

Before starting with this section ensure you have completed the first three steps from the Quick Setup section: installing XCode, installing CMake, and downloading the external libraries.

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

This assumes that you have added CMake to your path as described in the Quick Setup. Then execute the following instructions in a terminal:

cd ~/blender-git/blender
cmake . -B ../build_xcode/ -G "Xcode"

This will generate the CMake cache files and an Xcode project file in ~/blender-git/build_xcode.

Building Blender in Xcode

Go to the folder with the generated the project file, and double click Blender.xcodeproj to open it in Xcode.

Then follow these steps to setup your project:

1. Choose Automatically Create Schemes if you are being asked after opening the project file.


2. Change the Active Scheme popup in the upper left corner of the XCode project window to install.


3. 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-<.

4. Select the Run item from the left view and you will see something like this:


5. Select the Blender App from the Executable popup menu.


6. Click Close to save changes.

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


If you have both the minimal command line tools (in /Library/Developer/CommandLineTools/) and Xcode (usually in /Applications) installed, xcode-select --print-path shows the path to the C/C++ compiler toolchain which will be used by CMake. It can be reset to a good default by running sudo xcode-select -r.