Install Mac

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Installing and Building Emergent
  • Build from source (expert)


Mac Instructions

Opening unsigned packages

Hold down the control key when you click on the package file, then select Open from the popup menu, and then click on the Open option. If you don't do this, you get an opaque message about the package not being trusted..

Optimized fonts

TODO: is this needed??

export COIN_FONT_PATH=/Library/Fonts


Dependency Installer Script Issues

There are various issues that can arise from the emergent_install_mac_deps script:

  • You need to enter your password in the terminal that opens when you run it! You need to click in the terminal window after Password: and then type in the same password that you use when you login to your Mac after a restart. This is necessary to engage "root" or "superuser" permissions, which is required for installing the dependencies -- furthermore, your account on the computer must have Administrator permissions. You can check this by going to Users & Groups in System Preferences and seeing if you have Admin after the Current user account name. Google this if you don't know what this means, or if you get an error message like this:
  • 'username' is not in the sudoers file. This incident will be reported.

As of version 8.5 the script relies extensively on Homebrew for installing dependencies -- carefully look at the terminal window output to see if there are errors at the end of the process -- unfortunately it outputs a lot of stuff and it does multiple passes to attempt to overcome various issues that might arise. One possible error:

  • Some /usr/local subdirectories need to be owned by user for brew link to work -- this indicates the same sudo / Administrator issue per above.

Library not loaded errors

If emergent doesn't run when you click on it in Applications, try to run from, so you can see the error message:

> /usr/local/bin/emergent

If you get this kind of error:

dyld: Library not loaded: @rpath/QtOpenGL.framework/Versions/5/QtOpenGL
  Referenced from: /usr/local/bin/emergent
  Reason: image not found
Abort trap: 6

Then the Qt package did not install properly -- the most common cause of this is that the full Qt package failed to download properly (it is big) -- you can just manually re-download the package from here: -- current one is qt5931_mac64.dmg, but it is best to sort by the modification date and get the most recent such one in case we forget to update this page (likely). Then just open that package and install it like you would any such package. Then try re-running emergent per above. The other package that might have failed to install is coin: e.g., coin_mac64_4_0.dmg


If emergent seems to have installed correctly, but you are unable to run it, the problem could be a permissions issue. Possible symptoms are:

  • Getting an error message such as "You can't open the application because it may be damaged or incomplete",
  • A stop sign on top of software icon, which typically indicates it's not for this version of OS X,
  • Getting this kind of response when trying to run emergent from the terminal:
$ emergent
-bash: emergent: command not found
$ which emergent
$ ls /usr/local/bin
ls: bin: Permission denied 

This might happen if your account is not an administrator account. To fix, do this:

$ cd /usr/local
$ sudo chmod -R +rX bin   # Case sensitive!!

Wrong package

If you get an error such as this:

$ emergent
dyld: Library not loaded: Inventor.framework/Versions/C/Inventor
  Referenced from: /usr/local/bin/emergent
  Reason: image not found
Trace/BPT trap

The problem might be that you need to run the emergent_install_deps script to get the relevant dependencies.


If you can't start emergent from a Terminal window by typing emergent, it is probably because /usr/local/bin is not in your path. To check:

$ echo $PATH
$ cat /etc/paths

If you don't see it when you type those commands, add it:

$ sudo bash -c 'echo /usr/local/bin >> /etc/paths'

Then restart your Terminal and emergent should be accessible from the command line. This will also allow you to compile plugins from within emergent, since maketa is also located in /usr/local/bin.

Alternative Installs

  • Build Mac Homebrew -- uses the homebrew packaging system to handle all the dependency libraries. As of version 8.5 we now do this for all but Qt and Coin.

Old Versions