This page details instructions for compiling RawTherapee on macOS systems. There are also separate pages with instructions for compiling on Linux and Windows. This guide details the what and how parts of compilation. For the why and explanations of these commands, for a list of dependencies, CMake options and other information, please refer to the detailed Linux article.

When in doubt, join us on IRC and ask a human!

For instructions on cloning the source, choosing branches, configuring CMake and doing the actual compilation, see these sections in the Linux guide. The information below is in addition to that.

1 Dependencies

See the list of dependencies in the Compiling in Linux article.

1.1 Homebrew

The following command installs dependencies for RawTherapee: brew install gtk+3 gtkmm3 gtk-mac-integration adwaita-icon-theme libsigc++ little-cms2 libiptcdata fftw lensfun wget llvm cmake expat pkgconfig libomp

1.2 MacPorts

Tested on OS X 10.9 and newer.

  • Prerequisites:
    • Apple's Xcode Developer Tools
    • Apple's Command Line Tools
    • MacPorts
      • Detailed instructions on setting up MacPorts and the developer tools are available on the MacPorts website.
      • The native system compiler provided by Apple is badly outdated and does not support OpenMP. Don't use it. Use the latest stable compiler from MacPorts - RawTherapee will run faster.
  • Configure MacPorts:
Add the following line to /opt/local/etc/macports/variants.conf
+quartz -x11 -gnome
  • Dependencies:
To install the dependencies, run from the terminal:
sudo port install git clang-3.9 gtk3 gtkmm3 gtk-osx-application-gtk3 adwaita-icon-theme libsigcxx2 lcms2 libiptcdata fftw-3-single lensfun
If compiling on Xcode 9.2 you will also need to do:
sudo port instal ld64 +ld64_xcode

1.3 libiconv patch

libiconv.2.dylib must be patched, otherwise RawTherapee will crash on startup. The patch is available in tools/osx/libiconv_1.15_rt.patch

libiconv patching and compilation instructions:

tar xf libiconv-1.15.tar.gz
cd libiconv-1.15
patch -p1 < libiconv_1.15_rt.patch
mkdir build
cd build
../configure --prefix=/opt/local --disable-static 'CFLAGS=-arch x86_64 -mmacosx-version-min=10.9' 'LDFLAGS=-arch x86_64 -mmacosx-version-min=10.9' CXXFLAGS="-arch x86_64 -mmacosx-version-min=10.9"
make DESTDIR="$buildDir" install
cd /opt/local/lib
sudo cp ./libiconv.2.dylib ./libiconv.2.dylib.backup # backup MacPorts dylib
sudo cp "${buildDir}/opt/local/lib/libiconv.2.dylib" /opt/local/lib/libiconv.2.dylib

1.4 Distribution Bundle Framework Library Versions in 5.5-dev

package 5.5 version status 5.6 version status 5.6-dev version status
gtk+ 3.22.26-168-g63f534f4b3 on branch gtk-3-22 3.22.30 prev. 3.24.0 3.24.8
gtkmacintegration-gtk3 2.0.8 2.1.3-6-g3e1d4a3
gdk-pixbuf 2.36.11 2.38.0-115-g0b959ad2e
cairo 1.14.8 PATCHED[1] 1.17.2 patch applies
cairomm 1.12.2 cairomm-1-14
cairo-gobject 1.14.10 1.17.2
pango 1.40.12 1.42.4 1.43.0
pangomm 2.40.1 2.42.0
gtkmm 3.22.2 3.24.1
atk 2.26.1 ATK_2_31_92-5-ga2bff76 master
atkmm 2.24.2
glib/gio 2.54.2 2.59.3
glibmm/giomm 2.54.1-15-ge9330a8e On branch glibmm-2-54 2.56.1
libsigc++-2.0 2.10.0 2.10.1
TIFF 4.0.9
pixman 0.34.0 pixman-0.38.4
PNG 1.6.33 1.6.37
expat 2.2.4 R_2_2_6-61-g5e2859f master
lcms2 2.8 lcms2.9rc1-45-g65c63bf master
JPEG 9b 8.4.0-4-g6c0fcb8 master
harfbuzz 1.4.7 2.4.0-3-gb292772e
epoxy 1.4.3 1.5.3-4-gd536f78
pcre 8.4.1 8.4.2 master
lensfun v0.3.95-221-g8de8fbb7 master
libiconv2 1.15 PATCHED
iptcdata 1.0.4
fontconfig 2.12.4 2.13.1-81-gfd2e155 master
freetype2 20.0.14 VER-2-10-0-15-gd74106e23 master
libz 1.2.11 system libz
graphite2 1.3.13
fftw 3.3.7
libffi 3.2.1 v3.3-rc0-36-gd1e9b4b
libiomp5 20160808_oss[2] REPLACES libomp from clang [3]

2 Compiling

See the Compiling in Linux article for instructions on how to clone the source code, choose a branch and how to configure CMake. Ignore the "Now you are ready to compile" code on that page and follow the code on this page.

If you want to upload a build or otherwise share it with others, you must use


and set the processor label manually by setting

-DPROC_LABEL="generic processor"

If you want to compile for yourself only, then use


and then the processor label would be irrelevant, you could skip it.

If you wish to codesign your build, add your details to the CMake command:

-DCODESIGNID="Developer ID Application: Firstname Lastname (XXXXXXXXXX)"

The app and the generated dmg (Apple Disk Image) will be codesigned.

To notarize your codesigned build, include your app-specific notarial credential in the CMake command:

-DNOTARY="--username --password abcd-efgh-ijkl-mnop"

The app and dmg will be notarized (scanned for malware) and stapled (have the notarization ticket attached).

2.1 Compile RawTherapee

Now you are ready to compile:

cd ~/repo-rt
rm -rf build
mkdir build && cd build
cmake -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE="release" \
      -DPROC_LABEL="generic processor" \
      -DCACHE_NAME_SUFFIX="5-dev" \
      -DCMAKE_C_COMPILER="clang-mp-3.9" \
      -DCMAKE_CXX_COMPILER="clang++-mp-3.9" \
      -DWITH_LTO="OFF" \
      -DLENSFUNDBDIR="./share/lensfun" \
make -j4 install
make macosx_bundle

If you are compiling with homebrew dependencies w/llvm clang 8, use the following cmake command:

export PKG_CONFIG_PATH=/usr/local/opt/libffi/lib/pkgconfig:/usr/local/opt/expat/lib/pkgconfig && \
cmake  .. -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE="release" \
          -DPROC_TARGET_NUMBER="2" \
          -DCACHE_NAME_SUFFIX="5.6-dev" \
          -DCMAKE_CXX_COMPILER="clang++" \
          -DWITH_LTO="ON" \
          -DLENSFUNDBDIR="./share/lensfun" \
          -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release \
          -DOpenMP_C_FLAGS=-fopenmp=libomp \
          -DOpenMP_CXX_FLAGS=-fopenmp=libomp \
          -DOpenMP_C_LIB_NAMES="libomp" \
          -DOpenMP_CXX_LIB_NAMES="libomp" \
          -DOpenMP_libomp_LIBRARY="/usr/local/lib/libomp.dylib" \
          -DOpenMP_CXX_FLAGS="-Xpreprocessor -fopenmp /usr/local/lib/libomp.dylib -I/usr/local/include" \
          -DOpenMP_CXX_LIB_NAMES="libomp" \
          -DOpenMP_C_FLAGS="-Xpreprocessor -fopenmp /usr/local/lib/libomp.dylib -I/usr/local/include" \
          -DCMAKE_EXE_LINKER_FLAGS="-L/usr/local/opt/libffi/lib -L/usr/local/lib" \
          -DCMAKE_AR="/usr/local/Cellar/llvm/8.0.0/bin/llvm-ar" \

2.2 From-Scratch Method

  • This [4] complete list of commands may optionally be used to perform a from-scratch build of RawTherapee and its dependencies on macOS 10.14.5 / Xcode 10.2.
  • A JDK[5] must be installed.
  • Xcode 10.2 [6] must be installed

2.3 Run and Share RawTherapee

You will find a disk image in the build directory; this is the distribution release and can be run on any machine which meets the architecture requirements you specified in variants.conf earlier.

To provide the RawTherapee project with your build, please zip the dmg and AboutThisBuild.txt files together. Name the zip file according to this template:

RawTherapee_OSX_<minimum supported macOS version>_64_<RawTherapee version>.zip

for example if your build is made for macOS 10.12 and the version of RawTherapee is 5.2-dev-g1a2b3c4d, name it:

Upload the zip archive to and open a new issue on our GitHub page with the link so that we can upload it to the website.

2.3.1 macOS 10.15

  • To run RawTherapee on macOS 10.15 Catalina you must:
    • Copy the app to and run from the /Applications folder.
    • Add /bin/sh to System Preferences > Security & Privacy > Privacy > Full Disk Access. You will be prompted to automatically do this the first time you run the program.