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

Warning Warning: If you want to use Homebrew to manage prerequisite libraries, do not use MacPorts or issue any sudo port commands.

Tested on OS X 10.9 and newer.

  • Prerequisites
    • Xcode Developer Tools & Command Line Tools
    • MacPorts
      • Detailed instructions on setting up MacPorts and the developer tools are available on the MacPorts website.
  • Configure MacPorts:
Add the following line to /opt/local/etc/macports/variants.conf
+quartz -x11 -gnome +openmp
  • Dependencies
To install the dependencies, run from the terminal:
sudo port install git cmake clang-11 libomp 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 install ld64 +ld64_xcode
  • Configuring compile system for MacPorts
To your cmake command add the following flag:

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.

RawTherapee is compiled by the clang compiler. It may come with XCode or be installed as a part of llvm. Be advised that Apple uses a versioning scheme for Apple clang which is inconsistent with llvm clang. To figure out which compiler to use, check your system compiler first:

-> which clang

-> /usr/bin/clang --version
Apple clang version 11.0.0 (clang-1100.0.33.17)
Target: x86_64-apple-darwin18.7.0
Thread model: posix
InstalledDir: /Applications/

If you see Apple clang mentioned in the top line of the clang version output, note the version number it specifies and refer to this Wikipeda table for the mapping between Apple clang and llvm clang versions. This knowledge may be useful when tracing any compilation errors.

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-9.0" \
      -DCMAKE_CXX_COMPILER="clang++-mp-9.0" \
      -DWITH_LTO="OFF" \
      -DLENSFUNDBDIR="share/lensfun" \
make -j$(sysctl -n hw.ncpu) install
sudo make macosx_bundle

To compile RawTherapee with a specific llvm clang version (e.g. installed via homebrew), use the following cmake command. When doing so, make sure these settings point to the appropriate paths:

  • Using llvm 10 from homebrew:
  • The 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="5.8-dev" \
          -DCMAKE_C_COMPILER="/usr/local/Cellar/llvm/10.0.1_1/bin/clang" \
          -DCMAKE_CXX_COMPILER="/usr/local/Cellar/llvm/10.0.1_1/bin/clang++" \
          -DWITH_LTO="ON" \
          -DLENSFUNDBDIR="/Applications/" \
          -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="-Wno-pass-failed -Wno-deprecated-register -Xpreprocessor -fopenmp /usr/local/lib/libomp.dylib -I/usr/local/include" \
          -DOpenMP_CXX_LIB_NAMES="libomp" \
          -DOpenMP_C_FLAGS="-Wno-pass-failed -Wno-deprecated-register -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/10.0.1_1/bin/llvm-ar" \

2.2 From-Scratch Method

  • This [1] complete list of commands may optionally be used to perform a from-scratch build of RawTherapee and its dependencies on macOS 10.15.3 / Xcode 11.
  • A JDK[2] must be installed.
  • Xcode 11.1+ [3] 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.

The generated zip file is named according to this template:

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

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 installation

To install the RawTherapee application, open the .dmg and drag the RawTherapee app onto the /Applications folder.

To use the optional rawtherapee-cli command line interface, move rawtherapee-cli into a folder in your $PATH and install the RawTherapee app as above.

To run RawTherapee 5.8 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.