Building XFree86 on Darwin and Mac OS X

Following are instructions for building your own copy of XFree86. The procedures for building XFree86 on Darwin and Mac OS X are very similar. Where there are differences I have noted them below.

If you don't feel the need to live on the cutting edge, you can save some time and effort by using the precompiled binaries available from the XFree86 Project. You can find information on downloading and installing the latest distribution there. On the other hand, if you want to build things yourself from scratch, follow the directions below. If you get the precompiled binaries you can skip ahead to the section on setting your path.

Get the Code

The first thing you need to do is to get the source code from the XFree86 project.
  1. Setup CVS: Both Darwin and Mac OS X include CVS (Concurrent Versions System), which is an easy way to download and keep up to date with open source code released by XFree86 and others. You do have to setup CVS properly, however, to tell it where to look. Follow the instructions here on how to do this either via ssh or via the cvs pserver.
  2. Now make a directory in some convenient place which will serve as your top level directory for you open source development efforts. I am going to call this directory sandbox/ in the following discussions and you could put this directory, for example, in ~/sandbox/.
  3. From the command line type: Wait for all the files to complete downloading.

Build XFree86

Once you have everything ready it is easy to build and install XFree86. From the command line do the following: (Note you will need to be an Administrator to do the last two steps.)
  1. cd sandbox/xc
  2. make World >& world.log
  3. (wait for several hours)
  4. sudo make install >& install.log
  5. sudo make >& man.log

Good luck!

Last modified September 21, 2004.

Back to X11 for Darwin