Compilation guide (OS X)

smuckola edited this page Nov 20, 2012 · 12 revisions

Compilation on OS X is mostly MacPorts based. Dependencies can be build from MacPorts.


MacPorts installed
libsdl 1.2 (1.3 devel might work, but is not advised)
git-core - To pull the sources :D

Important note for OSX 10.7+ (Lion) users

On OSX 10.7+, SDL 1.2.15 or newer (1.3) is required. 1.2.14 or older will fail to use fullscreen modes due to removal of deprecated features.

Important note for OSX 10.8+ (Mountain Lion) users

In OSX 10.8+, Apple apparently removed X11 support. SDL will complain about X11 headers missing during build. To resolve this, visit, download and install 2.7.2+. After this, you should symlink xquartz to /usr as root:

ln -s /opt/X11 /usr/X11

Optional dependencies

libxml2 - XML shaders and cheat support
freetype - TTF font rendering

Building libretro implementation

By default, RetroArch does not include a libretro implementation. Refer to an implementation how to build a .dylib from it.

Building RetroArch

Standard Unix fare now that the dependencies are in place:

git clone git://
cd RetroArch
./configure --prefix=/opt/local # Script will autodetect features. Refer to --help if you want to override anything.
sudo make install

Building GUI

If you want to build the GUI, GCC 4.5 or more recent is required, so I hope you have a powerful CPU! :D You'll also need to install qt4-mac from MacPorts. Qt could also be downloaded directly from their home pages and installed that way.

git clone git://
cd RetroArch-Phoenix
make # If you downloaded Qt from their homepage.
make MACPORTS_QT=1 # If you built Qt from MacPorts.

You should now have an which should work. Enjoy! :)