Compiling Qucs on OS X

Guilherme Brondani Torri edited this page Oct 2, 2013 · 4 revisions

Here are my notes on how to compile Qucs 0.0.18 (master) on OS X 10.8.4.

Install the latest XCode and/or Command Line Tools. The compilation toolchain can be obtained by downloading XCode, the smaller Command Line Tools (free Apple account required).

I used Homebrew to install most of the other dependencies. They provide instructions on how to get it setup.

You can also get the dependencies from MacPorts. The available Qucs Port should be updated as soon as there is new stable release of 0.0.17 (volunteers here?)


You need to have Qt4 with Qt3Support. The latest version is Qt 4.8.5.

With Homebrew you need to compile Qt4 to get Qt3Support (the bottled version doesn't have it).

brew install qt --with-qt3support

The Qt4 official SDK dmg package is also fine.

The OS X shipped pkg-config, autoconf, automake might need and update, you will get complains about versions. (I don't know what are the minimum versions, I had the latest already installed). You also need git for the source code repository.

brew install pkg-config autoconf automake git

Getting the Qucs Source.

The official Qucs repository lives on Sourceforge Qucs git repo.

There is also a official mirror on Github fransschreuder/qucs.

You can get the master branch with:

cd ~
mkdir git; cd git
git clone git:// qucs-git

Compiling the Qucs GUI and tools

With the above dependencies and the code, it is a matter of configure/make/install. Just follow the Build Development Sources from Git Repository.

cd ~/git/qucs-git/qucs
./configure --prefix=/usr/local --enable-maintainer-mode
make install

The GUI should be functional, try to run /usr/local/bin/qucs.

There should be also a alias created under /Applications/qucs.

However, the core solver still needs to be compiled for simulations to work.

Compiling the Qucs core

You might need a newer version of flex for compilation, just brew install flex.

To compile qucs-core:

cd ~/git/qucs-git/qucs-core/
./configure --prefix=/usr/local --enable-maintainer-mode
make install

Now the GUI should be able to reach the core solver. Qucs should be ready to run simulations!

Other tools

Qucs can make use ASCO for optimization. It can also use FreeHDL and Icarus Verilog to run digital simulations. (I'm preparing instructions for these)

Qucs Documentation

You need LaTex and ??? not sure... it's been a while I don't compile the documentation

Just like the original instructions

cd ~/git/qucs-git/qucs-doc/
./configure --prefix=/usr/local --enable-maintainer-mode
make install

OS X package

There are configuration files for PackageMaker under ~/git/qucs-git/qucs/contrib/pm/.

Running them should collect all the installed files into a package.

There is also a uninstall script on the above directory.


The current autotools setup already creates Mac bundles for the GUI applications during make install.

The build with CMake can aslo create Mac bundles for all apps (qusc, qucs-attenuator, qucs-edit, qucs-filter, qucs-help, qucs-lib, qucs-transcalc).