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How to Rime with Squirrel

Instructions to build Squirrel - the Rime frontend for macOS

Manually build and install Squirrel


Install Xcode 12.2 or above from App Store, to build Squirrel as a Universal app. The minimum required version is Xcode 10 to build for x86_64 only.

Install cmake.

Download from

or install from Homebrew:

brew install cmake

or install from MacPorts:

port install cmake

Checkout the code

git clone --recursive

cd squirrel

Optionally, checkout Rime plugins (a list of GitHub repo slugs):

bash librime/ rime/librime-sample # ...

Shortcut: get the latest librime release

You have the option to skip the following two sections - building Boost and librime, by downloading the latest librime binary from GitHub releases.

bash ./

When this is done, you may move on to Build Squirrel.

Install Boost C++ libraries

Choose one of the following options.

Option: Download and install from source.


make -C librime xcode/thirdparty/boost

export BOOST_ROOT="$(pwd)/librime/thirdparty/src/boost_1_75_0"

Let's set BUILD_UNIVERSAL to tell make that we are building Boost as universal macOS binaries. Skip this if building only for the native architecture.

After Boost source code is downloaded and a few compiled libraries are built, be sure to set shell variable BOOST_ROOT to its top level directory as above.

You may also set BOOST_ROOT to an existing Boost source tree before this step.

Option: Install the current version form Homebrew:

brew install boost

Note: with this option, the built is not portable because it links to locally installed libraries from Homebrew.

Learn more about the implications of this at

Option: Install from MacPorts:

port install boost -no_static

Build dependencies

Again, set BUILD_UNIVERSAL to tell make that we are building librime as universal macOS binaries. Skip this if building only for the native architecture.

Build librime, dependent third-party libraries and data files:


make deps

Build Squirrel

With all dependencies ready, build


To build only for the native architecture, pass variable ARCHS to make:

# for Mac computers with Apple Silicon
make ARCHS='arm64'

# for Intel-based Mac
make ARCHS='x86_64'

Install it on your Mac

Once built, you can install and try it live on your Mac computer:

# Squirrel as a Universal app
make install

# for Intel-based Mac only
make ARCHS='x86_64' install

That's it, a verbal journal. Thanks for riming with Squirrel.