Building Spring on MacOSX

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This is a guide to the requirements for building the Spring RTS engine on MacOS. If you want only to play a spring game, follow the Spring_on_MacOSX Tutorial.

Building Spring on MacOS

This guide is for x86/Intel based MacOS installs

Even though it will not run, Spring should successfully compile on Mac for both 104.0 and the latest develop version.

NOTE: Only official spring versions 99.0-103.1 will compile and run on MacOS. 104+ will compile, but uses an incompatible OpenGL version. When 105.0 is released, a MacOS - compatible OpenGL version will be used, however at this point in time there are other blocking issues.

Questions about this process should be asked here.


Command Line Tools

Install the Xcode developers package (this requires a free membership to apple's ADC website).

Package Manager

Either Homebrew or MacPorts may be used to fetch dependencies. The MacOS Buildbot (run by Turboss) uses Homebrew. The writer uses Macports.


Compiler: GCC must be used, and dependencies must be compiled with GCC


For MacPorts:

port install
sudo port select --set gcc mp-gcc8
hash -r # Reload the terminal

To check for installed gcc: port select --list gcc


brew install gcc@8



Necessary dependencies for the develop branch are below (as called by Macports):

port install sudo port install cmake libsdl2 p7zip libdevil libvorbis minizip openal-soft glew freetype binutils libXcursor +gcc8

(This list has not been tested for errors; please message MasterBel if they do not work for you.)

Compiling Spring 104.0 (current master) or older will also require Boost. Retreive source and compile with gcc. TODO: Instructions?


Note that this list is incomplete:

brew install cmake minizip freetype glew openal-soft p7zip clang-format libvorbis jsoncpp PkgConfig devil sdl2

You will also need to install XQuartz for the X11 dependency, however it will install the headers in a non-standard location. Use this command to symlink it to the standard location:

ln -s /opt/X11/include/X11 /usr/local/include/X11

Obtaining Source

git clone --recursive git:// -b <branch>

The “master” branch is the latest stable release. “develop” branch is the latest development release. (Note: The recursive argument is important for submodules.)
Update with: git pull --rebase

Compiling Source

cmake . -DCMAKE_CXX_COMPILER=/path/to/bin/g++-mp-8 -DCMAKE_C_COMPILER=/path/to/bin/gcc-mp-8
make spring

Other common Cmake flags are:


If boost is used: -DBoost_Root=/path/to/boost

Number of simultaneous jobs may be specified by: make spring -j<n> Where n is number of jobs. It is common for n to be number of cores + 1

Other targets may be made also/instead, e.g.

make prdownloader -j<n>
make install-spring -j<n>

Additional Notes

Using Macports

As hint: set "buildmakejobs" to cpu-core count + 1 in /opt/local/etc/macports/macports.conf. For example: buildmakejobs 5

Using Homebrew

Hombrew can install boost, but it must be recompiled with gcc <version>: brew install boost --build-from-source --cc=gcc<version>

These flags were recommended by a previous editor:

cmake . -DAPPLE=1 -DCMAKE_CXX_COMPILER=/usr/local/Cellar/gcc48/4.8.3/bin/g++-4.8 \
-DCMAKE_C_COMPILER=/usr/local/Cellar/gcc48/4.8.3/bin/gcc-4.8 \
-DIL_INCLUDE_DIR=/usr/local/include \
-DGLEW_INCLUDE_DIR=/usr/local/include \
-DOPENAL_DIR=/usr/local/include/AL \



# Example setup script (for MacOS Catalina)

# Macports must be installed prior to running this script. Macports requires XCode to be installed.
# Boost sources must be located in

# Requires the following directory format:
# $DIR (customisable; set on line 16)
#	/
#	/
# 	/Sources
#		/boost_1_68_0
#	/Builds
#	/Bunldes

DIR=~/Spring # The root directory; to be set manually

SCRIPTDIR=~/Documents/Spring/ # The directory the build script is located in


cd $DIR

# Install the necessary compiler. Version gcc5 is oldest compatible with High Sierra; gcc48 is the oldest I know works
sudo port install gcc9

# Set compiler as default
sudo port select --set gcc mp-gcc9
hash -r

sudo port install cmake libsdl2 p7zip libdevil libvorbis minizip openal-soft glew freetype binutils dylibbundler xorg-libXcursor +gcc9
#dylibbundler is for the bundling stage, not actual dependency


# Clone from git (creates the directory $SPRING for us)
git clone --recursive git://
git fetch --all --tags --prune
git checkout tags/103.0 -b master

# Install Boost


./ --with-toolset=gcc --with-libraries=all # Not sure which libaries.
./b2 # install

# Try compiling spring



# Example buildscript (for MacOS Catalina)

# This script assumes that (the above example) has been run.

# Build Configuration

BRANCH=<branch name> # The source branch to checkout and build.
REPOSITORY=spring # The name of the folder containing the git repository.
WIPE=0 # Wipes previous build on WIPE = 1 (flag -w)

for arg in "$@"
if [ "$arg" == "-w" ]; then
echo "Initiating clean build."
echo "Unknown flag ${arg}"

echo "Building sources at/to ${REPOSITORY}"

# Directory Setup

DIR=~/Spring # Where everything is/will be
BOOST=$SOURCES/boost_1_55_0 # Where boost can be found. Must be prepared as per the setup script (above).

MACPORTS=/opt/local # The install directory of MACPORTS

if [ -d $BUILD ]; then
	if [ $WIPE != 0 ]; then
		echo "Wiping previous build…"
		rm -r $BUILD # Wipe preivous build

		echo "Making new build directory…"
		mkdir $BUILD # The others should have already been made
	echo "Making new build directory…"
	mkdir $BUILD # The others should have already been made

if [ -e $DIR/log.txt ]; then
	echo "Removing outdated log…"
	rm $DIR/log.txt

# Source setup

if [ -d $SPRING ]; then
	echo "Cloning remote…"
    cd $SOURCES
    git clone --recursive git:// $REPOSITORY


# Update repository

CURRENTBRANCH=$(git rev-parse --abbrev-ref HEAD)

if [ "$CURRENTBRANCH" != "$BRANCH" ]; then
git fetch --all
echo "Switching branch from ${CURRENTBRANCH} to ${BRANCH}"
git checkout $BRANCH

echo "Updating to latest…"
git pull # Update to latest
echo "Updating submodules"
git submodule update

# Metadata

REV=$(git describe --tags)
VERSION=`echo "${REV}" | tr '<>:\"/\\|?*' -`

# Compile

echo "Compiling Spring ${VERSION}"



make spring -j5 # >>$DIR/log.txt 2>&1

make pr-downloader # -j5 >>$DIR/log.txt 2>&1

make install-spring DESTDIR=$BUILD/temp #>>$DIR/log.txt 2>&1

# Bundling spring


mkdir $BUNDLES
mkdir $BUNDLE
mkdir $BUNDLE/Contents
mkdir $BUNDLE/Contents/MacOS
mkdir $BUNDLE/Contents/Resources
mkdir $BUNDLE/Contents/lib

cp $BUILD/spring $BUNDLE/Contents/MacOS/spring #>>$DIR/log.txt 2>&1
cp $SPRING/installer/Mac/spring.icns $BUNDLE/Contents/Resources/spring.icns #>>$DIR/log.txt 2>&1
cp -R $BUILD/temp/usr/local/share $BUNDLE/Contents/share #>>$DIR/log.txt 2>&1

cat $SPRING/installer/Mac/Info.plist | sed s/###VERSION###/${VERSION}/ > $BUNDLE/Contents/Info.plist

cp $BUILD/tools/pr-downloader/src/pr-downloader $BUNDLE/Contents/MacOS #>>$DIR/log.txt 2>&1

dylibbundler -cd -b -x $BUILD/temp/usr/local/lib/libunitsync.dylib -d $BUNDLE/Contents/MacOS -p @loader_path/../MacOS #>>$DIR/log.txt 2>&1

dylibbundler -of -cd -b -x $BUNDLE/Contents/MacOS/spring -d $BUNDLE/Contents/lib -p @executable_path/../lib #>>$DIR/log.txt 2>&1

install_name_tool -change $MACPORTS/lib/libX11.6.dylib @executable_path/../lib/libX11.6.dylib $BUNDLE/Contents/lib/libXcursor.1.dylib #>>$DIR/log.txt 2>&1

dylibbundler -of -cd -b -x $BUNDLE/Contents/MacOS/pr-downloader -d $BUNDLE/Contents/lib -p @executable_path/../lib #>>$DIR/log.txt 2>&1

dylibbundler -cd -b -x $BUNDLE/Contents/share/games/spring/AI/Interfaces/C/0.1/libAIInterface.dylib -d $BUNDLE/Contents/share/games/spring/AI/Interfaces/C/0.1 -p @loader_path/../0.1 #>>$DIR/log.txt 2>&1

dylibbundler -cd -b -x $BUNDLE/Contents/share/games/spring/AI/Interfaces/Java/0.1/libAIInterface.dylib -d $BUNDLE/Contents/share/games/spring/AI/Interfaces/Java/0.1 -p @loader_path/../0.1 #>>$DIR/log.txt 2>&1

dylibbundler -cd -b -x $BUNDLE/Contents/share/games/spring/AI/Skirmish/AAI/0.9/libSkirmishAI.dylib -d $BUNDLE/Contents/share/games/spring/AI/Skirmish/AAI/0.9 -p @loader_path/../0.9 #>>$DIR/log.txt 2>&1

dylibbundler -cd -b -x $BUNDLE/Contents/share/games/spring/AI/Skirmish/CppTestAI/0.1/libSkirmishAI.dylib -d $BUNDLE/Contents/share/games/spring/AI/Skirmish/CppTestAI/0.1 -p @loader_path/../0.1 #>>$DIR/log.txt 2>&1

dylibbundler -cd -b -x $BUNDLE/Contents/share/games/spring/AI/Skirmish/E323AI/3.25.0/libSkirmishAI.dylib -d $BUILD/ -p @loader_path/../3.25.0 #>>$DIR/log.txt 2>&1

dylibbundler -cd -b -x $BUILD/ -d $BUILD/ -p @loader_path/../0.13 #>>$DIR/log.txt 2>&1

dylibbundler -cd -b -x $BUNDLE/Contents/share/games/spring/AI/Skirmish/NullAI/0.1/libSkirmishAI.dylib -d $BUNDLE/Contents/share/games/spring/AI/Skirmish/NullAI/0.1 -p @loader_path/../0.1 #>>$DIR/log.txt 2>&1

dylibbundler -cd -b -x $BUNDLE/Contents/share/games/spring/AI/Skirmish/RAI/0.601/libSkirmishAI.dylib -d $BUNDLE/Contents/share/games/spring/AI/Skirmish/RAI/0.601 -p @loader_path/../0.601 #>>$DIR/log.txt 2>&1

dylibbundler -cd -b -x $BUNDLE/Contents/share/games/spring/AI/Skirmish/Shard/dev/libSkirmishAI.dylib -d $BUILD/ -p @loader_path/../dev #>>$DIR/log.txt 2>&1

if [ ! -e $BUNDLE/Contents/MacOS/spring ];then
echo "Error: App did not build correctly. Check log for details"

if [ "$ERRORBUILD" = "1" ]; then
	echo "Build Failed."

echo "Done!"
exit 0