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macOS Libraries Maintenance


The basic thing to build libraries is to run make deps, which will download and compile all libraries in ../build_darwin/deps.

Most likely it will tell you that you are missing some tools, and give you homebrew commands to install them.

After this is done it will automatically install the updated libraries to lib/macos_arm64 from where they can be committed.

x86_64 Cross Compilation

x86_64 libraries are currently cross compiled on ARM, which is convenient to have on a single machine.


This requires two homebrew installs, one for arm and one for x86_64. They will be installed in different folders automatically.

macOS supports dropping into a x86_64 terminal like this.

arch -x86_64 zsh

From here you can install homebrew a second time.

Then add the following in ~/.zshrc, so it automatically picks up the right homebrew install depending on the arch.

if [[ $ARCH == "i386" ]]; then
  eval "$(/usr/local/bin/brew shellenv)"
  eval "$(/opt/homebrew/bin/brew shellenv)"

This probably replaces some existing code put there by homebrew.


Always drop into the x86_64 terminal first.

arch -x86_64 zsh

Set up the build similar to this, modify paths as needed:

cmake -DHARVEST_TARGET=../blender/lib/macos_x64 -DCMAKE_OSX_ARCHITECTURES=x86_64 -S blender/build_files/build_environment -B build_darwin/deps_x64
cd build_darwin/deps_x64
make -j16 install

LTS and CVEs

We committed to updating libraries when security issues for them are found, both for main and LTS releases.

Checking for such issues is automated by make cve_check in the libraries build folder.

If you have enough disk space you may consider setting up an entirely separate build and lib folder for LTS since switching with main is painful, as you will need to clear the entire build folder for it to rebuild correctly.

Other Notes

  • Consider installing Xcode by manually downloading it from the Apple developer site instead of the app store, to avoid unexpected automatic updates when the time is not convenient.
  • Command Line Tools currently don't work as OpenImageDenoise requires the Metal compiler tools that are only included with Xcode.
  • On macOS we do not use versioned library symlinks because Apple notarization rejects them for unknown reasons. The builds scripts automatically strip these and patch the dylibs to remove them.
  • MaterialX cmake config files have been tweaked to avoid using versioned symlinks. Changes to this folder should be reverted before committing. This should be fixed by patching this as part of the build, but it has not been done yet.
  • Before committing, be sure to run the tests as currently (without Git LFS) there is no convenient way to test things on the buildbot before landing. Use make developer and ensure test files are available, to be as close as possible to the buildbot.
  • There is some automatic rebuilding when dependencies of libraries change, but it does not account for everything. Often you may need to remove the build and Release folder to ensure things really rebuild, or particular folders contained in them if you know which specific ones need a rebuild.