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Build GIMP on Mac

It took me several days to build the GIMP on Mac, so I would like to share my experience here. Building GIMP is one of the first few things I do after I bought my first Mac (MacBook Pro 2011), and the following article is written in the perspective of a user who switched from Ubuntu/Win7 to Mac OS X.  

To cut thing short, the best solution I found is: build GIMP upon native gtk-osx using jhbuild. Basically, jhbuild would download every dependency you need to ~/gtk/source, build them in the right order, then put the compiled files into ~/gtk/inst. The detailed instruction can be found here(IMPORTANT: make sure you read the whole page and set up your .jhbuildrc-custom before you start building anything to avoid error. I did encounter some setting conflicts and building bugs and you can read more about my trial and error experience here.)

If you migrated from Ubuntu to Mac, like me, then you probably would find MacPorts a tempting option at first. I certainly would not recommend doing so due to its messy dependency handling. For those brave hearts, this article might help you build the GIMP successfully (make sure you use the argument +no_x11 +quartz +universal). To me, I can successfully build the GIMP with MacPorts, but I can not fix the error regarding to pygtk (details can be found here). 

Few important things about Mac OS X
  • X11 and XQuartz: XQuartz is Apple's version of X11 for Mac OS X and is installed by default since Mac OS X v10.5. However, the version shipped by Apple is often not the latest one and with various bugs. So, people usually install the latest version on their own. And thus you might see the confusing sentence like "you should build application A with XQuartz but not X11", which actually means "you should build application A with latest X11 at XQuartz website rather than the X11 shipped with Mac OS".
  • Figure our you are using 32bit or 64bit Mac OS first.
For building GIMP on Linux , please see Akkana's page and GIMP wiki

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