Mac OS X:Build from source:MacPorts

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Installing gramps for X11 using MacPorts

  1. Install Mac OS X Leopard and update to the latest version. (X11 will be installed by default on Leopard - older OSes may require it to be manually installed.)
  2. Download and install the latest Xcode tools from
  3. Download and install Macports from
  4. Open from /Applications/Utilities and enter these commands:
sudo port -v selfupdate
sudo port install gramps
sudo port install python_select
sudo python_select python25
sudo launchctl load -w /Library/LaunchDaemons/org.freedesktop.dbus-system.plist
sudo launchctl load -w /Library/LaunchAgents/org.freedesktop.dbus-session.plist
Time for several cups of coffee!

The step 'sudo port install gramps' on a completely fresh installation of MacPorts on Mac OS X 10.4.11 iMac iSight (2.1 GHx PowerPC G5) took 12 hours 53 minutes.

  1. After the last command, wait 5 minutes to be sure that launchctl has finished
  2. When you want to run GRAMPS, enter these commands
open /Applications/Utilities/

On older OSes it may be necessary to instead use

open-x11 gramps

There are a number of issues, some of which are probably specific to particular versions of Mac OS X::

  1. If you had a previous installation of MacPorts and Gramps, and you want to start again from scratch, then simply deleting the folder /opt is not enough to uninstall MacPorts. The correct instructions for doing so are at [MacPorts Guide: uninstalling]. In particular, you have to rename/move aside /Applications/MacPorts when you do a fresh install.
  2. libproxy 0.4.0 does not build properly on Tiger see [MacPorts ticket 24127]. Reverting to the Portfile for 0.3.0 works.
  3. The WriteCD plugin is unavailable. This relies on GNOME and has not been made to work on OS X.
  4. The spelling checker may or may not work. gnome-python-extras needs to be build after gtkspell (which may not happen in an entirely automated build). In addition, there appear to be some other problems which affect whether it works or not. See [MacPorts ticket 24266].
  5. The latest version of MacPorts Gramps is based on Python 2.6, but this does not build _bsddb correctly on some OS/architecture combinations. See [MacPorts ticket 23768] and [MacPorts ticket 24310].
  6. A warning message is produced when running Gramps: "Xlib: extension "RANDR" missing on display ":0.0"." According to the MacPorts FAQ [[1]] "It's harmless and you should ignore it".
  7. The Geographic View is not available because webkit-gtk does not build under MacPorts [MacPorts ticket 23464] and [webkitgtk bug]).
  8. When going into the file chooser (for example on export or import or plugin manager, you may get the warning: "GtkWarning: Unable to find default local directory monitor type". This doesn't seem to be very serious, and seems to be a "more general gtk issue". See [[2]].

If you start gramps from the xterm window, don't forget to follow the instructions about setting paths for the X11 environment in [MacPorts wiki: Installing MacPorts].