Building universal Stellarium 0.8.1 on an Intel Mac

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Revision as of 02:33, 30 September 2006 by Mheinz (Talk | contribs)
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What follows is a quick overview of what I did to build a universal application from Stellarium 0.8.1 sources on an Intel Mac.


What you need

  • 1) Stellarium 0.8.1 sources that you can download here. They are in the file stellarium-0.8.1.tar.gz
  • 2) A ready made Xcode project for building Stellarium on Mac OS X. You can download the file macosx-xcode.tar.gz containing such project from here. I choose revision 1.4.
  • 3) An Intel Mac (a PowerPC Mac should make it too) with developer tools installed. I used Xcode 2.4.

Project layout

After extracting the archives you should have two folders, one named stellarium-0.8.1 and the other named macosx. Make sure to place the macosx folder into the stellarium-0.8.1 folder, as this is essential for successful project building.

Step by Step Instructions:

  • 1) Open a terminal window. These instructions will assume that you know how to use Terminal and have some familiarity with UNIX commands.
  • 2) cd to the directory you saved the stellarium download.
  • 3) type the following commands:
tar zxf stellarium-0.8.1.tar.gz
cd stellarium-0.8.1
tar zxf ../macosx-xcode.tar.gz

Fixing some quirks

At this point one would expect to build the project, but after some work the compiler complains and stops the build. Instead, you must first perform some of the steps done to build the Linux version of Stellarium:

  • 1) You need to run configure just as if you were doing a Linux build. To get configure to work, you must set some environment variables and create a symbolic link. In the stellarium directory, in the terminal application, paste the following commands:
LDFLAGS="$LDFLAGS -L$PWD/macosx/Frameworks"
CPPFLAGS="$CPPFLAGS -I$PWD/macosx/Headers"
CPPFLAGS="$CPPFLAGS -I$PWD/macosx/Frameworks/SDL.framework/Headers"
CPPFLAGS="$CPPFLAGS -I$PWD/macosx/Frameworks/SDL_mixer.framework/Headers"
ln -s stellarium-0.8.1/macosx/Frameworks ../Frameworks
cd macosx/Frameworks
ln -s freetype.dylib libfreetype.dylib
cd ..
  • 2) Now you are ready to "configure" Stellarium. Type the command
  • 3) There are missing libgnuintl.h and libintl.h header files. To make these files:
cd intl
make libintl.h
  • 4) At this point, you can delete the ../Frameworks file you created in the first step.
rm -f ../Frameworks
  • 5) src/translator.cpp contains a Mac OS X specific macro, in the reload method, where a right brace is missing. Load it in an editor and add one line:
#ifndef MACOSX	
	if (langName=="system" || langName=="system_default")
		snprintf(envstr, 25, "LANGUAGE=%s", Translator::systemLangName.c_str());
//		cout << "TEST=" << envstr << " " << Translator::systemLangName << endl;
		snprintf(envstr, 25, "LANGUAGE=%s", langName.c_str());
	if (langName=="system" || langName=="system_default")
		snprintf(envstr, 25, "LANG=%s", Translator::systemLangName.c_str());
		snprintf(envstr, 25, "LANG=%s", langName.c_str());	

Target settings

If you want to build an universal binary you have to modify the build settings of the Stellarium target, since they are for a PPC architecture. Open the Stellarium target properties, choose the build tab and add the i386 architecture to the Architectures setting (double click on the row and check the i386 checkbox).

This must be done for all configurations for which you want to build a universal binary.

Run and enjoy

After following the previous steps you should be able to build the project and run Stellarium natively on a Intel Mac. On my machine (Core 2 Duo 2.16 Mhz and NVIDIA 7600 GT) the fps averages 35-45 versus 8-9 frames of the PowerPC interpreted version.


If you have have an ATI graphic card it is perfectly possible that Stellarium doesn't work anyway. I read somewhere (don't remember exactly) that there is an OpenGL bug in the ATI driver, and it could be the reason why Stellarium doesn't work on MacBook Pro or other Intel Macs with ATI cards.

In that case you must be patient and wait for MacOS 10.4.8, where it will be likely fixed.


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