Compile ZDoom on Mac OS X

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Note: For GZDoom 3.7 and above, please follow this guide: Compile GZDoom on Mac OS X

Compiling ZDoom on Mac OS X may seem like a daunting task, but it's actually pretty similar to the process for Linux.


  • A Mac computer with an Intel or PowerPC processor.
  • Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger and above
  • Latest version of Xcode, available here (requires free registration)
    • Make sure you install GCC 4.2 and the Mac OS X 10.4u SDK, which should both be included in the Xcode package.
  • CMake 2.4 or later
  • FMOD Ex
  • libSDL 1.2 (Only needed for header files.)

Source code

It is recommended that you use a recent version from the Git repository to compile, but you may use an older version's source from the ZDoom Downloads Page if desired. Note that compilation steps may differ for older versions.

Configuring with CMake

When you run the CMake application, you will be greeted with a window asking for a source code path and a build directory. The directions for CMake on Linux apply here, except with a GUI.

After you click Configure, you will end up having to tell CMake where the FMOD library is located. This should be "/Developer/FMOD Programmers API Mac/api/libfmodex.dylib". In addition set CMAKE_BUILD_TYPE to "Release". As of this writing you will also want to remove -O3 from CMAKE_CXX_FLAGS_RELEASE, set CMAKE_OSX_ARCHITECTURES to "i386" or "ppc" depending on your processor, and check the option for NO_ASM (you may need to switch to advanced view to see these options).

After this, click "Configure" one more time and you should be good. When you click "Generate", select the Unix Makefiles option.


If you are using MiniWikipediaLogoIcon.pngMacPorts to compile ZDoom, use the following command line to create the makefiles:

cmake -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release \
-DFMOD_LIBRARY="/Developer/FMOD Programmers API Mac/api/lib/libfmodex.dylib" \
-DFMOD_INCLUDE_DIR="/Developer/FMOD Programmers API Mac/api/inc/" \

Configuring for cross compiling

Warning: ZDoom does not support building universal binaries directly. Attempting to do so will likely succeed, but the resulting binary will not run on all architectures.

Skip this step if you are doing a native build. Since ZDoom uses some tools to generate files during the build and sets architecture specific optimizations for some files, there may be additional steps required to build for a non-native architecture.

Cross compiling with Rosetta

If you are running OS X 10.4-10.6 on an Intel system, you can build PowerPC binaries natively. Simply set CMAKE_OSX_ARCHITECTURES to ppc and everything should build fine.

Cross compiling without Rosetta

If your system does not have Rosetta, a universal binary can still be built. First you must create a native build directory following the directions without this step. This will create an ImportExecutables.cmake in your build directory. This file tells CMake where to find a pre-existing build of the tools needed.

First enable FORCE_CROSSCOMPILE and then feed the ImportExecutables.cmake into IMPORT_EXECUTABLES variable. Finally set CMAKE_OSX_ARCHITECTURES to the desired target arch along with CMAKE_OSX_SYSROOT/CMAKE_OSX_DEPLOYMENT_TARGET.

Making a universal binary

Once you've built ZDoom for each architecture, you can combine the resulting binaries using the lipo tool.

lipo -arch i386 /path/to/zdoom.i386 -arch x86_64 /path/to/zdoom.x86_64 -arch ppc /path/to/zdoom.ppc -create -output zdoom


Open a terminal and cd to the trunk directory. Type "make" to compile. Assuming everything was done correctly you should have a working ZDoom application bundle.