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Installing on MacOS X

  1. Install the Developer Tools
  2. Install wxWidgets 2.9 by hand
    • If you use the HomeBrew package manager:
      brew install wxmac --devel
      or on Lion, possibly brew install wxmac --use-llvm --devel
    • If you use the MacPorts package manager:
      sudo port install wxWidgets-devel +universal
    • Manual installation is not recommended, but if you want to do it anyway, download the source code and install it with the following flags
       ./configure --enable-unicode --disable-debug --with-osx_cocoa
                   --prefix=/usr/local --enable-stc --enable-aui
                   --enable-propgrid --enable-xrc --enable-ribbon
                   --enable-richtext --enable-webkit --with-opengl
       make && make install
  3. (OS X 10.6 or below) Check your path to make sure you are using your wxWidgets and not the default Mac one. The command
    which wx-config
    should not return the file path /usr/bin/wx-config.
  4. Now it's time to install the wxHaskell libraries proper:
    cabal install wx cabal-macosx
  5. Compile and run a sample wxcore application:
    ghc --make HelloWorld.hs
    macosx-app HelloWorld
    (see note 2012-04-24-MacPorts if you use MacPorts)

Known working configurations

Date Arch OS/XCode GHC Haskell Platform wxWidgets wxHaskell
2012-04 Intel 64-bit Lion (10.7.3), XCode 4.3 7.4.1 2.9.3 (HomeBrew) 0.90 (see notes)
2012-04 Intel 64-bit Lion (10.7.3), Xcode 4.3 7.0.4 2011.4.0.0 2.9.3 (HomeBrew) 0.90
2012-04 Intel 32-bit Snow Leopard (10.6.8), Xcode 3.2.6 7.0.4 2011.4.0.0 2.9.3 (MacPorts) 0.90 (see notes)
2012-11 Intel 64-bit Mountain Lion (10.8.2), Xcode 4.5.2 7.4.2 2012.4.0.0 2.9.4 (see notes)
2013-03 Intel 64-bit Mountain Lion (10.8.3), Xcode 4.6.1 7.4.2 2012.4.0.0 (64) 2.9.4
2014-07 Intel 64-bit Mavericks (10.9.3), Xcode 5.1.1 (ggc 4.8 from Macports) 7.6.3 2013.2.0.0 (64) 3.0.0 (Macports wxWidgets-3.0) (from GitHub)
2014-09 Intel 64-bit Mavericks (10.9.4), Xcode 5.1.1 7.8.3 2014.2.0.0 3.0.0 (HomeBrew)
2018-04 Intel 64-bit High Sierra (10.13.2), Xcode 9.2 8.2.2 - (HomeBrew) (from GitHub)


These notes tend to be a bit ephemeral and are thus dated to help you figure out if they may still apply or not.

  • 2012-04-24 MacPorts: If you use MacPorts, you may run into a problem with the iconv library. Tell GHC that you prefer the system libraries first: ghc HelloWorld.hs -L/usr/lib
  • 2012-04-17: The MacPorts version of wxWidgets 2.9.3 can be used. I added a few flags to the Portfile, but they are probably not necessary.
  • 2012-04-14: On MacOS X Lion, to install wxWidgets 2.9 with HomeBrew, you may need to run brew install wxmac --use-llvm --devel
  • 2014-07-17: See https://sourceforge.net/p/wxhaskell/bugs/93/#715b for more information.

Using wxHaskell on MacOS X platforms

Even though graphical applications on MacOS X look great, it is a still a developers nightmare to get them working :-). This page describes how to circumvent some of the pitfalls.

  • Executables generated with GHC do not work when executed directly if they use the graphical API; they need to be upgraded into so called application bundles for MacOS X. Use the cabal-macosx package to automate this. It can be integrated with Cabal and/or used as a standalone macosx-app script.
  • Note: The following no longer applies to wxcore >=

    Due to complicated MacOS X restrictions, graphical wxHaskell applications do not work directly when used from GHCi. Fortunately, Wolfgang Thaller has kindly provided an ingenious Haskell module that solves this problem. Just import the (compiled) module EnableGUI in your program and issue the following command to run main from your GHCi prompt:

    > enableGUI >> main

    Compiling and using enableGUI needs some command line flags:

    > ghc -XForeignFunctionInterface -c EnableGUI.hs
    > ghci -framework Carbon HelloWorld.hs
    GHCi, version 6.8.2: http://www.haskell.org/ghc/  :? for help
    Loading package base ... linking ... done.
    Loading object (framework) Carbon ... done
    final link ... done
    [2 of 2] Compiling Main             ( Main.hs, interpreted )
    Ok, modules loaded: Main, EnableGUI.
    *Main> enableGUI
    *Main> main


See WxHaskell/Troubleshooting for help getting your wxhaskell applications running

  • The dynamic link libraries used by wxHaskell can not always be found. If your application seems to start (the icon bounces) but terminates mysteriously, you need to set the dynamic link library search path to the wxHaskell library directory. For example:

    > setenv DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH /usr/local/wxhaskell/lib


    > setenv DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH $HOME/.cabal/local/lib/wxhaskell-0.11.0/lib

    or (MacOSX Lion tested only)

    Copy (and patch) shared libraries into the app bundle using macosx-make-standalone [1]