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Re: Running Denemo on macOS Catalina

From: David Richmond
Subject: Re: Running Denemo on macOS Catalina
Date: Fri, 26 Jun 2020 10:05:35 -0500

Hi Gabriel,

There does appear to be a lot of interest in Denemo on the Mac, so here is a guide to what I did.

First, you need to install macports. Macports is a command-line utility that downloads and installs UNIX tools on Mac OS X. (This is all complicated, so get some coffee ready.) The installation guide is here: As the guide notes, you will also need to install Apple's XCode. You can find a MacPorts package for Catalina here:

Once you have macports installed and have taken a tour through the usage documentation, use MacPorts to install the following prerequisite packages for Denemo (with the command sudo port install [package_name] from a Terminal command line). This is from, modified to the MacPorts name and variant for each respective package.
  • guile
  • aubio
  • portaudio
  • fftw-3
  • gtk3 +quartz
  • libxml2
  • xml2
  • automake
  • intltool
  • gtk-doc
  • libtool
  • gtksourceview3 +quartz
  • fluidsynth
  • autoconf
  • libsmf
  • gettext
  • librsvg +quartz
  • portmidi
  • libsndfile
  • evince +quartz
  • rubberband
  • lilypond
Then, download the Denemo source here:

Unzip it in a working directory. Then, open a terminal window, change to that directory, and run:

cd denemo
# Run configure in another directory to not pollute your workspace with .o files
mkdir bin && cd bin
make install

Hope this helps.....I will also say Denemo itself has something of a learning curve. As I noted a few weeks ago to this list, I also found I needed to remap the Mac keyboard shortcut bindings. If you do not have experience running programs on Mac OS X that use GTK, recognize that you'll need to adjust your usual Mac expectations in terms of GUI behavior.


On Fri, Jun 26, 2020 at 9:11 AM Gabriel Ellsworth <> wrote:
Thanks, David!

I went to and clicked the “Mac OS X” button with a down arrow at the top of the page. It links to (that is what I downloaded).

Are you aware of any way that I could install Denemo on my machine at this time?

If someone on this list has a few minutes to give me a call and walk me through any installation steps, I would be grateful.

I need to install the software today as I am arranging a piece for a wedding that is only a week away. I am hoping not to have to pay to reactivate Sibelius on my machine.

On Fri, Jun 26, 2020 at 9:10 AM David Richmond <> wrote:
Hi Gabriel,

What version of Denemo? Did you compile from source? I believe the binary packages for MacOS X have not worked for quite some time.

As I wrote earlier to this list, I would like to package Denemo for Mac OS X as I know there is much interest in the program on this platform, but I also have a limited background in computer programming and I think I should prioritize learning and using Denemo first (which also serves to test Denemo on Mac). My optimistic timeline is probably end of year for binary packages, and about three months for a MacPorts source distribution.


On Fri, Jun 26, 2020 at 8:03 AM Gabriel Ellsworth <> wrote:

I am new to Denemo and LilyPond. I tried to install Denemo this morning, but when I try to open the program I get the following error message:
I have macOS Catalina (version 10.15.5). Is my OS causing the problem?

I have no computer-programming background; apologies in advance for my cluelessness.


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