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Re: Having problem building on macOS Mojave

From: Andrew Janke
Subject: Re: Having problem building on macOS Mojave
Date: Thu, 10 Jan 2019 18:32:49 -0500
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10.13; rv:60.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/60.4.0

Hi Thomas,

Sorry you're having trouble.

On 1/10/19 1:57 PM, ThomasScofield wrote:
I have recently upgraded to MacOS Mojave.  I did a re-install of Octave from
Homebrew.  The installation seemed to go fine, and the software starts up in
a terminal window without incident.  One of the first things I do after an
install is to check that plots work.  Plotting a simple cosine graph

   xs = 0:.1:2*pi;
   plot(xs, cos(xs))

caused program termination with the message

fatal: caught signal Segmentation fault: 11 -- stopping myself...
Segmentation fault: 11

It looks like the Homebrew core octave formula has recently dropped the patches it uses, so it is no longer picking up the patches for these two bugs:


Those bugs manifest with seg faults and hangs, so you could be running in to one of those. The octave-head-test formula does include these patches, which could explain why the crash went away when you switched to using it.

I've been trolling through maintainers messages, and it seems segfaults have
been a topic of conversation recently, perhaps in connection with the latest
MacOS releases.  I uninstalled/reinstalled Homebrew and started with a clean
slate, but without change.  I have been out of the install-from-source world
for a while, so have shied away from parts of the discussion that involved
playing with software on which Octave is dependent, or running
make/configure.  Following Andrew's note, I did this

  brew tap octave-app/octave-app-bases
  brew install --HEAD octave-head-test

which ran through OK (several notes about keg-only software that wasn't
symlinked, or export for commands should a compiler need to find something),

Those notes are probably all fine, and expected; they're issued for any keg-only formulae, of which octave uses a few. The octave or octave-head-test formula will automatically take care of those export commands for you when it does the build.

and gave me a working version of Octave.  That is, as before, I can start it
up in a terminal and do basic stuff.  The plot command that brought on a
segfault with the earlier install now does not cause a crash.  In fact, a
figure window appears, and everything seems to work OK, excepting the fact
that the figure window remains blank.  Other graphic-generating commands act

Perhaps this is relevant: since starting anew with Homebrew, I have used it
to install qt but not gnuplot.

Shouldn't matter. The octave or octave-head-test formulae will automatically install all their dependencies.

I couldn't reproduce this "blank figure window" behavior on macOS 10.13.6 High Sierra using octave-head-test: running your code, the plot appears fine for me there.

On 10.14.2 Mojave, I can reproduce your exact behavior: the figure window is blank after doing a plot(). (I set up a 10.14.2 Mojave VM for testing.) Screen shot attached. Happens when I do it from the GUI (`octave --gui`) too.

Resizing the figure window a bit causes the plot graphics to appear. They're mis-scaled for me; probably a Retina scaling issue. Screen shot #2 attached. That's probably because octave-head-test does not include the patch for https://savannah.gnu.org/bugs/?49053.

Does resizing the figure window make plot graphics appear for you?

No idea what's causing it. I can just say it looks like new behavior in Mojave.

(I had to install it with `brew install --HEAD octave-head-test --without-docs` to avoid having to install MacTex on the test box.)

For what it's worth, I'm also having another hang with octave-head-test: if I fire up `octave --gui` and choose the octave-gui > Preferences menu item, and then close the Preferences pane, the Octave GUI locks up (spinning beachball) and I have have to Force Quit it. (This is on macOS 10.13.6; doesn't seem to happen on 10.14.)

Would you mind sharing your full build logs so we can see exactly what your Octave was built with? You can do this with `brew gist-logs octave-head-test` and sending along the resulting URL. Here's mine for reference.


I don't see anything weird in there, offhand.


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