Compile PySide under Mac OS X

Daniele Esposti's Blog
, in 06 March 2011

How to setup and compile the latest source code of PySide under Mac OS X


Before starting to download and compile, PySide sources you must have some things installed on your system:

The primer

PySide has a useful collections of scripts to be used as a primer to compile the whole project. Start from cloning the scripts folder:

git clone git:// pyside-sources

Now move inside the new ` pyside-sources` folder and clone all the PySide sub-projects:

cd pyside_sources
git clone git://
git clone git://
git clone git://
git clone git://
git clone git://

If you want to leave all the source code folders up to date with the repository head you can copy&paste; this script, saving it as and making it executable:

#!/usr/bin/env bash

alldirs=("apiextractor" "generatorrunner" "shiboken" "pyside" "pyside-tools")

for d in "${alldirs[@]}" ; do
    cd $d
    git pull
    cd ..

Install dependencies

To install the PySide project dependencies under Mac OS X you have two options. The first one is to use the script which needs Brew to be installed in the system; in this case just run this command to automatically install all you need:


The other option is to use MacPorts to install the PySide needs:

sudo port -v install libxml2
sudo port -v install libxslt
sudo port -v install cmake

Anyway, if you are going to compile PySide against Python 2.7 run cmake --help and check if you are using the 2.8.4+ version of CMake which is the first release which can detect the 2.7 version of Python.

Setup environment variables

Open the file and setup the path of your Python installation as the PYSIDESANDBOXPATH environment variable, also change all references from Python 2.6 to 2.7.

Compile source code

I did a little changes in the standard PySide build script to match my needs. In details, I commented the rm -rf "$d/build" and added sudo to the make install command. The script looks like that at the end of my changes:

#!/usr/bin/env bash

alldirs=("apiextractor" "generatorrunner" "shiboken" "pyside" "pyside-tools")

if [ $# == 0 ] ; then

for d in "${dirs[@]}" ; do
    mkdir -p "$d/build"

        if [ "`uname -s`" == "Darwin" ]; then
            # When running on Mac OS X, we need to specify the
            # Qt include dir for the header files to be found.
            echo "$0: Mac OS X detected (uname -s gave 'Darwin')."
            # On Non-OS X builds, we enable this to fix a gcc bug

        cd "$d/build"
                 -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=$BUILD_TYPE \
                 -DENABLE_ICECC=0 \
                 $PYSIDE_BS_CMAKE_FLAGS \
            && make && sudo make install || exit 1
    ) || exit 1

    # If you are experiencing problems on OS X, uncomment the
    # following line to update the run-time linker cache:
    # sudo ldconfig

Now you can run it and take a long long break :-)

The end

Now you are ready to import the PySide module. Add the Python lib folder to the system library path:

export DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH=/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/lib

Now open the Python console end try to import the PySize module:

$ python

Python 2.7.1 (r271:86882M, Nov 30 2010, 10:35:34)
[GCC 4.2.1 (Apple Inc. build 5664)] on darwin
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> import PySide
>>> PySide.__version__