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Building for macOS


It’s recommended that you use homebrew to install dependencies. You’ll need to download and install the following to build Citra:

  • pkg-config (brew install pkgconfig)
  • SDL2 (brew install sdl2, or download this dmg)
  • Qt5 (brew install qt5) (Note: If you have Qt4 installed, then you will need to remove it before building. brew unlink qt4)
  • CMake (brew install cmake)
  • OpenSSL (brew install openssl)
  • A recent version of Xcode and the Xcode command line tools

Cloning Citra in Git:

git clone --recursive
cd citra

Using CMake:

First of all, you have to tell CMake where your Qt5 is installed (add this line to ~/.profile if you want to make this permanent.):

export Qt5_DIR=$(brew --prefix)/opt/qt5

Now you can generate makefiles for the build:

mkdir build
cd build
cmake .. -DCMAKE_OSX_ARCHITECTURES="x86_64;x86_64h" -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release

This builds a fat binary that has slices targeting early and late x64 machines.

Building Citra

make -j4

A application bundle will now be present under build/bin/. Note that this is non-portable and only works on your machine.

For portability of the appbundle between machines please refer to this script.

About building on Apple Silicon machines

To build Citra targetting MacOS on ARM, the process is largely the same. A few things to note are:

  • Make sure the Homebrew version you have installed is the ARM version
  • When running the cmake command, you’ll want to use this command instead: cmake .. -DCMAKE_OSX_ARCHITECTURES="arm64" -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release