How to install openFrameworks on a Mac (macOS High Sierra)

This is a guide and tutorial for installing openFrameworks, a C++ toolkit for creative coding.


Step 1: Install Dependencies - Xcode, command line tools, and wget

Download Xcode from the app store. Then, install Xcode’s command line tools with the following command.

xcode-select --install

If you do not already have Homebrew, install it.

/usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"

Install wget using Homebrew.

brew install wget

Step 2: Clone the openFrameworks repo

Clone the master branch.

git clone --recursive && cd openFrameworks

Download external dependencies.

/bin/bash scripts/osx/

Step 3: Acquire the projectGenerator app

Download the official release of openFrameworks by visiting the download page or download v0.10.1 directly.

Move projectGenerator directory into the clone repository.

mv ~/Downloads/of_v0.10.1_osx_release/projectGenerator/ .

You may now delete the downloaded release directory and zip.

rm -r ~/Downloads/of_v0.10.1_osx_release*

Step 4: Compile all the example apps

Open the projectGenerator app.

open projectGenerator/
  1. Enter the path to your openFrameworks directory. For me, the path is /Users/benwiz/code/openFrameworks.
  2. Press enter.
  3. Check the Advanced options box.
  4. Click the new tab that appears at the top named update multiple.
  5. Enter the full path to the examples directory into the Update Path field. For me, the path is /Users/benwiz/code/openFrameworks/examples.
  6. Ensure that OS X (Xcode) is selected for the platform.
  7. Click the Update Multiple button and wait for several minutes. It took my Macbook Air about 15 minutes. There is no visual feedback until a success message appears.

Step 5: Test an example app

To ensure the installation worked correctly, open any example app in Xcode. To open 3DPrimitivesExample run the following command.

open examples/3d/3DPrimitivesExample/3DPrimitivesExample.xcodeproj/

Press cmd + r or click the play button to build and run the app.

Step 6: Test a third-party app

For me, the real test is to confirm one of my own openFrameworks applications will run.

First, create and enter a directory to store your own apps.

mkdir apps/myApps && cd apps/myApps/

Second, clone an openFrameworks project.

git clone && cd ofSprinkles/ && git checkout 2d

Third, open the project.

open sprinkles.xcodeproj/

Lastly, run the project.