Prerequisites for OS X
Before building SOFA from source, make sure your configuration meets the following requirements.
SOFA requires at least GCC 4.8 or Clang 3.4. To make sure you have a correct version, execute the usual commands:
gcc --version clang --version
CMake: Makefile generator
SOFA requires at least CMake 3.1. To install CMake, use this Homebrew command:
brew cask install cmake
[optional] Ninja (build system)
Ninja is an alternative to Make. It has a better handling of incremental builds.
brew install ninja
Do not forget to set CMake generator to Codeblocks – Ninja !
About the compiler : LLVM vs. GCC
The default compiler on MacOS is now LLVM (ie. clang). SOFA is compatible with Clang but if you want to use gcc/g++ instead it is necessary to tell cmake to use gcc/g++ instead of clang on MacOS.
You can do this by setting those environment variables:
CXX=g++. These settings are stored in the cmake cache; once set, you can re-use cmake or cmake-gui and the gcc settings won’t be lost.
About the compiler on MacOS 10.8 Mountain Lion & MacOS 10.9 Maverick
If you are on MacOS 10.8 Mountain Lion, gcc is an alias of clang. To really use gcc, use the following environnement varialbles:
To compile SOFA, you need to install several dependencies using Homebrew
Qt (>= 5.5.0)
We recommend to install Qt from the unified installer.
Boost (>= 1.54.0)
brew install boost
Additional libraries: libPNG and Glew are needed
brew install libpng brew install glew
Building on OS X
Setting up your source and build directories
To set up clean repositories, we propose to arrange the SOFA directories as follows:
First, download the sources from Git repository:
Get the current stable version on the v17.06 branch:
git clone -b v17.06 https://github.com/sofa-framework/sofa.git sofa/src
OR get the development unstable version on the master branch:
git clone -b master https://github.com/sofa-framework/sofa.git sofa/src
To launch CMake GUI on the project, open a terminal and type the following commands:
cd sofa mkdir -p build/v17.06 cd build/v17.06 cmake-gui ../../src/
if you installed Qt5 with brew, set
CMAKE_PREFIX_PATH=/usr/local/Cellar/qt5/5.X.Y(replace 5.X.Y by your own Qt5 version) in CMake GUI to tell CMake were is your Qt installation
or if you prefer running cmake by the command line:
cmake -DCMAKE_PREFIX_PATH=/usr/local/Cellar/qt5/5.X.Y ../../src/
if you are not using the same file structure as the one described above, from your own build directory type instead:
you need to run Configure twice, since SOFA requires two passes to manage the module dependencies. You can then customize your version of SOFA, acticate or deactivate plugins and functionalities. By default, gcc is used but Clang can be prefered for a faster compilation (see the paragraph below).
Compile in the terminal
To compile in the terminal, type in the v17.06/ directory:
You can use several cores to make the build faster. If, for example, you want to use 4 cores, write:
Time to have a coffee if you have an SSD, time to have lunch if you work on a HDD! Once built, stay in the build folder and issue the following commands to launch SOFA:
bin/runSofa (Release) or bin/runSofad (Debug)
Setting up QtCreator
The following instructions assume that you have set up two build directories as explained in the previous section.
In QtCreator, open project CMakeLists.txt. Choose build-release as build directory, then click on Finish. QtCreator is ready to compile, and the build configuration is named "all", though it corresponds to a Release.
Click on the Project button in the left, then rename the configuration from "all" to "Release".
Now click on add/Build to create a new configuration called "Debug". Choose build-debug as build directory and run Cmake. If you set the -G "CodeBlocks – Unix Makefiles" option in the cmake command line discussed in the previous section, you do not even need to run CMake.
You can now switch between Debug and Release in QtCreator. The compilation will be done using ccache (if installed). You can check this by setting VERBOSE=1 as additional argument to Make in the Projects tab on the left. Moreover, you probably want to run parallel compilations by setting -j10 for instance, for 10 parallel compilations, as additional argument to Make. Ubuntu 14.04: default qtcreator cmake plugin is bugged, but you can easily install qtcreator 3.1.1 from this non-official repository  (Warning, it is using qt4 rather than qt5).
Last modified: 28 August 2017