Create a MacOS X App Bundle Using Homebrew

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This tutorial explains how to build (version >4) using Homebrew. It is recommended that users either

or use a package manager as described here. The former App bundle (version <=3.8) was created using Macports and called Octave from /usr/opt/local which is problematic with recent OS X (>=10.10). Therefore is now installed in /Applications/ using homebrew. It does not interfere with local installations or package managers.


  • Install Xcode via the Mac App Store.
  • Install the command line tools by xcode-select --install.
  • Optional: install XQuartz, e.g. if you want to use Gnuplot with X11 backend.

Creating the App Bundle and Disk Image

The script "" from the github repository

will ask some questions, e.g. regarding the installation path (/Applications/ is recommended) or whether Octave should be compiled with or without graphical user interface and finally whether a disk image should be created or not. If you choose to install to the Applications folder then the script needs to run with administration rights.

The script installs all necessary dependencies of octave via homebrew; it's using openblas instead of Apple's native implementation.

Known limitations

  • Plotting should work with gnuplot and qt backends. However, sometimes it takes a long time to initialize.
  • the app bundle is not relocatable
  • [ctrl]+c crashes the GUI, cf. Bug 37672