Building OVITO on macOS

Installing dependencies

See the list of requirements and install the required build tools and third-party libraries. OVITO should be compiled with Apple’s clang C++ compiler shipping with Xcode. It’s easiest to use MacPorts for installing many of the required dependencies.

After setting up MacPorts, run:

sudo port install netcdf pzlib libssh boost cmake yasm

from the terminal to install the required dependencies of OVITO.

Next, download and install Qt 6 for Mac.

Next, download the source code and build the shared version of the ffmpeg video encoding library (optional):

curl -O
tar xzfv ffmpeg-4.2.1.tar.gz
cd ffmpeg-4.2.1
./configure \
  --disable-network \
  --disable-programs \
  --disable-debug \
  --disable-doc \
  --disable-static \
  --enable-shared \
make install

Downloading the source code

To download OVITO’s source code into a new directory named ovito/ run:

git clone

Compiling OVITO

Within the source directory, create a build sub-directory and let CMake generate the Makefile:

cd ovito
mkdir build
cd build
cmake -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release \
    -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=../install \
    -DCMAKE_PREFIX_PATH=`echo $HOME/Qt/6.*.*/clang_64/` \
    -DFFMPEG_INCLUDE_DIR=$HOME/ffmpeg/include \
    -DFFMPEG_LIBRARY_DIR=$HOME/ffmpeg/lib \

Adjust the paths in the command above as needed. If this step fails, or if you want to disable individual components of OVITO, you can now run ccmake . to open the CMake configuration program and make changes to the build settings. Once you are done, build OVITO by running

make -j4

If this step succeeds, you can run make install to generate an app bundle in the ovito/install/ directory.