Tribler development environment setup on MacOS (10.10 to 10.13).

  1. MacPorts
  2. HomeBrew
  3. Tribler
  4. Notes


MacPorts Install instructions at To install the Tribler dependencies using MacPorts, please run the following command in your terminal:

sudo port -N install git ffmpeg qt5-qtcreator libtorrent-rasterbar gmp mpfr libmpc libsodium py27-m2crypto py27-apsw py27-Pillow py27-twisted py27-cherrypy3 py27-cffi py27-chardet py27-configobj py27-gmpy2 py27-pycparser py27-numpy py27-idna py27-leveldb py27-cryptography py27-decorator py27-feedparser py27-netifaces py27-service_identity py27-asn1-modules py27-pyinstaller py27-pyqt5 py27-sqlite py27-matplotlib py27-libnacl



Skip to Tribler if you are using MacPorts because HomeBrew is a less complete alternative to MacPorts.

HomeBrew installation instructions can be found at


If you wish to run the Tribler Graphical User Interface, PyQt5 should be available on the system. While PyQt5 is available in the pip repository, this is only compatible with Python 3. To install PyQt5, we first need to install Qt5, a C++ library which can be installed with brew:

brew install qt5
brew cask install qt-creator # if you want the visual designer
qmake --version # test whether qt is installed correctly

After the installation completed, PyQt5 should be compiled. This library depends on SIP, another library to automatically generate Python bindings from C++ code. Download the latest SIP version here, extract it, navigate to the directory where it has been extracted and compile/install it:

sudo make install

Next, download PyQt5 from here and make sure that you download the version that matches with the version of Qt you installed in the previous steps. Extract the binary and compile it:

sudo make install
python -c "import PyQt5" # this should work without any error

Note that the installation can take a while. After it has finished, the PyQt5 library is installed correctly.


To install M2Crypto, Openssl has to be installed first. The shipped version of openssl by Apple gives errors when compiling M2Crypto so a self-compiled version should be used. Start by downloading openssl 0.98 from here, extract it and install it:

./config --prefix=/usr/local
make && make test
sudo make install
openssl version # this should be 0.98

Also Swig 3.0.4 is required for the compilation of the M2Crypto library. The easiest way to install it, it to download Swig 3.0.4 from source here and compile it using:

sudo make install

Note: if you get an error about a missing PCRE library, install it with brew using brew install pcre.

Now we can install M2Crypto. First download the source (version 0.22.3 is confirmed to work on El Capitan and Yosemite) and install it:

python build build_ext --openssl=/usr/local
sudo python install build_ext --openssl=/usr/local

Reopen your terminal window and test it out by executing:

python -c "import M2Crypto"


Apsw can be installed by brew but this does not seem to work to compile the last version (the Clang compiler uses the sqlite.h include shipped with Xcode which is outdated). Instead, the source should be downloaded from their Github repository (make sure to download a release version) and compiled using:

sudo python fetch --all build --enable-all-extensions install test
python -c "import apsw" # verify whether apsw is successfully installed


An essential dependency of Tribler is libtorrent. libtorrent is dependent on Boost, a set of C++ libraries. Boost can be installed with the following command:

brew install boost
brew install boost-python

Now we can install libtorrent:

brew install libtorrent-rasterbar --with-python

After the installation, we should add a pointer to the site-packages of Python so it can find the new libtorrent library using the following command:

sudo echo 'import site; site.addsitedir("/usr/local/lib/python2.7/site-packages")' >> /Library/Python/2.7/site-packages/homebrew.pth

This command basically adds another location for the Python site-packages (the location where libtorrent-rasterbar is installed). This command should be executed since the location where brew installs the Python packages is not in sys.path. You can test whether libtorrent is correctly installed by executing:

>>> import libtorrent

Other Packages

There are a bunch of other packages that can easily be installed using pip and brew:

brew install homebrew/python/pillow gmp mpfr libmpc libsodium
sudo easy_install pip
pip install --user cython  # Needs to be installed first for meliae
pip install --user cherrypy cffi chardet configobj cryptography decorator feedparser gmpy2 idna leveldb meliae netifaces numpy pillow psutil pyasn1 pycparser scipy twisted service_identity libnacl bitcoinlib

If you encounter any error during the installation of Pillow, make sure that libjpeg and zlib are installed. They can be installed using:

brew tap homebrew/dupes
brew install libjpeg zlib
brew link --force zlib


git clone --recursive
cd tribler
cp /usr/local/lib/libsodium.dylib ./ || cp /opt/local/lib/libsodium.dylib ./
mkdir vlc
which ffmpeg | xargs -I {} cp "{}" vlc/

Proceed proceed to Build instructions


System Integrity Protection

The security system on MacOS can prevent libsodium.dylib from being dynamically linked into Tribler when running Python. If this library cannot be loaded, it gives an error that libsodium could not be found. This is because the DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH cannot be set when Python starts. More information about this can be read here.

The best solution to this problem is to link or copy libsodium.dylib into the Tribler root directory.


If there are any problems with the guide above, please feel free to fix any errors or create an issue so we can look into it.