Building emacs-27 from source with AppKit, X windows, Gtk+ toolkit support...?

Ryan Schmidt ryandesign at
Wed Jun 3 20:10:38 UTC 2020

On Jun 3, 2020, at 05:38, Carlo Tambuatco wrote:

> I’m attempting to build emacs-27 from source and I would like to have AppKit support for running natively on macOS and Gtk3 support.
> These are the gtk3 libraries I’ve got installed:
> gtk-osx-application-common-gtk3 @2.0.8_0 (active)
> gtk-osx-application-gtk3 @2.0.8_0 (active)
> gtk3 @3.24.20_0+quartz (active)
> gwenhywfar4-gtk3 @4.20.2_0 (active)
> This is the warning I got during the configure step of compilation: 
> checking for X... no
> checking AppKit/AppKit.h usability... no
> checking AppKit/AppKit.h presence... yes
> configure: WARNING: AppKit/AppKit.h: present but cannot be compiled
> configure: WARNING: AppKit/AppKit.h:     check for missing prerequisite headers?
> configure: WARNING: AppKit/AppKit.h: see the Autoconf documentation
> configure: WARNING: AppKit/AppKit.h:     section "Present But Cannot Be Compiled"
> configure: WARNING: AppKit/AppKit.h: proceeding with the compiler's result
> configure: WARNING:     ## ------------------------------------ ##
> configure: WARNING:     ## Report this to bug-gnu-emacs at ##
> configure: WARNING:     ## ------------------------------------ ##
> checking for AppKit/AppKit.h... no
> configure: error: The include files (AppKit/AppKit.h etc) that
> are required for a Nextstep build are missing or cannot be compiled.
> Either fix this, or re-configure with the option '--without-ns’.

The config.log file is where I would look to understand why this is happening.

> And configure says I do not have X installed:
> checking for X… no
> I also have ImageMagick installed, so I would like to link to that during the build also.

Any reason why you don't want to use the emacs or emacs-devel ports that are already in MacPorts? They do have an +imagemagick variant you can use.

> So, I would like to know if there are extra devel libraries I need from macports and if I already have the relevant 
> libraries, how do I link to them when building emacs-27…?

Just to make sure we're on the same page about terminology, if you're referring to the -devel packages offered in some Linux package management systems, which provide headers and other files needed to build something against a library whereas the actual library files would be in a non-devel package, MacPorts doesn't do it that way. In MacPorts, the headers, libraries and binaries will all be together in a single port.

We do have some -devel ports, as I mentioned emacs-devel above, but they have a different purpose in MacPorts: The -devel port will offer a (usually more recent) development version of the software while the non-devel port will offer a stable version of the software.

AppKit, being a part of macOS, won't be in a port; it'll just be there in the OS.

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