The development of GNU Solfege has moved to Savannah because (main author) is stepping down as the only maintainer of the program. Please contact if you want to take over the job.

Installing on OSX

There are three main approaches to installing Solfege on Mac OS X. None of them are easy, and they probably require some experience in compiling programs. All X11 and Xcode (aka Developer Tools).

  1. Use MacPorts This is a program that makes it easy to install and update lots of open source software. Solfege on MacPorts uses version 3.19.2 as of January 2011 (thanks to David Baumgold!).

  2. Use Fink Fink is similar to MacPorts. Solfege on Fink uses version 3.14.10 as of January 2010. To install solfege, users must enable the "Unstable" branch of fink, by adding the following line in /sw/etc/apt/sources.list:

    deb file:/sw/fink unstable main crypto
  3. Compile Solfege yourself. This way, you can always get the newest version of Solfege, and you have more control over the installation process. The big drawback is that you have to install all the dependencies yourself. Unless you've compiled a lot of open source software before, this will probably be difficult and take a long time.

User comments

Posted by MBruns on Aug. 7, 2011, 1:14 a.m.

Um, is this software going to run on Macs, just by downloading and clicking "Install"??? That would be great for those of us who are not developers or programmers!!

Posted by Tom Cato on Aug. 7, 2011, 8:41 p.m.

Installing on Macs are not that easy yet. I don't own a Mac, so I am dependent on what others contribute. I have never tested it on Mac, and I don't know what is required to a simple installer. Tom Cato.

Posted by RoLo on Dec. 4, 2011, 4:45 a.m.

I own a mac. I have compile before on Linux, but not in OS X. Do you know in wich direction to go?? I can help on building solfege for mac. Keep in touch!

Posted by Tom Cato on Dec. 4, 2011, 9:49 a.m.

RoLo, I think you should have a look at the MaxPorts option at the top of this page. And then email the mailing list when you have questions.

Posted by andlarry on Dec. 31, 2011, 11:22 p.m.

The macports package worked great for me. Thanks for working on this software!

OS X version 10.6.8, MacPorts version 2.0.3, Solfege version 3.19.2

Posted by Dilapidus on Jan. 18, 2012, 7:56 a.m.

Does this mean anything to you?

I'm guessing an x11 problem how would I know?

/opt/local/bin : solfege
/opt/local/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/lib/python2.7/site-packages/gtk-2.0/gtk/ GtkWarning: could not open display
warnings.warn(str(e), _gtk.Warning)
/opt/local/share/solfege/solfege/ GtkWarning: gdk_screen_get_width: assertion `GDK_IS_SCREEN (screen)' failed
max_exercise_label_width = int(gtk.gdk.screen_width() * 0.90)
/opt/local/share/solfege/solfege/ Warning: invalid (NULL) pointer instance
/opt/local/share/solfege/solfege/ Warning: g_signal_connect_data: assertion `G_TYPE_CHECK_INSTANCE (instance)' failed
/opt/local/share/solfege/solfege/ GtkWarning: gtk_settings_get_for_screen: assertion `GDK_IS_SCREEN (screen)' failed
scrollwin = gtk.ScrolledWindow()
/opt/local/share/solfege/solfege/ GtkWarning: gdk_pango_context_get_for_screen: assertion `GDK_IS_SCREEN (screen)' failed
/opt/local/share/solfege/solfege/ PangoWarning: pango_context_set_font_description: assertion `context != NULL' failed
/opt/local/share/solfege/solfege/ PangoWarning: pango_context_set_base_dir: assertion `context != NULL' failed
/opt/local/share/solfege/solfege/ PangoWarning: pango_context_set_language: assertion `context != NULL' failed
/opt/local/share/solfege/solfege/ Warning: g_object_unref: assertion `G_IS_OBJECT (object)' failed
/opt/local/share/solfege/solfege/ GtkWarning: gtk_settings_get_for_screen: assertion `GDK_IS_SCREEN (screen)' failed
/opt/local/share/solfege/solfege/ GtkWarning: gdk_screen_get_display: assertion `GDK_IS_SCREEN (screen)' failed
/opt/local/share/solfege/solfege/ GtkWarning: gdk_keymap_get_for_display: assertion `GDK_IS_DISPLAY (display)' failed
/opt/local/share/solfege/solfege/ Warning: g_object_get: assertion `G_IS_OBJECT (object)' failed
Segmentation fault

Posted by Dilapidus on Jan. 18, 2012, 8:15 a.m.

Ok, skip (and delete if you like) the comment above. It won't start from the command line and that is what I get when I try.

I did get it to work and it is incredible to me that you wouldn't provide direction as to how to start the thing!

You cannot hope that even 2% of the people who want to use this will be able to do it. MacPorts then X11? Really? And then you don't bother to say that you have to start it from X11 (just a vague reference.)

It's your game, have fun, but really, that's not going to drive adoption on the Mac, where most musicians live.

Posted by Tom Cato on Jan. 18, 2012, 9:22 p.m.

Dilapidus, tell me what you had to do to run the program, and I'll add it to the instructions.

The instructions for running Solfege on Mac came from users of the program. I don't own a mac, so I cannot do any testing or development on mac.

I am sure I can improve the mac experience if someone would borrow or sponsor me a mac.

Posted by anthony oliver on Feb. 21, 2012, 2:43 a.m.

why is there no "install" button for Mac? I'm no programer - I want to sing. Please advise - need to run on Mac NOW for school. Thank you.

Posted by gwen on July 6, 2012, 11:31 a.m.

Where do I start. Just a hint would help. I have downloaded xcode, I have macports, I have downloaded the solfege files, now what? There are a hundred files, folders etc in the solfege download, which one do I use? And how. Just a hint please.

Posted by gwen on July 7, 2012, 9:12 p.m.

Hello, After 2 days of searching and questioning I have finally installed Solfege, but when I try to open it I get this message with an error for the image file format .svg : Any thoughts please. I have downloaded librsvg from Git but I don't know how to install it. What to do with the files.

Traceback (most recent call last):
File "//usr/local/share/solfege/solfege/", line 159, in start_gui = w = MainWin(options, datadir)
File "//usr/local/share/solfege/solfege/", line 119, in __init__
stock.SolfegeIconFactory(self, datadir)
File "//usr/local/share/solfege/solfege/", line 71, in __init__
File "//usr/local/share/solfege/solfege/", line 33, in add_icons
iconset = gtk.IconSet(gtk.gdk.pixbuf_new_from_file(os.path.join(self.datadir, filename)))

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