Compiling an SDL app under Mac OS X

The proper steps to set up SDL for Mac OS X are these:

Download and install the SDL-devel-1.2.5 package. Make sure it’s the

By default the SDL framework is installed in your ~/Library/Frameworks
folder. You can move it - and the other SDL frameworks - to the
/Library/Frameworks folder if you want.

The SDL package also installs a ProjectBuilder template, so all you
have to do is select “SDL Application” from the list when you create a
New Project.

Other SDL frameworks you’ll want to install:


To get a framework into your project you can simply drag it from the
Finder onto the ProjectBuilder “Groups & Files” panel. Drop the
framework in the “Other Frameworks” subgroup of the “Frameworks” group.
Once a Framework is in your project you must enable it by toggling its
checkbox. Conveniently, you can look into frameworks and read the

When you decide to use SDL with OpenGL you can enable the OpenGL and
GLUT frameworks in the same manner as the rest.

I don’t recall if the SDL Application project template has all the
"Search Paths" for the project prepared for having the frameworks in
the system-wide location. If you have any trouble with the project
compiling because it can’t find headers you should do the following:

  • Open the “Targets” panel in ProjectBuilder.
  • Select your target to see its settings.
  • Select the Settings->Simple View->Search Paths settings.
  • Use the + button to add the path to the desired headers.

Each framework contains its own headers, so you’ll navigate into the
frameworks themselves and select the “Headers” folder.

As long as you’re in the target settings panel you should set up the
rest of your preferences.

SDL also installs help in the form of man pages, so you can use the
"open man page…" command from the Help menu to read about SDL

There’s probably stuff I’m forgetting, but with this info you should at
least be able to get the SDL base project to compile. Download some
simple demos from and try building them by adding their .c
files into a new SDL Application project.

Have fun!

  • Scott Lahteine -
    ----- BotFly -----On Thursday, December 12, 2002, at 12:01 PM, <santi.ontanon at> wrote:

compiling a SDL app under Mac OS X