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5.0 KiB

Build instructions for macOS Sierra

Installing packaged dependencies

You will find instructions for using either Macports or Homebrew below to install the compile-time dependencies.


Install MacPorts according to the instructions found here. Ensure that Macports' binary paths (/opt/local/bin and /opt/local/sbin) are in your PATH environment variable.

# general
sudo port install mercurial
# YML2
sudo port install py27-lxml
# libetpan
sudo port install git autoconf automake libtool
# asn1c
sudo port install asn1c
# engine
sudo port install gpgme

Ensure that python is Python 2.7:

sudo port select python python27


Install Homebrew according to the instructions found here. Ensure that Homebrew's binary path (/usr/local/bin) is in your PATH environment variable.

# general
brew install mercurial
# YML2
# If you don't have pip with your Python 2 distribution, you can install it with brew
brew install python
pip2 install --user lxml
# libetpan
brew install git autoconf automake libtool
# asn1c
brew install asn1c
# engine
brew install gpgme

Installing unpackaged dependencies


To check if lxml is properly installed, you can use this lxml "hello world" command:

python2 -c 'from lxml import etree; root = etree.Element("root"); print(root.tag)'

It should generate the following output:

mkdir -p ~/code/yml2
hg clone ~/code/yml2


pEp Engine requires libetpan with a set of patches that have not been upstreamed yet.

mkdir -p ~/code/libetpan
git clone ~/code/libetpan
cd ~/code/libetpan
mkdir ~/code/libetpan/build
./ --prefix="$HOME/code/libetpan/build"
make install


The MacPorts-packaged GPGME links to a version of GNU libiconv that has files in the same include/library paths as GPGME. This version of libiconv must not be visible to the linker when the pEp Engine is build or run.

Thus the files of the GPGME distribution will have to be manually copied to separate include/library folders, so that no include or library paths used for building the pEp Engine contains files of MacPorts' libiconv distribution.

mkdir -p ~/code/gpgme/build/include
cp /opt/local/include/gpg*.h ~/code/gpgme/build/include
mkdir -p ~/code/gpgme/build/lib
cp -r /opt/local/lib/libgpg* ~/code/gpgme/build/lib

It's of course possible to skip MacPort's version, and use a self-compiled GPGME/GPG. The default build configuration assumes this case, and assumes you have installed your GPGME with $(HOME) as your prefix.

pEp Engine

mkdir -p ~/code/pep-engine
hg clone ~/code/pep-engine
cd ~/code/pep-engine
mkdir ~/code/pep-engine/build

Edit the build configuration to your needs in Makefile.conf, or create a local.conf that sets any of the make variables documented in Makefile.conf. All the default values for the build configuration variables on each platform are documented in Makefile.conf.

If a dependency is not found in your system's default include or library paths, you will have to specify the according paths in a make variable. Typically, this has to be done at least for YML2, and libetpan.

For a more detailed explanation of the mechanics of these build configuration files, and overriding defaults, see the comments in Makefile.conf.

Below is a sample ./local.conf file, for orientation.





The engine is built as follows:

make all
make db

If your build fails with an error message similar to the following:

  File "/opt/local/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/lib/python2.7/", line 477, in _parse_localename
    raise ValueError, 'unknown locale: %s' % localename
ValueError: unknown locale: UTF-8

or any other locale-related Python error, make sure Python does not have any locale-related environment variables set. Usually, unset LC_CTYPE is sufficient to take care of the problem, but it depends on your macOS's regional and language settings and which terminal emulator you use. This is a bug in Python, see

The unit tests can be run without the engine library being installed, however system.db must be installed:

make -C db install

Since system.db rarely changes, its installation is not needed for every build.

Tests can be compiled and executed with the following commands:

make -C test compile
make test