Remove X11 dependency for Mac OS X

Bug #172064 reported by Birdsaregood on 2007-07-15
This bug affects 28 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone

Bug Description

Currently, to run Inkscape in Mac OS X, it requires X11 (reducing potential
usability like multiple windows, copy/paste, etc.), and it takes a long
time to open the program.

I consider it quiet important for the program to be able to run directly on
Mac (without X11) for it to realistically be an option for everyday use
(without the inconvenience).

So, the program must be ported to run directly on Mac OS X. It may take
some time to get it right, but it is an important step in remaining a
first-rate program.

Bryce Harrington (bryce) wrote :

Originator: NO

I do not have a Mac, nor really have any interest in porting to OSX, so
please do not assign this bug to me.

Most all of the Inkscape developers are on Linux, so if a native port of
Inkscape to OSX is desired, it would be best to locate some new OSX-based
developers to contribute to Inkscape.

JiHO (jiho) wrote :

Originator: NO

"porting" all of Inkscape to OS X is a huge task. Inkscape relies on GTK
and the equivalent of GTK on OS X is Cocoa, which is very different from
GTK. There are two drawbacks in Inkscape not being native:
1- speed and memory usage: Inkscape loads all the libraries it needs when
it starts, this includes GTK in particular and many other libraries. By
comparison to Linux, it takes more time and memory because on a Linux
desltop, all these libraries would already be active and shared on a Linux
2- display: Inkscape uses X11 and X11 on OS X is not optimal (because it
is old). Although, on recent machines, the display is usually fast enough
to be very workable. I use Inkscape everyday and it's mostly fine

problem 2 may be solved soon, if more people help to port GTK to OS X
(this is mostly done). problem 1 however will likely never be solved unless
Inkscape is "librairized" much and someone rewrites and interface in Cocoa
from scratch... and that won't be me ;)

Bug Importer (bug-importer) wrote :

I would love to see an Aqua port of Inkscape similar to the NeoOffice
project, at the moment Inkscape suffers from being slow, having tiny UI
elements that are barely readable, and from poor printer support and

Bug Importer (bug-importer) wrote :

NeoOffice for is slow. That's why the Mac
team is working hard on making a REAL native version of OOo to run quickly
and smoothly on Mac.

About Inkscape, it looks pretty possible:

nightrow (jb-benoit) on 2007-12-16
Changed in inkscape:
importance: Low → Wishlist
status: New → Confirmed
eobet (eobet-spray) wrote :

That video of the native InkScape port is quite old now, but I haven't seen a version like that released anywhere.

Something nobody has mentioned is that X11 is also bad with fonts and doesn't work with the OS X font manager (or has that been fixed now? I'm on an old version of OS X currently.)

Has any process been made on the native OS X port?

eobet (eobet-spray) wrote :

Can't you edit comments in this system?

If I would have waited 2 seconds to post, I would have discovered an updated video of the native InkScape compile:

birdsaregood (ariel36) wrote :

How's the progress coming? Will we see any native option for the .47 or .48 release? Can there be any new development builds posted?

And will the be just for Leopard, because I'm still running Tiger?

Jon A. Cruz (jon-joncruz) wrote :

There is progress going on, but native OSX GTK is not quite up to release quality yet. Looks like 0.47 will not ship with Native mac support.

summary: - Port to Mac OS X
+ Remove dependency on X11
summary: - Remove dependency on X11
+ Remove X11 dependency for Mac OS X
birdsaregood (ariel36) wrote :

Any progress on native GTK?

macosxp (ariel18) wrote :

Any progress looking forward to a native 0.49 or 0.50 release?

Gabriel Mazetto (brodock) wrote :

A native look and feel would be a good addition too.

Just as suggested by this blog post:, I think that Inkscape could choose a nice theme, may be based on OS-X or just some that feels fine, and use some technique like described on this other blog post: to launch it with that specific theme.

This could be a really improvement for OSX users.

su_v (suv-lp) wrote :

@BrodocK - the pre-compiled and bundled does already ship with and uses by default a custom Clearlooks-based GTK+ theme.

Yehor Lvivski (lvivski) wrote :

@suv-lp so is there any progress on Native OS X build? Or maybe some help is needed?

James David Low (jamesdlow) wrote :

I used to think this was a "nice to have" type request, but since using the GIMP 2.8.2 that has a native version, its so much more useful now that it loads ALOT faster and has apple key based keyboard shortcuts instead of ctrl based ones, that I think this should be a really high priority task now.

Richard Casemore (skarard) wrote :

7 Years on.

Still on the wish list.

It's time for captain to swoop in and tell us what's going on. I will endeavour to make some progress and update this bug report.

Richard Casemore (skarard) wrote :

~suv is on the case. They are absolutely pwning it and has a personal dropbox of dmg's that are updated constantly.

James David Low (jamesdlow) wrote :

I think some clarification needs to be made. Inkscape can still be made much more usable on OSX without going fully "native".

It doesn't require porting to Cocoa, which would be a huge task. I believe what GIMP has done is change the dependency from the X11 version of GTK, to GTK+OSX which draws GTK components on OSX without X11.

The other thing they did was change most of the commands from Ctrl-{key} to Command-{key}.

This would be a much smaller task, but provide a very large benefit. Perhaps someone in the Inkscape development community could reach out to someone in GIMP to help speed this along?

Liam P. White (liampwhite) wrote :

@James there are functional ports of Inkscape that use the GTK+/Quartz backend. Aside from some hidden crashes and usability bugs, they work, but I am not sure if they could be considered release-ready yet.

I use both Gimp and Inkscape on a Mac and while gimp still has some annoying issues, it works better than XQuartz

no longer affects: ubuntu
Qantas94Heavy (qantas94heavy) wrote :

This bug is now being tracked on GitLab:

Please only comment if you are helping to contribute. Otherwise use the +1/-1 feature or even better, send in a merge request!

Changed in inkscape:
status: Confirmed → Invalid
tags: added: bug-migration
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