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Ardour builds fairly easily and runs great using Gentoo OSX.


Building Ardour

First you must install Gentoo OSX, which requires Xcode 1.5 and the BSD subsystem. You must also install Apple's X11 and JackOSX

none of these instructions work for the latest beta tarball available on April 17 2005 from You will have to download old source code if you want to follow these instructions. If you still want the latest build, you need to install the scons build system

Next, download the latest Ardour source from (We cannot use the portage version of Ardour as it is out of date.)

Double click on the Ardour tarball and let StuffIt do its thing. (I like to keep all this stuff on the Desktop for now.)

We will configure Ardour to discover its dependencies. You must make sure that PKG_CONFIG_PATH is set correctly, or configure might not recognize the software you have already installed.

cd Desktop/Ardour0.9-beta28
PKG_CONFIG_PATH="/usr/local/lib/pkgconfig/:$PKG_CONFIG_PATH" sudo ./configure --disable-nls --disable-ksi

Note that we have disabled internationalization (nls) because it requires a newer version of gettext than is installed on Mac OS X and the Ardour text-based interface (ksi) because it does not work on Mac OS X yet.

This will bring about some errors because we haven't installed all the dependencies we need. We'll use the magic of Portage to fix these. You can install the needed packages based on these errors by finding and downloading packages manually, or use portage as outlined below. You will have to use a mix of strategies to get the whole dependency tree installed.

Using Portage to Install Missing Dependencies

I like to use the portage version of Ardour to identify the missing pieces.

Open a new terminal window and type

sudo -s
(enter your password)
sudo emerge gentoolkit-dev
cd /usr/portage/media-sound/ardour
ekeyword ppc-macos ardour[rest of package name]
emerge ardour[rest of package name]

This will undoubtedly fail, but a package will be identified that needs to be installed.

Here are 2 mini-steps to root out the failure.

Go to the directory of the package that is identified as needed and follow the

ekeyword ppc-macos [needed package name]
emerge [needed package name]



cd /usr/portage/media-sound/ardour
ekeyword ppc-macos ardour[rest of package name]
emerge ardour[rest of package name]

Repeat these 2 steps untill everything is built.

Note that Ardour will eventually require the jack-audio-connection-kit in order to emerge sucessfully. It's fine to emerge the jack-audio-connection-kit it in order to finishing building the dependencies needed for Ardour. We will eventually back it out, as described below.

Once all the dependencies have been installed and Ardour sucessfully emerges, type

open-x11 ardour

You should get an error indicating that Ardour cannot connect to Jack. This means that ardour has been sucessfully built.

Cleaning Up Our Mess

Now we will undo the stuff we don't need. Type

emerge unmerge ardour
emerge unmerge jack-audio-connection-kit

Uninstall and reinstall JackOSX.

Making Ardour

Go back to the shell that is non-root and type

PKG_CONFIG_PATH="/usr/local/lib/pkgconfig/:$PKG_CONFIG_PATH" sudo ./configure --disable-nls --disable-ksi
sudo make
sudo make install

Making a System Link for Universal Access to Ardour

Open up a shell and type

sudo ln -s /directory/where/ardour/installed /bin/ardour

(I think it installed in /usr/local/sbin but I can't remember. Updates to come.)

Launching Ardour

Ardour automatically starts jack when launched, but I like to start JackOSX first using the JackPilot app. After starting the jack server, type

open-x11 ardour

and wait a few seconds for ardour to launch and process into digital audio bliss.

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Last modified: Sun, 08 Jun 2008 07:29:00 +0000 Hits: 19,009