Download Xquartz Mac


Download XQuartz for Mac - An open-source project that brings you a version of the X Window System which runs on the Mac OS X platform without requiring any additional libraries.

  1. Xquartz Mac Download
  2. Download Xquartz For Mac Yosemite
  3. Download Xquartz Mac Pro
  4. Download Xquartz Mac Download
  5. Download Xquartz Mac Torrent
  6. Download Xquartz Mac Version
  • At the time this post was written the release of XQuartz was version 2.7.11. It will work on Mac OS X Snow Leopard (version 10.6.x) or later, up to and including OS X Mountain Lion (version 10.8.x). Download XQuartz using the following link: XQuartz v2.7.11 (ca. 75.9 MB) The latest release of XQuartz, however, is version 2.8.1.
  • Part 1: Install XQuartz on Mac OS X 1. Download XQuartz 2.7.6 from the XQuartz website. Open the XQuartz-2.7.6.dmg file.
  • Mac OS X 10.7 Installer (xquartz) dmg If you can help with packaging for OS X, please get in touch with the small group of developers that has formed to work on this together via the inkscape-devel IRC Chat channel or the developers' mailing list.

Here is an excellent set of instructions for users of El Capitan, and it may contain hints that are useful if you're running an earlier version of OS X:

The following instructions assume that you are compiling for OSX 10.9 (Mavericks) or later, including macOS, and want to be able to:

  • use NEURON from the command line or through the macOS GUI
  • use Python as an alternative interpreter
  • run parallelized simulations under MPI in order to speed up embarrassingly parallel problems, or exeucte simulations of networks or individual cells that are distributed over multiple processors

Some of these instructions are based on recommendations from other Mac users who have compiled NEURON under macOS. Please let us know if you have additional suggestions.

In the following steps, you're going to use the Terminal application a lot. If it isn't in your Dock already, open /Applications/Utilities, then find Terminal and drag it to the Dock.

I. Installing prerequisites.
II. Installing InterViews and NEURON.
III. Post-installation testing.
IV. Modifying NEURON's appearance.

I. Installing prerequisites


To install NEURON from source code, you will need the following:


The most convenient way to put GCC on your Mac is to execute the following in a terminal window:

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When prompted, click 'install' and then 'agree' to the license.


Download and install Git from

autoconf, automake, and libtool

1. Download the most recent source code for autoconf, automake, and libtool from

2. Execute these commands in a terminal window

3. From that same terminal, expand autoconf, then cd to the root of autoconf's source code tree and install it.

4. Repeat step 3 for automake, then for libtool.

5. Now see if ~/.profile already exists. If it does, add these lines to it:

If ~/.profile does not already exist, create one and put those lines in it.


XQuartz provides an X11 window server.

Download and install the most recent XQuartz dmg from The installer will prompt you to log off, then back on, to make XQuartz your default X11 server. Make sure the 'reopen windows when you log back in' box is checked, so your terminal and these instructions will reappear when you log back in.

In the terminal, execute this command:

That will enable single click action so you can click on a button in a window without first having to click on the window to make it active.

To verify that this worked, execute this command

and look for this output:

Open MPI

If you plan to run parallel simulations under MPI on your Mac, you'll need to download and install the tar.gz file for the latest stable release of Open MPI from Expand the tar.gz file, then install openmpi.

II. Installing InterViews and NEURON.

After you get to this point, the rest is pretty easy.

A. Set up folders for the NEURON application so that the graphical icons will work and Python will work when desired.

B. Get the source code for InterViews and NEURON

Download xquartz 2.7.7 mac

C. Install InterViews

D. Install NEURON

E. Create a nrnenv in $HOME/neuron/ with these contents:

and add the following lines to your ~/.profile

Your complete ~/.profile should now look like this:

F. Build the icons for GUI use.

make after_install does the following things:

  • creates the icons
  • strips the executables, making them smaller but more difficult to use with gdb
  • creates neurondemo

The executables to be stripped can be found by examining nrn/src/mac/ for the lines that contain strip. You can prevent stripping by defining a strip script that is null before executing make. Once stripped, however, NEURON has to be rebuilt in order to generate a version that is not stripped.

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G. If you are developer and want to prepare a packaged version of NEURON, build a dmg.

This command outputs a message to the terminal that tells where the dmg was created. The default location is $HOME.

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III. Post-installation testing.

Before proceeding, make sure your ~/.profile contains the lines described above (see 'Your complete ~/.profile should now look like this:').

Log out, then log back in, so your ~/.profile takes effect.

A. Try running these commands from the command line:

You might also want to try double clicking the program icons in the /Applications/NEURON-7.5 folder.

B. Try running demonstrations from the parallel examples folder on the command line.

Example output:

C. Verify that NEURON can be used via the macOS GUI.

Installing NEURON places the mknrndll and nrngui icons in the Applications/NEURON-7.5 folder. For the sake of convenience, you may want make these icons more accessible by dragging and dropping them onto the dock bar.

The standard way to use NEURON with the macOS GUI interface is:

  1. Compile any mod files by dragging and dropping the folder that contains them onto the mknrndll icon. mod files are usually the top level folder of an archive, but sometimes they're in a subfolder.
  2. Launch NEURON by dragging and dropping an initialization script onto the nrngui icon. The initialization script is typically called init.hoc or mosinit.hoc.

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To test this, we downloaded a random model NEURON model from ModelDB ( and did the following:

  • extract the zip file
  • drag and drop the ca3-synresp folder onto the mknrndll icon
  • drag and drop the mosinit.hoc file onto the nrngui icon

The model ran successfully.

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IV. Modifying NEURON's appearance.

You can change the GUI's appearance by editing /Applications/NEURON-7.5/nrn/share/nrn/lib/nrn.defaults

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It would be a good idea to make a copy first, so you can go back to the original if you like.

For example, you might want to change the default font by changing


Then run neurondemo to see the difference.

For Apple Mac OS X Users

At MTSU, the Computer Science Department's server is named ranger. A server is a computer that serves up information to other computers on a network. Unlike a small personal computer that you physically handle to use, ranger is a server that we will use via a network connection. The ranger computer system is a server that provides a UNIX environment.

In CSCI-2170 class, we are going to use ranger for C++ programming in UNIX environment. The question is, how do we access the ranger server to get the services we want?
For Apple Mac OS X users, we can use a terminal to connect to ranger server. In order to execute GUI commands on the remote machine, and display the GUI in your local computer sceen(e.g.: scite editor), we also need to install and configure an X server called XQuartz.
If XQuartz is already installed on your Mac, then you can skip the download and install step.How to check if XQuartz is installed on your Mac? You should find in the following location:

Download and Install XQuartz

  1. You can download the latest version of XQuartz from:
  2. Launch the pkg installer and walk through the installation as usual.

  3. If you need help with the installation, follow the directions in this video:
    NOTE: Although the video doesn't mention it, it is highly recommended that you restart your computer after installing XQuartz and before going on to the next step.

Logging in ranger remotely using Terminal

  1. Open a terminal. You can do either one of the following:
    * Click the Launchpad icon in the Dock, type Terminal in the search field, then click Terminal.
    * In the Finder , open the /Applications/Utilities folder, then double-click Terminal.
  2. To login ranger, please type: ssh -X [email protected] in the terminal, then kit Enter key.

  3. Note:
    • * X is capitalized
    • * Where username is your C-number.
    • * If you enter a wrong username by accident, it will still prompt you for a password. Press Ctrl+C to quit the login attempt.
    • * Running ssh -X [email protected] will log you into the remote machine ranger, with X11 forwarding. The meaning of X11 forwarding means that you'll be able to execute GUI commands on the remote machine, and the GUI will be shown on your local screen.
  4. Enter your password when prompted. The characters you type won't appear, but you will be entering a password.
  5. Once you logged into ranger, you can just run the GUI program of your choice (e.g., scite, codelite, etc.)
    • You can type: scite & in the terminal
    • The scite editor will be launched on your local computer after you hit Enter key:
    • Please double check if your XQuartz is installed correctly if your scite editor cannot be launched.
  6. Quit terminal: type exit in the terminal, then press Enter.
(This guide is initially created by Dr. Roland Untch , it is revised in Fall 2020 by Dr. Xin Yang)