1. Installing dependencies

You can install dependencies in whichever method you prefer. My personal favourite is Homebrew, it makes it easy to install packages on macOS. You can go to Homebrew’s website to find out more, or just run the following command to install it.

/usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)"

Below is the complete list of dependencies you will need:


However, you should be able to install all of them just executing:

brew install pango --without-x11
brew install cairo --without-x11
brew install gtk+3 --without-x11
brew install json-glib

Since we want the app to run natively, we pass the additional option without-x11. This will enable GTK to run under Quartz instead of XQuartz.

In order to be able to build the app, you will also need Vala toolchain:

brew install vala

2. Building

In order to compile the application just execute make, the same way you would do it on Linux. After installing all the dependencies the process should finish without errors. Recipe Manager is now compiled, however in order to run it properly you will have to install the preferences file manually, since make install might mess up with your macOS directory structure, additionally installing things you will not need.

Just copy the recipe-manager-conf.json file to ~/.config/ directory:

cp recipe-manager-conf.json ~/.config/

If you want to use the nice, new Gnome theme with GTK (and you do) you should also create a settings.ini file for Gtk.

nano ~/.config/gtk-3.0/settings.ini

Paste the following contents to the file:

gtk-application-prefer-dark-theme = false
gtk-theme-name = Adwaita
gtk-icon-theme-name = Adwaita
gtk-fallback-icon-theme = gnome

These were all the required steps for me. However you you do encounter some problems, see this post, as it helped me figure some things out. (Thank you, random stranger on the Internet!)

3. Make an App bundle (optional)

This step is absolutely not required, however if you’re anything like me, you like to have a nice app bundle, instead of a random executable file. If you run into problems while following this guide, this guy on StackOverflow has some more advice.

3.1. Generate directory structure

A macOS app bundle is nothing else, than a directory with a special structure, like this:

▼  📂 RecipeManager.app
   ▼  📂 Contents
         📄 Info.plist
      ▶︎  📁 MacOS
      ▶︎  📁 Resources

Create these directories/files, I’m going to assume RecipeManager.app is in the top-level directory of the repo. In Info.plist paste:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<plist version="1.0">
    <string>Recipe Manager</string>
    <string>Recipe Manager</string>

3.2. Install the executable

mv recipe RecipeManager.app/Contents/MacOS/recipe

3.3. Create an icon

Icons on macOS are in special ICNS format, so you will need to convert it from SVG. I did it by converting desktop/recipe-manager.svg to png using Adobe Illustrator (you could probably use Preview.app), and then used this online tool to get ICNS file. If you get a better idea on how to do this let me know!

Assuming ICNS file is called recipe.icns, you can execute the following to install the icon:

cp recipe.icns RecipeManager.app/Contents/Resources/recipe.icns

To refresh the icon in Finder, run touch RecipeManager.app. Some people also need to touch Info.plist, however I didn’t need to.

3.4. Install dylibs (even more optional)

Currently recipe is linked against libraries installed on your system, which makes it not portable, i.e. it will not work if you just copy it to a different Mac. In order to make the app portable you will need to copy the required libraries to MacOS and modify the executable file to use them.

Firstly, let’s change the working directory to MacOS:

cd RecipeManager.app/Contents/MacOS/

To figure out, what libraries are used by your executable you can run:

otool -L recipe

This will spit out a list of paths to the dynamically linked libraries. Copy all the ones not in /System/Libraries or /usr/lib/ to MacOS.

cp /path/to/library.dylib .

When all the libraries are copied, you can modify the executable file. For each dylib run:

install_name_tool -change /path/to/original/library.dylib @executable_path/library.dylib recipe

(Instead of going through the aforementioned steps manually you can run this command, if you’re a fan of esoteric one-liners. However you probably shouldn’t if you don’t know what’s going on in there:)

otool -L recipe | grep -vE '(/usr/lib)|(/System/Library)' | egrep '^\t(.*)\/(.*)\ \(.*\)$' | sed -E 's/    (.*)\/(.*)\ \(.*\)/cp \1\/\2 \2 ; install_name_tool -change \1\/\2 @executable_path\/\2 recipe/g' | sh

Et voilà!

The process is now finished. If you completed all the steps, you should now have a working copy of Recipe Manager on your Mac, nicely packed as a native app bundle. If you feel like at any point I made a mistake, or you would like me to clear anything up, don’t hesitate to drop me an email.