Installing Demeter on the Mac

The Macintosh package uses MacPorts and is currently at version 0.9.22.


Bruce does not own a Mac and cannot support Mac installation problems. You should use the mailing list.

Short instructions

  1. Carefully follow the steps to install Macports at

  2. Open a new Terminal window and type the following:

    sudo port install xorg-server demeter

    It will take a while depending on your computer and network speed.

  3. If this is your first time installing xorg-server, log out and log back in. This is needed to set the DISPLAY environment variable.

  4. If you have recently upgraded to a new version of the Mac operating system, you must re-install all of MacPorts for the new OS. There is no shortcut.

When installation of MacPorts is done, launch ATHENA by typing the following in Terminal:


Note: Make sure you are in a directory you have write permission to (like your home directory) because hidden files are created at launch time.

To update a previously installed version of DEMETER to the latest, open a Terminal window and do

sudo port selfupdate && sudo port upgrade demeter

If you are not using a system-wide MacPorts installation, running commands as sudo is not necessary.

Troubleshooting problems on the Mac

General problems

Having trouble installing on your Mac computer? This might help or you might find help searching through the mailing list archives.

Plot window not appearing

If installation has proceeded properly, but the plot window is not appearing, this might fix the problem, however it is unlikely that deglitching or the pluck buttons will work with the aqua terminal.

Failed to install libcxx

According to Wayne Lukens, macports sometimes does not install all of the dependencies for DEMETER. You can solve this issue by loading the dependencies separately. Do

sudo ports install libcxx

After that, try installing DEMETER again.

Also, Jean-Francois Gaillard offers this hint: "One thing that greatly improve the installation of dependencies was to increase the number of files that can be open at once. New versions of Mac OS X limit this nb to 256, if you increase it to - let’s say to 1024 - in your session it should help. To find out the max nb of files that you can open at once type in a terminal

ulimit –a

and to increase the number type

ulimit –n1024

Please report problems with the MacPorts package to the Ifeffit mailing list.


Bruce does not own a Mac and cannot support Mac installation problems. You should use the mailing list.

DEMETER is copyright © 2009-2016 Bruce Ravel – This document is copyright © 2016 Bruce Ravel

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