MacOS nightly build situation

There have obviously been some recent build problems for the 5.99 on macOS and there have been no builds for the last couple of weeks. Because the janitor does a good job of clearing up, there is now only one download available (29/6) and I expect that will be gone shortly too! Would be good to keep something pinned - I’ve found the recent macOS builds pretty solid.

I think Adam said the build machine was back up, so there should be a nightly tonight…

I’m reliably informed that a Mac build is now up…


Just a FYI, the builds stopped again since the 22nd of August.

@adamwolf I have a spare machine and I would love to contribute, please let me know if I can help anyway.

Something deeper is broken, Windows Testing stopped on the 27th and Nightly only building 32 bit

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Thank you. At the moment, I can not step into V5.99 for testing; even though I want to.

There have been some issues with dependencies needed to build both the macOS and Windows nightly builds that the packagers are working to fix. I believe the Windows builds are back up and running, and the macOS builds are still being worked on.


Ah, thanks!

The builds should be back up and running. The issue wasn’t hardware–the build VM was based on 10.14, and you can no longer install OpenCascade through Homebrew on 10.14. Creating a 10.15 VM and adjusting the notarization process took a few days.

If you’re interested in learning the nitty-gritty of building and packaging non-Xcode-based cross-platform macOS apps, let me know! I might be a little busy until 6 comes out, but I’d love to get some folks helping soon enough!


I see the latest macOS builds are 10.15+ only, is this a new minimum requirement for macOS?


Yes and no. The nightly builds are now done on 10.15 because they start with fresh dependencies each time and openCASCADE is no longer supported by homebrew.

But I’m still building locally on 10.14. YMMV.

The official nightly builds (that are now built on 10.15) should still run fine on 10.14. Please let us know if that isn’t the case.

I can confirm that all of the builds since 8.22 are 10.15 only. The applications all have the prohibition symbol on them when in 10.14.

Maybe file a bug report by the people who prohibit you from running decent software?

In my (maybe simplistic) view it’s their problem and not KiCad’s.
(Luckily I’m just a regular guy and no KiCad developer, and my opinion in such matters do not have much weight)

Apple have made a conscious & commercial decision to redesign and to remove some functionality from their operating systems. macOS for >=10.15(Catalina) onwards no longer supports 32 bit applications. Some of the (open source) build dependencies are installed by brew which is also now unsupported on earlier platforms. Additionally, the packagers have had to deal with the issue of notarisation of builds which is necessary for current operating systems. Compiling KiCad on macOS is not entirely straightforward and, with limited number of Mac developers, I can understand why supporting older hardware is difficult to justify. You can argue the pros and cons of Apple’s secure garden approach but it has been a very successful model for their business.

I have generally found Mac hardware to be well built and to have a decent software support life. Sure, its expensive but it does last - I am still using a 10 year old MacBook Pro as my main machine. It happily runs the next to latests macOS 10.15 and is nippy enough with its new SD drive to run KiCad and a second monitor without issue. I hope to upgrade to a new M1 sometime but nobody could really complain about a 10 year lifespan for a laptop that has been used for several hours every day.

I will be sad to say goodbye to my other Mac soon - that is stuck at 10.13.6 but is now 16 years old, so really doesn’t owe me anything. I have still managed to build relatively recent versions of KiCad nightly on this machine but it has become increasingly difficult. I feel the pain that the developers must have in trying to keep old versions supported!

So, even though support for earlier macOS versions may be removed, 10.15 will run well on really quite old hardware so it is not too restrictive. I don’t think this is quite so true of Windows, for instance. I do understand why the developers need to make a pragmatic decision to only support the most recent versions of macOS. If resources were infinite, it would be nice to have older os version support but that is unlikely to happen. Perhaps @Tiberiu_Vicol might be still working on (unsupported) builds for older macOS versions?

(And complaining to Apple is unlikely to cut much ice!)

10.14 is EOL by Apple in 2 months, the maintainer has made the determination trying to make the 10.15 build process compatible is not a worthwhile endeavor to spend on a obsoleted OS as per our development policies.

macOS 10.15 does not drop support for any mac devices which further reinforces the point.

If someone “third party” wants to make 10.14 builds, they are more than free to do so.

Homebrew’s OCC packages no longer exist for 10.14.

macOS 10.15 usn’t officially a requirement yet, but 10.14 is expected to no longer have Apple support within the next month or two.

If 10.15 is the new minimum requirement, that’s fine - 10.15 drops support for 5,1 Mac Pro’s and below, though it can be patched to make it work. Running 10.14 is convenient if you still have some 32-bit apps to run. There was just no official announcement (that I could find) that the nightly builds were moving to 10.15 only.

The headache that emerged was opencascade’s brew package went 10.15+ only. And in the macOS world we only have one packaging maintainer who wasn’t exactly going to start maintaining monstrous dependencies like opencascade himself.

So unfortunately the 10.15 change was abrupt and required to keep up with the Windows and Linux platforms where we have more manpower and in general, packaging is less difficult.

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