RKWard on macOS


Developer access to Mac computers is still limited for the main contributors. While RKWard is thought to work reasonably well on Mac OS X, we want to encourage you to send feedback to our mailing lists, be it success stories or bug reports, because without it is hard improve our support for this operating system in the future!

Installing RKWard version 0.7.2


Installation procedure

We hope to find a way to make gatekeeper accept RKWard out of the box. Currently the installation procedure is as follows:

  1. Download the installer from https://download.kde.org/stable/rkward/0.7.2/mac/rkward-0.7.2-OSX-10.13.dmg.
  2. Drag the downloaded DMG to your Desktop (or some other location on your harddrive)
  3. Right-click / Ctrl-click on the DMG, and select Open. Drag RKWard to Applications. When warned that “Apple cannot check it for malicious software”, click “Open”.
  4. The first time you start RKWard, you have to start it from Finder: Go to “/Applications”, right-click / ctrl-click on RKWard and select “Open”. When warned that “Apple cannot check it for malicious software”, click “Open”, again.
  5. On subsequent runs, you can start RKWard from Launchpad.

Installing development snapshots

Nightly builds of RKWard are available at https://binary-factory.kde.org/job/RKWard_Nightly_macos/. At the time of this writing, these have the same requirements and installation procedure as the 0.7.1 version.

These packages are built automatically, and have not received any human testing. Back up your data before use!

Installing RKWard version 0.7.0


Installing using the precompiled binary bundle

We’ve used the MacPort of RKWard to precompile installation bundles wich include all needed KDE libraries and RKWard (currently only for Mac OS X El Capitan (10.11) or above):

These bundles do not include R, which means you need to install the appropriate version of R from CRAN first (make sure the RKWard bundle you install matches this R version, as is said in the bundle’s file name: “*needs_CRAN_R-*"). The bundle is still work in progress, but it has been tested and is reported to run on various machines. A screencast of the installation is available [here](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2t4zUOlgPG8).

Note: You might be prompted the installer doesn’t come from a trusted source. After you confirmed you would like to install it anyway, OS X/macOS should remember this decision, but there have been cases where the installer needed to be started from the beginning again.

If you use this bundle package, please send us feedback, be it a short success notice or a bug report. We rely on this simple feedback for the further development of this port!

Uninstalling the bundle

To uninstall RKWard, drag the app from your Applications to Trash. An uninstaller dialog should pop up and offer to remove the app completely (do a quick check that it offers to remove /opt/rkward). Alternatively, you can also run the uninstaller directly from your personal Applications folder (in your user’s home directory).

If you don’t want to use the uninstaller, you can also remove RKWard manually by following the instructions on uninstalling the MacPorts source installation.

Installing from source using MacPorts

Out of date. Current versions of RKWard are built using “Craft”. Instructions to be written.

The MacPorts project offers up-to-date KDE packages for Mac OS X, so at the moment it is considered the preferred method over fink (see earlier revisions of this page). A screencast of the process is available here.

When is this preferable over the binary bundle?

Because the bundling process currently involves a lot of manual steps, we can only release new binary bundles every now and then. If you need or want to check out the latest development version of RKWard, e.g., to test new features or fixes, installing the latest port is the preferred method for Mac users. However, you should not mix both installation types, allthough the bundle should not interfere with MacPorts in general.


  1. Install all requirements for the MacPorts software. Please make sure you have a recent version of XCode installed and take care of keeping it up-to-date, because some ports will not compile otherwise. In case you have more than one installation of XCode on your system, make sure to set one (probably the latest) as the default, because confusion about the gcc compilers available can mess up the build. A symptom for this might be failing builds of certain ports later on. If this is the case, use xcode-select to set the default before installing MacPorts, e.g.: xcode-select -switch /Applications/Xcode.app/Contents/Developer
  2. The currently recommended method is to use the build script from RKWard’s most recent source distribution. It can setup your machine, install MacPorts and then one of the supported RKWard ports with all its dependencies. We do recommend this way because the script offers the most recent build process, which is sometimes ahead of this wiki page, and it’s also the method we use to build and bundle RKWard for OS X. Be aware that by default the script installs everything to /opt/rkward, which is not the MacPorts default path! Do not use the script if you’re already using MacPorts! In that case, try the official RKWard port instead. To proceed, open a terminal and follow these steps:
  1. Fetch the latest version of the build script and make it executable: curl https://cgit.kde.org/rkward.git/plain/macports/update_bundle.sh -o update_bundle.sh chmod +x update_bundle.sh
  2. Run the script without arguments to get a list of all options: ./update_bundle.sh
  3. As you can see on top of the output, there’s a small step-by-step guide to get you started. These are the most usual steps: ./update_bundle.sh -G # setup the basic build environment ./update_bundle.sh -F 2.4.2 # install MacPorts version 2.4.2 (replace with the most recent version!) ./update_bundle.sh -Q # build Qt and macOS integration for KF5 Be aware that especially the last step can take many, many hours to compile – depending on your CPU, even days!

All further needed software packages (KF5 and possibly R) will be installed with the RKWard port automatically, so you should need no additional preparations. You can now actually remove the script you downloaded, because the -G option saved a copy to ~/bin and added it to your path.

Building RKWard

This step also only takes one call in a terminal, but a lot of time to finish. With the steps described above you have prepared MacPorts to build the package.

The script allows you to decide whether you would like to build against a present installation of R from CRAN, or use MacPorts version of R. You can also choose between the latest stable release of RKWard or the current development snapshot (meaning: this is the bleeding edge approach!) etc. To install RKWard stable with CRAN R, call the script with these options: ~/bin/update_bundle.sh -r -D0 # build RKWard, -D0 deactivates the default development version

If, on the other hand, you want to install the official port from a standard MacPorts installation, you should use this command: sudo port -v install rkward

Running RKWard

If the compilation and installation finished successfully, you should now find RKWard in your Applications menu.

Uninstalling RKWard

If you installed RKWard using the installer package, your installation should include an uninstaller which either pops up when you drag the app to Trash, or can be started manually from your user’s Application menu.

For the manual MacPorts builds, there is no genuine uninstall routine yet. But to remove it again from your system, all you need to do is to remove two directories:

sudo rm -rf /Applications/RKWard
sudo rm -rf /opt/rkward

Note: Of course, in case you have saved anything manually to these folders since installation, backup your data first – and be careful with rm -rf!

Alternatively, you can also have this done by the build script to wipe RKWard from your system: ~/bin/update_bundle.sh -X

Using the script will also clean up some symlinks that were created for KDE services during installation. Removing RKWard manually will leave these symbolic links. They will do no harm, since you’ve just removed their targets. However, if you’re certain you’re not running KDE services anymore, you can also clean those up manually: sudo rm /Library/LaunchDaemons/org.freedesktop.dbus-system.plist sudo rm /Library/LaunchDaemons/org.freedesktop.avahi-daemon.plist sudo rm /Library/LaunchDaemons/org.freedesktop.avahi-dnsconfd.plist sudo rm /Library/LaunchAgents/org.freedesktop.dbus-session.plist sudo rm /Library/LaunchAgents/org.macports.kdecache.plist

Note: To be safe here, first check with ls -l /Library/LaunchDaemons and ls -l /Library/LaunchAgents that these links are really dead and associated with files in /opt/rkward!


Again: Some detail or other of the above instructions is probably just wrong. If / when you get an error, please don’t give up. Send us a mail, and we will talk you through. BTW: If you figured out the remaining details all by yourself: Great! But please drop us a note as well, so we can provide more accurate instructions in the future.

RKWard crashes on start

Possible solution no. 1: Your KDE setup is probably not ready, most likely dbus is not running. Before you can start any KDE software, you first need to run the following commands once: sudo launchctl load -w /Library/LaunchDaemons/org.freedesktop.dbus-system.plist launchctl load -w /Library/LaunchAgents/org.freedesktop.dbus-session.plist

Possible solution no. 2: You had installed R from another source before, RKWard picks the wrong one and doesn’t find its own R package(s). If possible, remove the older R installation first.

Language is always english

Possible solution: If the LANG variable is not set in the environment RKWard is started, you will always get the english interface. To change that, e.g. into german, you can also use launchctl, before you start RKWard: launchctl setenv LANG de_DE.UTF-8 This setting takes effect immediately, but won’t survive a reboot. A more permanent solution is to set this environment variable for your user account by creating or adding to the file~/.MacOSX/environment.plist:

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