RKWard on Mac

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Unfortunately, access to a Mac is limited for the main contributors, so we are still figuring out a complete step-by-step guide and do need your help. If you would like to give this a try, please do! You are likely to run into a problem, here or there, but we are very much willing to talk you through those, and we are confident that RKWard on Mac is just a few steps away.

Please take the outline below as a rough guide of the required steps. If one of the steps is unclear, or simply does not work, let us know, and we will find a solution.

Installing using MacPorts

The MacPorts project seems to offer the more up-to-date KDE packages for MacOS, so at the moment it is considered the preferred method over fink. However, it will install an Aqua based version of KDE, and as of now, RKWard will not be able to capture the graphic devices. That is, most of RKWard's advanced graphics features are missing here, as they still lack support for Aqua. The rest of the application should be operational, though.


  1. Install the MacPorts software. As the instrunctions tell, you need XCode installed as well. When you do or try to upgrade, make sure no previous installation of XCode is lying around, because it can mess up the build with confusion about the gcc compilers available. A symptom for this might be failing builds of certain ports later on. Look for old "/Developer-X.Y" entries and check if you need to remove them, e.g.:
    sudo /Developer-3.2/Library/uninstall-devtools --mode=all   # be aware that this will *uninstall* XCode 3.2 completely!
  2. As of now, the rkward portfile is under development and not yet available as an official part of MacPorts (meaning: this is the bleeding edge approach!). Therefore, you need to tell MacPorts to use it nonetheless manually. Open a terminal and follow these steps:
    1. Create a new directory for the portfile, e.g.
      mkdir -p /Users/<your_username>/software/ports/
    2. Get the recent portfile and create the neccessary portfile index:
      cd /Users/<your_username>/software/ports/
      svn co http://rkward.svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/rkward/trunk/rkward/macports/ .
    3. Add this portfile location to the MacPorts configuration. This example uses the nano editor, but of course any other text editor will do, too:
      sudo nano /opt/local/etc/macports/macports.conf
      Find the line containing "rsync://rsync.macports.org/... [default]", and add this line directly above that:
    4. And finally, update your port database:
      sudo port selfupdate

All further needed software packages (KDE and R) will be installed with the RKWard port automatically, so you should need no additional preparations.

Building RKWard

This step should take only one command in a terminal, but a lot of time to finish (depending on your CPU, it could even take days!):

sudo port -v install rkward-devel

Running RKWard

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

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

You might also notice that the LANG variable is not set in the environment RKWard is started, i.e. you will always get the english interface. To change that, e.g. into german, you can also use launchctl:

launchctl setenv LANG de_DE.UTF-8

Installing using fink


  1. You need an existing installation of R (2.9.0 or higher). http://www.r-project.org/ has binaries for MacOS, and you will likely use the latest available binary installer.
  2. For KDE4, follow this procedure (taken from http://mac.kde.org):
    1. Install Fink: http://www.finkproject.org/download/index.php
    2. Open a Terminal
    3. Enable the "unstable" distribution:
      fink configure
    4. Update Fink:
      fink selfupdate      # This will take a while to complete
    5. Finally, install kdelibs and some needed packages. Currently it is important to use the X11 versions, RKWard will not work with the native versions, yet:
      fink install kdebase4-x11        # This will take a *long* time to complete
      fink install svn                 # if you do not have svn, already


  • Fink also provides an R package, but this seems to be very old, thus it is recommended to install the official binary from http://www.r-project.org, as detailed above. After installation, you should have a console version of R at /usr/bin/R .

Building RKWard

Next fetch the latest SVN sources:

 svn co http://rkward.svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/rkward/trunk rkward_trunk

The remainder of the process should work as detailed at Building RKWard From Source. These commands will hopefully do the trick:

 cd rkward_trunk/rkward;  # the directory with the svn checkout
 mkdir build; cd build
 . /sw/sbin/kde4-buildenv.sh    # this sets some environment variables needed for building; we assume your fink base is "/sw".
 cmake .. -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=`kde4-config --prefix`
 sudo make install

This should be all!

Running RKWard

For some reason fink places the KDE binaries in a rather hidden place, which is not in the path by default. If you have done everything as described above, rkward will be at



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.

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