How to load Inkscape on a Macbook pro


I am trying to load Inkscape on my relatively new to me Macbook. I am not very tech savy and not very familiar with this computer either. I have been following the steps and installed xcode and macports but can not figure out how to install inkscape. The link on the inkscape page is taking me to Github. Anyone out there who knows how to get Inkscape loaded on a Macbook that can help walk me through the process?


If you’ve got MacPorts installed what error do you get when you try?
sudo port install inkscape


When I put that command in it took me to a git sight. I am not sure I am even putting it in the right place. How do you get to the terminal window? I do not think I am putting the command in the right place.

Thanks so much for your help!



Thank you! That is very helpful! Now it wants a password but will not let me type it in. I will keep trying. Thanks so much for the very helpful video!


It’s been a while since I’ve sudo’d on Mac terminal, but if it’s like Linux, it IS allowing typing the password, but no output is reflected to the screen. This is ‘normal’ in *NIX command prompt environment.


Thanks. You are absolutely correct. I am still having issues but think it is security settings as this computer was from an old job of my husband’s. They did not ask him to return it but think it has security blocking me. I think I might be out of luck. Thanks for your help.


I refused to give up and think I have it loaded! Thanks for all the help!


Late to the game, but thought I’d say good luck!
Step 1: pour a large, heavy, stout beer

Macports is the ticket, but I don’t remember the magic sauce that got it to work


Thanks. If you remember the magic sauce let me know because it is not really loaded on my computer. Thankful for the use of a community lap top tonight so I could take the class I was signed up for.


I need to install it on a new Mac myself… I’ll see if I can figure it out


Good luck! Please let me know if you succeed.


Another option, not quite as good as a local copy but will let you use the program (and a bunch of others), is using the jump server at


I managed to get it loaded tonight. I’m on Mojave (10.14.3) so your instructions may vary.

Step 1: Install MacPorts (Instructions at

  • 1a: Install Xcode from the App Store.
  • 1b: Install Xcode Command Line tools in Terminal (xcode-select --install)
  • 1c: Agree to Xcode license in Terminal (sudo xcodebuild -license)
  • 1d: Download and install the MacPorts .pkg file (link in instructions page above)

Step 2: Use MacPorts command line to install X11 (sudo port install xorg-server) (Get some coffee… this will take a while.)

Step 3: Use MacPorts command line to install Inkscape (sudo port install inkscape) (Refill that coffee…)

Step 4: REBOOT.

Step 5: Launch the X11 application (Should be in your LaunchPad or your Applications\MacPorts folder)

Step 6: In the Applications menu of X11, select Customize… (If you are using Dark Mode, the window that opens will not display properly… Go to System Preferences -> General to set Light Appearance.)

  • 6a: Click Add Item.
  • 6b: Double click in the Name field of the newly inserted row and type “Inkscape”
  • 6c: Tab to the Command field and type “inkscape”
  • 6d: Tab to the Shortcut field and type “i”
  • 6e: Close that window.

Step 7: Each time you want to run Inkscape, launch X11 first, then select Inkscape from the Application menu or use the Command+i shortcut with X11 as the active program.


Your mileage may vary!


Use a packaged installer?

I cannot see requiring most users to have to build stuff from the source code.


If a proper packaged installer is available to be found for your version of OSX, that’s the way to go. As far as I can tell, the only way to install on OSX 10.13 and newer is source code builds, or MacPorts as the “package manager,” but that’s just automating the source code build.

Apple’s open-source approach - or barriers… - is pretty frustrating…


Thanks Adam. I will try this if I can not get it loaded.


I think what I loaded might be source code. I am not savy enough to figure it out from there.


Thanks! There are steps here I did not do and were not on the list on Inkscape’s site. I have a different OS, but sure I can figure out the right version since that was clear on the site. I will probably try to tackle this tomorrow when i have more time.


I’d suggest not going through the headache that’s macports and just using homebrew: