Setting up the Developer Environment

Developer Environment Setup

Developing for ravynOS requires a running ravynOS system to build on. Please make sure your hardware meets the Hardware Requirements.

Installing from the Live USB (or CD)

This will result in a full ravynOS system including the default apps. There is a new AppKit-based installer available since Tanuki 0.3.0, Install The legacy Install is also still present as a backup. It will be removed once the new installer is more hardened.

Install has some problems and may not work for you. The best environment seems to be a non-UEFI system ('Legacy' boot) and SATA disk, which breaks the ravynOS requirement for UEFI. It will also create different ZFS pools and may not upgrade cleanly to future releases.


Once you have the system installed, you'll need a few essentials. Most of what you need will be pre-installed but check out the ravynOS package repo for extra tools with pkg search and pkg install.

For code editing, the default tool is /Applications/ It's not exactly Xcode but it's pretty good and has nice color schemes. A reasonable can be found in /Applications/Utilities and Firefox is pre-installed in /Applications.

ravynOS builds most things with Unix Makefiles. See the source repos for some examples. In particular, the include fragments and are available to help build App and Framework Bundles respectively. CMake also knows how to build App Bundles and Makefiles (opens in a new tab) can be convinced to build a MacOS bundle and Info.plist (on ravynOS) which is then easily converted to an ravynOS bundle.

If you have a Mac, Xcode can be used to build the UI for Objective-C AppKit apps. Compile the project, locate the *.nib files it produces (not the *.xib in your source tree!) and copy those to ravynOS along with the source code. It may just build & run but you will likely have to tweak a few selectors or some retain or autorelease calls. ravynOS's AppKit and Foundation trail behind the latest available APIs.

Another option is to use plain C or C++ with CoreFoundation, CoreGraphics, etc or with Qt 5. Java SDK 17 is also available in /Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines.


Swift is not supported yet.