JP van Oosten

FBB software (bobcat & bisonc++) on the mac

Jul 23, 2011

Installing software by Frank Brokken (FBB) on the mac used to be a bit of a hassle. The build software is somewhat tailored to Linux (specifically Debian). However, with homebrew installation on the mac is now almost as convenient as on Debian. I have prepared some formulae (that’s what homebrew calls packages) for icmake, yodl, bobcat and bisonc++.

There are two ways to install these packages: either by providing the URL of each formula on the command line to brew install (in the correct order), or by downloading the formula in /usr/local/Library/Formula (or whatever brew --prefix tells you instead of /usr/local) and then issuing brew install bisonc++.

Either way, you will first have to install a recent g++. You can find a formula for gcc4.6 on github (mirror), which you can install with:

brew install --use-gcc --enable-cxx

The --use-gcc option is required because by default homebrew will try to compile using the llvm-gcc compiler. The --enable-cxx makes sure g++-4.6 will also be installed. Compiling gcc will take some time though. On my machine (a MacBook, 2.2Ghz Core 2 Duo) it took about 50 minutes.

Then you can proceed to install Frank’s packages:

brew install
brew install
brew install
brew install


cd `brew --prefix`/Library/Formula
brew install bisonc++

Either way, you can find my formula to Frank’s packages here:

After installation, every package is installed into it’s own ‘keg’ in /usr/local/Cellar/ and symlinked into /usr/local/bin. With homebrew you can easily remove the packages if needed.

Hope this is useful for somebody. If you have any comments or questions, you can reach me by the address found below, or just poke me on twitter.

(Thanks to Jelmer, Thieme and Jakob for reporting some issues with the Formulae. They should be fixed now.)