On walkabout in life and technology

Open Source Compiles in an Xcode 5.1 World

So today I needed to work on an older, open-source based C++ application on my Mac and there was no way to compile it under Xcode 5 even though the development tools were installed and working perfectly.

The issue, it seems, is that Xcode 5.1 has finally removed and deprecated a lot of old C++ stuff that is still required by older, popular libraries such as boost and quickfix. It emulates g++ 4.2.1 OK, but is no longer 100% compatible with it. I am quite sure that Apple and the Open Source community will eventually get these to work with the new compiler.

But I needed it now. And no end of futzing with compiler options and paths would work.

Fortunately, you can run Xcode 4 side-by-side with Xcode 5.1 on OS X Mavericks. And Xcode 4 comes with a real g++ 4.2.1 which does contain the deprecated code and compatibility.

To get this to work, download Xcode 4.6.3 from Apple Developer downloads. Once downloaded, drag and drop the Xcode install onto your Desktop (not applications) and rename it Xcode4. Then drag the renamed application to your Applications folder. You now have Xcode 5.1 (named Xcode) and Xcode 4.6.3 (named Xcode4) side by side.

To make things easier, Apple has provided the xcode-select command to enable you to choose which Xcode install is the one used in system compiles or from the command-line.

To use Xcode 4 and the older g++, just select Xcode 4:

sudo xcode-select -s /Applications/Xcode4.app/Contents/Developer

Running g++ -v gives me:

Using built-in specs.
Target: i686-apple-darwin11
Configured with: /private/var/tmp/llvmgcc42/llvmgcc42-2336.11~182/src/configure --disable-checking --enable-werror --prefix=/Applications/Xcode.app/Contents/Developer/usr/llvm-gcc-4.2 --mandir=/share/man --enable-languages=c,objc,c++,obj-c++ --program-prefix=llvm- --program-transform-name=/^[cg][^.-]*$/s/$/-4.2/ --with-slibdir=/usr/lib --build=i686-apple-darwin11 --enable-llvm=/private/var/tmp/llvmgcc42/llvmgcc42-2336.11~182/dst-llvmCore/Developer/usr/local --program-prefix=i686-apple-darwin11- --host=x86_64-apple-darwin11 --target=i686-apple-darwin11 --with-gxx-include-dir=/usr/include/c++/4.2.1
Thread model: posix
gcc version 4.2.1 (Based on Apple Inc. build 5658) (LLVM build 2336.11.00)

To use Xcode 5 and the new LLVM/Clang g++, just select Xcode 5:

sudo xcode-select -s /Applications/Xcode.app/Contents/Developer

Running g++ -v now gives:

Configured with: --prefix=/Applications/Xcode.app/Contents/Developer/usr --with-gxx-include-dir=/usr/include/c++/4.2.1
Apple LLVM version 5.1 (clang-503.0.38) (based on LLVM 3.4svn)
Target: x86_64-apple-darwin13.1.0
Thread model: posix

To simplify the process, I added the following to my ~/.bash_profile:

# Switch xcodes
alias setxcode4="sudo xcode-select -s /Applications/Xcode4.app/Contents/Developer"
alias setxcode5="sudo xcode-select -s /Applications/Xcode.app/Contents/Developer"

Now all I have to do is type




And my password to switch environments.

With both environments installed and a quick command, you too can work on old code using the old g++ compiler, and switch back to Xcode 5 and llvm/clang for newer projects.

Follow the author as @hiltmon on Twitter and @hiltmon on App.Net. Mute #xpost on one.