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I need to use some piece of software for a school project: the NEAT package.

This package is intended for linux use though, and I'm on a mac.

I know I could use Virtualbox to emulate a Linux distro in my mac, but that would skip past the point of me using a mac in the first place.

That's why I want to try and compile/use this software on my Mac. Since I'm working on OS X, which is UNIX-based I was wondering if it would be possible to do this.

I see there's a cmake file present in the directory, which might enable me to compile it after all?

Let me point out that I've never ever compiled a piece of software before (using make, configure, etc.) so don't shoot me if this sounds like a stupid question.

Perhaps I could just use the c++ files, I don't know. I don't even know what the program will look like. Is it just a bunch of c++ headers that are put somewhere so that I can use them? Or is it a genuine GUI app?

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but that would skip past the point of me using a mac in the first place. I didn't know macs were used to universally run all programs. D: – Rob Sep 21 '11 at 14:30
@Rob, what I meant was: if I can run it on a mac, I'd prefer to do so. This because I'm already familiar with everything that's on it and I've already configured everything to my liking. If my mac won't run, I'll be forced to do otherwise of course. – romeovs Sep 21 '11 at 14:32
up vote 3 down vote accepted

It all depends on how portable the developers made their program. Unix is not GNU/Linux and therefore not all programs will compile that easily on a Mac as they would on a typical Linux system. Expect developers to be lazy – some might even try to compile their code on Windows and Ubuntu only.

How to install NEAT C++

However, this one's relatively easy.

  1. Download and install XCode if you haven't already (the OS X developer tools from the Mac App Store, by registering on Apple Connect or the disk included with your Mac if it's an older one)
  2. Download the NEAT source code
  3. Open up a Terminal, cd to the download directory
  4. Enter make. Wait a bit. The software will compile now.
  5. Run the binary with ./neat (here, "p2nv" is just an example file provided).

How to install other applications

Other applications might need a configuration step before. Usually, the procedure is outlined in a file called README or INSTALL. Just follow the instructions there.

In most cases, compiling a program should be as easy as:

  • ./configure (optional)
  • make
  • make install (optional)
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