I've installed byobu in Mac OS X 10.6.5. It will start, (i.e. it will start a screen session) but in order to run byobu-config and probably in order to do some other things I need a module called snack which apparently is part of python newt.

pip search newt and pip search snack return no results. newt and snack aren't in MacPorts or Brew either.

I haven't found anything online in my searching with respect to installing newt on Mac OS X.

Has anyone else been able to install byobu and newt in Mac OS X?

2 Answers 2



sudo port install libnewt

After that, you may need to add /opt/local/lib/python2.6/site-packages to PYTHONPATH as follows,

export PYTHONPATH=/opt/local/lib/python2.6/site-packages/


setenv PYTHONPATH /opt/local/lib/python2.6/site-packages/
  • Any way to do this with homebrew?
    – acjay
    Commented Sep 11, 2012 at 9:38
  • You want brew install newt. Should happen by default with an up-to-date byobu formula.
    – jrhorn424
    Commented Jul 17, 2013 at 0:01
  • @jrhorn424 newt is installed for me, but I still cant find snack
    – Karthik T
    Commented Aug 2, 2013 at 2:58
  • I don't recall how I got this to work, but I do know that I reinstalled brew python and brew python3 at some point, and I also removed the system and brew python executables from my search path. Very likely re-installed byobu as well. Have you tried brew install [newt|byobu] --with-python? I don't know the spec for formulas well enough to tell which actually needs that flag.
    – jrhorn424
    Commented Aug 5, 2013 at 17:42

There's currently an annoying issue where the newt Homebrew package is not correctly building the Python extensions, see Homebrew/homebrew-core PR#37479: Fix newt python detection on mojave. Either build the newt package from that PR, or have a look at the discussion on that PR for a workaround.

Essentially, it boils down to adding a patch similar to this to the Homebrew formula for newt:

     inreplace "configure", "ls /usr/include/python*/Python.h", "find /System/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/ -name 'Python.h'"

... or building newt from the latest source code and running ./configure ... --with-python=python2.7 (why Python2.7? I didn't check myself if byobu-config was Python3 compliant, but the Arch Linux AUR PKGBUILD specifies Python2 as a dependency.).

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