Download, Drag, and Drop
Download the current release (either Intel or PowerPC, depending on your architecture) from the download page.
Open the disk-image and drag Gnucash from there to your applications folder. If you want to retrieve stock prices from the web, double-click on Finance Quote Update. This will run a terminal application, even opening Terminal for you. It's a bit of a pain and requires that you have XCode installed. We're sorry about that, but we haven't been able to figure out a better way.
Upgrades: Same procedure: Download, drag, and drop. If, and only if you're upgrading from a version before 2.4.0, double click on Upgrade Dirs in the disk-image.
Readme: Be sure to read the Gnucash OSX Readme in the disk image. It has extra information about that particular release of Gnucash.
SQL Backends: The only SQL driver included with the downloadable version is for SQLite3, which creates a local file. If you really need to use a MySQL or Postgresql server you'll have to build the drivers yourself. Instructions may be found in Quartz Build page. (Remember that Gnucash is single-user even when connected to a database server. That means only one user can be connected to a database at a time.)
Instructions for building a complete Gnucash application, including bundling it for distribution, are at MacOSX/Quartz.
There are other ways to get Gnucash on your Mac. These instructions may be old, but the procedures haven't changed much.
Fink is a package-management tool making it easier to install all your favorite *nix tools and libraries under OS X. It's also the quickest and easiest way to get at least some version of GnuCash running on a PowerPC Mac (Intel Mac users see below.)
If you are using OS X 10.4 (Tiger) or earlier, you can install fink from a binary installer application see fink binary installer page for complete instructions. At the bottom of that page, there is information about getting the newest Xcode Tools from Apple. A version of Xcode tools came with your computer's system install DVD (or CD set), but you may want to get a newer version unless your system is relatively recent. You will need some version of Xcode Tools to install GnuCash 2.2.x from fink (see below).
If you are using OS X 10.5 (Leopard), then you will need to install fink from source. You will need to install Apple's Xcode Tools before you can install anything from source (aka: compiling). Be sure you have already installed Apple's Xcode Tools (it is on your Leopard DVD) before trying to install fink from source.
Note : as of november 2008, you can also use Fink binary installer package which is available on this page with OS 10.5 (Leopard). The Fink setup disk image contains another useful tool which is called FinkCommander. FinkCommander is a graphical user interface for the fink command line version. Simply drag the FinkCommander folder from the fink setup disk image to your Application folder. Xcode is yet absolutely necessary if you wish to install GnuCash 2.x packages that are only available as source code.
August 2009 I ran into trouble installing gnucash2 using finc. The compilation failed with this error:
i686-apple-darwin9-g++-4.0.1: /usr/X11/lib/libXrandr.2.0.0.dylib: No such file or directory
I found a solution here: http://www.nabble.com/Failed:-phase-compiling:-djvulibre-3.5.20-1001-failed-td16298018.html
Which boils down to the following command:
sudo ln -s /usr/X11/liblibXrandr.2.dylib /usr/X11/lib/libXrandr.2.0.0.dylib
Also I upgraded to the latest version of X11 here http://xquartz.macosforge.org/trac/wiki/X112.4.0
Note: as of 3 September 2009 this X11 installer doesn't work on Snow Leopard
Installing GnuCash-2.2 is more complicated, since the Fink package is not included in the binary distribution. So in addition to the basic install of Fink you need to turn on rsync or cvs updating. Note that the Fink package name for GnuCash-2.2.x is "gnucash2", and that this package is in the "crypto" category in Fink, rather than the "gnome" category as "gnucash" is. But all you have to do is type 'fink install gnucash2' in a terminal window, and fink will attempt to do all the right things. It will take some time to download all the files needed and then compile them. The first install will probably take several hours and require more than 2 GB of free space. Version upgrades after that should take less than 30 minutes.
Once fink finishes installing GnuCash, launch the program by typing 'gnucash' (not gnucash2) in an xterm window (all versions of Mac OS X) or in a normal terminal window (OS X 10.5.x).
The help files (fink package gnucash2-docs) do not work at the moment (March 24, 2008) because of a problem with the fink version of yelp (gnome help system).
Other sections on this page describe ways of obtaining GnuCash versions 2.0 and higher, but note that they all involve, directly or indirectly, downloading and compiling source code too.
Other Fink options
Further discussion of semi-manual ways to compile GnuCash using Fink tools can be found here. Most of that information is generally outdated since the availability of the gnucash2 package. However, it may still be useful in some cases, for example if you would like to use Fink in conjunction with compiling a version of GnuCash newer than any available in a Fink package.
MacPorts (formerly known as DarwinPorts) is another, parallel package manager for Mac OS X. All of the options discussed below are covered in more detail in MacOSX/MacPortsDetail.
The standard gnucash port in MacPorts was up-to-date with GnuCash-2.2.8 as of 2008-Dec-28. Therefore, installing the latest stable version of GnuCash consists simply of:
- Download and install MacPorts.
sudo port selfupdate
sudo port install gnucash# Note this takes quite a while
gnucashfrom an XTerm.
Moreover, note that MacPorts can now also handle the native quartz compilation of GnuCash, see MacOSX/MacPortsDetail.
Note that there is also a "development version" port of gnucash in the MacPorts system, called gnucash-devel. However it is significantly out of date as of December 2008, and it does not have an assigned maintainer, so the current recommendation is to stick with the release version described just above.
Even more bleeding edge
MacOSX/MacPortsDetail also includes instructions for compiling any GnuCash source distribution in the context of a MacPorts software installation.
If you encounter problems, please check the mailing list archives first and then, if your problem cannot be resolved based on the information found there, report it to the mailing list. Please do remember that GnuCash developers are volunteers and are not responsible for your computer; as such, your help (in the form of exhausting readily available resources before asking for help and in asking for help in a clear manner) is appreciated.