This lists a few things physicists might want to install after installing OS X from scratch. It contains particular instructions for some packages to ease the process, though a warning is in place since the instructions could vary for other versions of the packages - consider this a guide and don't follow blindly!

Things you might want to install

Note that the order in which these programs are mentioned might matter. For some of the things installed via MacPorts (i.e. via the port command), you might want to first check if there is a newer version (by doing port search ).

  • MacPorts: download the OS X installer package from the webpage
  • Xcode: via the App Store.
  • cmake: via MacPorts, i.e. in a terminal window just do sudo port install cmake.
  • gfortran: seems to not be available through MacPorts at the moment, but there are binaries to download here - just download and run the installer.
  • HepMC: make a dir where you want to install the built package (here /Applications/hepmc/) and a temporary one where you build it (here ~/Downloads/HepMC-2.06.09-build/), then execute the following commands:
      cmake -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/Applications/hepmc/ -Dmomentum:STRING=MEV -Dlength:STRING=MM /Users/cohm/Downloads/HepMC-2.06.09/
      make test
      make install
  • PCRE: needed by SWIG below. Usual ./configure, make, make check, (sudo) make install procedure to install.
  • SWIG: python-wrapper generator package needed for installing (at least) LHAPDF below. Usual ./configure, make, make check, make install procedure applies.
  • LHAPDF: download, untar and run ./configure, make, make install
  • FastJet: download from, then do the usual ./configure --prefix=/Applications/fastjet-3.0.3/ && make && make check && make install
  • Pythia8: to enable HepMC output etc, configure like this ./configure --enable-shared --with-hepmc=/Applications/hepmc/ --with-hepmcversion=2.06.08 and then make.
  • ROOT: Configuring like this enables the TPythia8 features: ./configure --enable-roofit --enable-cxx11 --enable-cocoa --with-pythia8-libdir=/Applications/pythia8165/lib/ --with-pythia8-incdir=/Applications/pythia8165/include/, then make like normal (should figure out how to build ROOT with cmake at some point...)
The below packages don't depend on the above (I think):
  • PyFeyn (for drawing beautiful Feynman diagrams in python): you need the PyX library. Download it, untar it and run sudo python install in the directory to install system-wide (might want to read the README first). You also need the LaTeX packages maybemath, hepparticles and hepnames, install them by doing sudo tlmgr install pkgname. Then download and untar PyFeyn itself and run python install in the created directory to install system-wide.
  • impress!ve (OpenGL-based python tool for showing presentations in a nice way): sudo port install py26-impressive
  • OpenAFS: use installer from their webpage.

Other tweaks


Install the certificates from In the Keychain Access, right-click your personal certificate and add an identity preference for "" and "". Now you can use the certificate for the CERN SSO, i.e. for twiki pages etc.


There are som nice tweaks here.


You can authenticate yourself at CERN using Kerberos. This means you can e.g. access your AFS home directory natively in Finder and in the Terminal. Some instructions here. For me, putting the below lines into ~/.ssh/config allows me to just do kinit cohm@CERN.CH and log in without password to lxplus:
 GSSAPIAuthentication yes
 GSSAPIDelegateCredentials yes
 Protocol 2
 ForwardX11 no

Host lx*
 GSSAPIAuthentication yes
 GSSAPIDelegateCredentials yes
 GSSAPITrustDns yes
 Protocol 2
 ForwardX11 no


For Athena offline development without a network connection etc, CernVM is what you want. The ATLAS instructions for setting this up is on this twiki.

-- ChristianOhm - 30-May-2012

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