Open Motif for Mac

This page provides downloadable Open Motif (32-bit and 64-bit) packages, suitable for use on the Mac (Intel processors). Two types of package are provided. The first just contain the static Motif library, libXm.a. This is the only Motif component required by X/Winteracter for development on the Mac.

These are the versions of Open Motif which we recommend for use with the current Mac versions of X/Winteracter. They were built from the standard 2.3.6 Open Motif source distribution, but patched to overcome Motif incompatibilities introduced in the XQuartz X server at both of its 2.7.9 and 2.7.10 releases.

I.S.S. has successfully tested applications built with the 64-bit library on OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) and 10.11 (El Capitan). Applications built with the 32-bit library have been successfully tested on Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) and OS X 10.9 (Mavericks).

Wherever you extract the Open Motif files, we recommend creating a symbolic link called /usr/local/OpenMotif (32-bit) or /usr/local/OpenMotif64 (64-bit), e.g.

  sudo ln -s $HOME/motif-2.3.6 /usr/local/OpenMotif
  sudo ln -s $HOME/motif-2.3.6 /usr/local/OpenMotif64

Note: In versions prior to 10.10d, we recommended creating the OpenMotif or OpenMotif64 symbolic link in /usr, rather than /usr/local, but that recommendation was not compatible with System Integrity Protection, as introduced in OS X El Capitan. As of 10.10d, the supplied documentation and tools therefore now assume that Open Motif is located in /usr/local rather than /usr.

For completeness, the packages from which the above static libraries originate are also provided below. These packages were built by Interactive Software Services Ltd. We made minor modifications to the standard 2.3.6 sources to allow it to build on the Mac and to overcome XQuartz issues noted above (see CHANGES in the full 2.3.6 archive).

As noted above, X/Winteracter users only need to download the static library package. They do not need to download either of the above full packages, which are provided here to fulfil the terms of the Open Group Public License. All of the above packages are made available here according to the terms of that licence.


These packages are provided here primarily for the benefit of our Mac X/Winteracter customers, but are freely available to anyone to download. They are provided on an "as is" basis with no warranty. I.S.S. is unable to offer technical support for these packages. We offer no endorsement for these package other than that specifically stated above.

This disclaimer does not affect any entitlement of I.S.S. customers to support for X/Winteracter on the Mac when used in combination with these packages.