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Prefix/Darwin brings the power of Gentoo to Darwin (macOS/OS X) based systems, similar to pkgsrc, macports, and homebrew.


  • macOS follows the normal bootstrap procedure
  • Bootstraps currently done via GCC (DARWIN_USE_GCC=1 is set by default)
    • host/Apple Clang from xcode tools is used then GCC is built as soon as possible
    • Using GCC as the "system" compiler within Prefix has problems
    • We use the system (host) linker because we can't build Apple's linker independently within our prefix without Clang, because it uses Blocks
  • Possibility of bootstrapping via Clang (DARWIN_USE_GCC=0)
    • It's possible but doesn't work yet!
    • Needs some work to get sysroot, SDK paths right. See what e.g. macports does for hints.
    • bug #758167 is the meta bug for this work.
    • Help very much welcome!
      • To attempt a full bootstrap using Clang (this won't work yet, but it'll do something): DARWIN_USE_GCC=0 ./
      • Suggestion: start with trying to build Clang, LLVM, and friends within a fully-built working GCC-bootstrapped Prefix and go from there
      • Suggestion: look at macports patches



M1 macs, etc.

Cannot currently be bootstrapped:

  • Waiting for GCC support to be merged upstream and in a release (GCC 12?)
  • With a snapshot of the GCC fork/branch, we can get a bit further, but bootstrapping doesn't complete.


Works okay!


Still somewhat supported as the supported OS versions age.



Support was dropped recently due to lack of interest, but could be restored with a sponsor/cheerleader.