Howto install Spyder 1.x on Mac OS X with 64bit Python

As I searched my way through the Eric4 installation process, I thought, if I could Spyder 1.x get working on Mac OS X 10.6.
Spyder is another Python IDE with advanced editing, interactive testing, debugging and introspection features. Usecases include e.g. scientific computing thanks to NumPy (linear algebra), SciPy (signal and image processing), matplotlib (interactive 2D/3D plotting) and MayaVi’s mlab (interactive 3D visualization) support.

Since its build with PyQt and QScintilla, the install procedure is very similar to the one with Eric4.

O. Prerequisite

Take care you don’t have stripped PowerPC/Non-Intel-elements out of your system or Xcode with tools like Monolingual or the like. I constantly got errors configuring and compiling SIP/QScintilla/PyQt and thus failed installing PyQt.

Also take care, you have Xcode installed. You get it from your Snow Leopard install dvd or from

1. SciPy Superpack

Download the SciPy Superpack for Mac OS X 10.6 from
Then in Terminal type:

$ sh

It will ask to install Fortran, type ‚y‘ if it is not installed yet
‚It then automatically downloads and installs SciPy, NumPy, Matplotlib, PyMC, iPython.

2. Pyflakes

Download it from

$ tar -xvzpf pyflakes-0.4.0.tar.gz $ cd pyflakes-0.4.0 $ sudo python install

3. Qt4.6 / 4.7 RC

Download the current Qt for Mac from or the (at least for now) release candidate of Qt4.7 .
Install it like every other Mac Os X package.

4. SIP

Download the latest version or a development snapshot from
In Terminal:

$ tar -xvzpf sip-4.11-snapshot-c38d259c1879.tar.gz $ cd sip-4.11-snapshot-c38d259c1879 $ export MACOSX_DEPLOYMENT_TARGET=10.6 $ python -n --arch=x86_64 -s MacOSX10.6.sdk $ make $ sudo make install

5. QScintilla

Download the latest version or a development snapshot from

$ tar -xvzpf QScintilla-gpl-snapshot-2.4.5-80afe6b1504a.tar.gz $ cd QScintilla-gpl-snapshot-2.4.5-80afe6b1504a $ cd Qt4 $ qmake -spec macx-g++ $ make $ sudo make install

6. PyQt

Download the latest version or a development snapshot from

$ tar -xvzpf PyQt-mac-gpl-snapshot-4.7.5-7088e9094087.tar.gz $ cd PyQt-mac-gpl-snapshot-4.7.5-7088e9094087 $ export QTDIR=/Developer/Applications/Qt $ python --use-arch=x86_64 (accept liense typing 'yes') $ make $ sudo make install

7. QScintilla Python bindings

Go back to the QScintilla folder to install the Python bindings.

$ cd QScintilla-gpl-snapshot-2.4.5-80afe6b1504a/Python $ python $ make $ sudo make install

8. Spyder

Download from

$ tar -xvzpf spyder-1.1.4.tar.gz $ cd spyder-1.1.4 $ sudo python install

You can run it by typing in terminal

$ spider

9. Spyder App

This is just a workaround, but at least it enables you to start Spyder „the Mac way“ by clicking an .app or via spotlight.
Just open AppleScript-Editor, paste the following line to it:

$ do shell script "python /Library/Python/2.6/site-packages/spyder-1.1.4-py2.6.egg/spyderlib/"

and save it as e.g. ‚‘ by choosing format: Application/Program.
Afterwards you can of course still change the icon by right-click –> ’show package content‘, and replacing ‚applet.icns‘ by an icon of your choice. Of course this way Spyder is no standalone app.

Another approach is to use PyInstaller. It seems to still have it quirks on Mac OS X, but there are some workarounds. I haven’t tested it myself, but this site describes exactly all the necessary steps to build a standalone app with PyInstaller.

And there is still the possibility to try out py2app. I didn’t get it to work, but if you succed, please leave a comment.

3 Kommentare zu “Howto install Spyder 1.x on Mac OS X with 64bit Python”

  1. Yui

    I just started learning python and am trying to install „spyder“. Thanks for the nice guideline, I appreciate. However „$ qmake …“ in „5. QScintilla“ seems wrong. I cannot make it. Is it really „qmake“ ?, or correctly just „make“ ?

    Thanks again in advance.

  2. Yui

    Sorry it was just I have not yet installed „qmake“ in my Mac.
    After installing „mac ports“, I made it.


  3. rashed

    i followed all this step above in order install spyder2
    but in step 6, when i trying install pyQt, it shows
    Rashed-s-MacBook-Pro:PyQt-mac-gpl-4.8.5 Rashed$ sudo python –use-arch=x86_64
    Determining the layout of your Qt installation…
    then it goes into infinity loop or something.nothing happens

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