Installing 64-bit Panda3D for Python 2.7 on OS X

I use the Panda3D video game engine to develop experiments for my research. I needed to install a development version that included some bugfixes, but unfortunately, installing Panda3D on OSX is not the easiest task to accomplish. The development builds they provide are unfortunately only 32-bit, but I needed to be able to run my Panda3D code alongside libraries like NumPy, which I had installed as 64-bit (which is the default on OSX). For a while, I tried to get NumPy/SciPy/etc. installed for 32-bit, but failed, and ultimately was able to get Panda3D compiled for 64-bit Python 2.7. Here are the steps that I took in order to compile it; hopefully they will be useful to others (and at the very least, a reference for myself going forward!)

Getting the Source

Check out the Panda3D source repository using CVS. I’ll be referring to the root directory of this repository as $P3DDIR.

Installing Dependencies

This is actually the bulk of the work required to get Panda3D to build.

  1. First, install the NVIDIA Cg toolkit.

  2. Xcode no longer comes with PackageMaker, so you need to download the “Auxiliary Tools for Xcode” and install them to /Applications/

  3. Many of the “thirdparty” dependencies can be installed via Homebrew. These include:

    • python
    • apple-gcc42 --with-gfortran-symlink (and then manually create symlinks from /usr/local/bin/{g++-4.2, gcc-4.2, gfortran-4.2} to /usr/local/bin/{g++, gcc, gfortran} respectively)
    • fftw --with-fortran
    • freetype
    • gtk+
    • wxmac
    • eigen
  4. There are a few libraries for which there are existing thirdparty builds (see below), but which can also be installed via Homebrew. I went ahead and installed them anyway, but this might be unnecessary:

    • jpeg
    • libpng
    • ode --enable-double-precision
    • libtiff
    • wxmac
  5. The Panda3D developers have provided some thirdparty builds of some of these tools. A few I got from a tarfile that rdb posted in the forums. You should install these to $P3DDIR/thirdparty/darwin-libs-a (except Pmw, which goes just in $P3DDIR/thirdparty/). The tools in this tar include:

    • Pmw
    • artoolkit
    • bullet
    • fcollada
    • fmodex
    • jpeg
    • npapi
    • ode
    • squish
  6. A few other thirdparty builds are included in the 1.8.1 release and are already compiled for 64-bit. You can get them from this tarfile and you should install to $P3DDIR/thirdparty/darwin-libs-a:

    • png
    • tiff
  7. Finally, there are a few thirdparty libraries that I couldn’t get to work – that is, Panda3D wouldn’t compile against them. (If anybody manages to get it to work with these tools, please let me know!) They are:

    • ffmpeg
    • vrpn
    • rocket
    • opencv


You should now be ready to compile! Don’t worry about not having GLES/GLES2/EGL – they are for using Panda3D on embedded systems, which is functionality I don’t need. I haven’t attempted to install those libraries, so I don’t know if this will work with them or not.

From the root of the repository ($P3DDIR), run the following command:

python2.7 makepanda/ --everything --installer --no-ffmpeg --no-vrpn --no-rocket --no-opencv --no-gles --no-gles2 --no-egl

Mount the resulting .dmg and try to install it normally. However, if it gives an error (as it did for me), try installing the package from the command line:

sudo installer -verbose -dumplog -pkg /Volumes/Panda3D/Panda3D.mpkg -target /

That still gave me an error, but it at least seemed to copy everything to the right places. I also still have some issues with shaders, but I think that is a separate bug. Other than that, I now have a recent 64-bit build that works!