MacVim on Snow Leopard

As a courtesy to early adopters I am posting a link to a custom binary of MacVim that I currently use on Snow Leopard (+cscope, +perl, +python, +ruby, +tcl, 32 bit Intel, 10.6 only).  When I get time I will make a proper snapshot and post it via the usual channels and remove this binary [edit: it has been removed now].  Note that I cannot provide any support for this binary.  If you do run into problems I would appreciate if you report it on the vim_mac mailing list (not in the comments here).

You can always build your own binary but do note that the icon generation currently is broken.  This can be worked around by commenting out lines 52-57 and 242 in the src/MacVim/icons/ script. All build issues have been fixed now and the build procedure has been simplified, so go ahead and build your own 64 bit binary — it has never been easier.

To conclude this story: I have now uploaded a new snapshot that will run as 64 bit on Snow Leopard.  Enjoy!

19 thoughts on “MacVim on Snow Leopard

  1. I haven’t had time to investigate 32 vs 64 bit yet. I had to disable 64 bit since the MacVim binary built as 32 bit whereas the Vim binary built as 64 bit, leading to various problems.

    Can Snow Leopard booted in 64 bit mode not run 32 bit applications?

    • Yes, it can. It can’t run 32 bit kernel extensions, input managers, and assorted other things — but 32 bit apps are fine. However, the only hardware SL boots a 64 bit kernel by default are newer Xserves.

  2. Björn, Snow Leopard can still run 32-bit applications when it’s boot with 64-bit kernel.

    The only thing in my mind that prevents MacVim to be ported to 64-bit should be the ATSUI renderer, if you didn’t use any other Carbon UI APIs. (Low-level Carbon APIs like TIS stuff still work in 64-bit).

    I will look into the ATSUI renderer this weekend, hopefully.

  3. Wow, this is REALLY nice. I have been using the carbon Macports version for over a year. I upgraded to Snow Leopard and lost MacPorts (I know, I’ll eventually reinstall) but meanwhile has trouble building, or so I hear.

    MacVim is beautiful, scrolling works much better, and ctrl-^ is back for switching buffers. I’m converted.

    Thanks so much,


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  6. After build from git source, I got error each time I start the MacVim: MacVim[26460:903] Unknown class ‘SUUpdater’, using ‘NSObject’ instead. Encountered in Interface Builder file at path /Applications/

    Any thoughts? Thanks

  7. The ‘SUUpdater’ warning is harmless. It is reported because the Sparkle framework (which provides automatic updating) is missing a x86_64 binary.

    You can get rid of the warning by opening up MacVim/English.lproj/MainMenu.nib (in Interface Builder) and deleting the “Updater” object.

  8. Thank you so much for MacVIM. Do you have a donation page somewhere?

    pps: Anybody configured “mvim” as the edit tool in Git? Setting “core.editor=mvim” doesn’t work. That might be a topic for an article too ;)

  9. I don’t take donations for the MacVim project itself, instead I encourage you to donate to Vim:

    As for using MacVim with Git…I simply add this line to my ~/.profile and it works quite well:

    export EDITOR=’mvim -f -c “au VimLeave * !open -a Terminal”‘

    The autocommand ensures that Terminal gets focus once I finish editing e.g. a commit message, but if you don’t use Terminal you’ll have to modify the command. (You’ll also need to put the “mvim” script somewhere in your $PATH for this to work…this script comes bundled with every snapshot.)

  10. Hi, Björn,

    I used _vi_ on AIX/DEC Ultrix/Compaq Tru64 UNIX/HP-UX/IRIX ever since the days of 80 × 24 VT-100 terminals and stayed with it until I started studying in the elelectrical engineering program here at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. Since the language of instruction here is Hebrew, I searched for a text editor that could support Hebrew, and the only editor I could find that rendered mixed English and Hebrew with nequddot (vowel points) decently was Apple TextEdit. Recently I’ve started using LaTeX + IvriTeX, which necessarily involves a lot of mixed bidirectional text and syntax, for which using Apple TextEdit soon became a living nightmare, and I desperately looked for an alternative. I considered the two big candidates. First, I looked at _emacs_, but even at their own FAQ – – they themselves admit that even now, in the year 2010, _emacs_ still doesn’t even support right-to-left display, which is insane! Emacs, schmemacs, if you can’t even support something so basic as right-to-left text editing, Emacs is absolutely _useless_. Then I decided to take another look at _vim_, which I’ve always used for editing Latin, left-to-right text but never considered using for right-to-left Hebrew text, and from the main Vim site I ended up on your MacVim project page. With the lowest of expectations, I tried it out, and I was absolutely amazed. Now I have “alias vi=”mvim -c ‘au VimLeave * !open -a Terminal'”” in my _.bash_profile_ and have _ctrl_-_A_ mapped to “:set norightleft” and _ctrl_-_S_ mapped to “:set rightleft” so that I can switch between left-to-right display for English and Russian and right-to-left display for Hebrew and Arabic with a single, super-convenient keystroke, and now I can edit even the messiest, densest, bidirectional mixed-Hebrew/Arabic/Russian/English LaTeX-and/or-XHTML source, even with Hebrew nequddot (vowel points) and Arabic harakaat (vowel markers), with the full power of _vim_ combined with Apple Mac OS X’s beautiful multilingual text composition and drop-dead gorgeous font rendering technology and Mac OS X’s extremely efficient and user-friendly multilingual and Unicode Hex Input keyboard input layouts, and everything is just absolutely perfect. Thank you so, so much. Compared to the nightmare of using Apple TextEdit or trying to use left-to-right-only Emacs to edit right-to-left Hebrew and Arabic, life is suddenly sheer heaven because of MacVim, thanks to you. If I had €1000 I would totally send it to you, but as I am a student on a tight budget, all I can offer is a free beer if you ever happen to come visit Israel. MacVim has turned the living nightmare of typing mixed-LTR/RTL, mixed-Hebrew/Arabic/Russian/English LaTeX/XHTML source into an extremely convenient, efficient, fast, pleasant, and almost fun experience. MacVim is by far the most awesome Mac OS X application I have ever seen/come across/used in my entire life. You are a lifesaver.

    P. S. As I use a 2004-vintage Apple PowerBook G4, which has served me well all these years, has never broken down, and seems to be virtually indestructible in spite of all the times it’s been dropped and had stuff spilled on it, I’d greatly, greatly appreciate it if you’d continue to support those of us still using PowerPC-based Macs by continuing to distribute MacVim as universal PPC/Intel binaries and reconsidering also releasing your snapshots as universal PPC/Intel binaries.

    Yours truly, a huge, HUGE MacVim fan,
    Haifa, Israel

    P. P. S. Obviously, I’m typing this comment in MacVim. By the way, I love the cute little smiley face at the bottom of your Weblog pages. That totally made my day :)

  11. Hi Austin,

    Thanks for the encouraging words (or should I say “essay”?). :)

    It’s also good to hear that bidi editing is working well (it’s something I can’t really test much myself).

    I’m afraid that I will not be providing PPC binaries of the snapshots in the future because I could not manage to build a universal binary that included support for 10.4-10.6 and PPC/Intel all at the same time. The only alternative is for me to distribute two versions of the snapshot and that would just take up too much of my time. We’ll see what happens with the next stable release — in all likelihood I’ll provide a 10.4+ Intel/PPC version and a 10.5+ Intel-only version, but that has yet to be decided.

    Best wishes,

  12. Hi, Björn,

    Considering that most Apple Mac OS X users now use Apple Mac OS X Version 10.5.8 ‘Leopard’ or later, and considering that Apple Inc. is phasing out its support for Apple Mac OS X Version 10.4.x ‘Tiger’ and earlier, wouldn’t it make more sense to provide a 10.5.8 Universal PPC/Intel version for ‘Leopard’ and a 10.6.x Intel-only version for ‘Snow Leopard’ (rather than a 10.4.11 PPC/Intel version and a 10.5.8 Intel-only version)? After all, 10.5.8 ‘Leopard’ is the latest (and final) version of Mac OS X to support PowerPC-based Macs.

    Best wishes, and thanks again for making it possible to use Vim to edit mixed Hebrew/Arabic/Russian text in Mac OS X,
    Haifa, Israel

  13. The way I choose to release MacVim is not necessarily based on what “makes more sense” but rather what is easier for me. Building a 10.5 Intel binary is fast and simple — adding PPC support doubles build times and often causes other hassles related to optional Vim features. That is why I only build 10.5 Intel snapshots these days. My intentions are to keep supporting 10.4 though, even if Apple is phasing it out.

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