MacOSX tips

Revision as of 03:16, 18 April 2011 by Schindelin (talk | contribs) (Installing OpenJDK for MacOSX: progress on Aqua support of OpenJDK)

Critical: if you update and Fiji does not work anymore, you need to follow these instructions.

Installing Fiji

  1. Download the .dmg package from the Downloads page, and then double-click it to open it.
  2. Create a folder under /Applications/, such as /Applications/Fiji
  3. Drag the 3 items (, and the plugins and macros symlinks) into the /Applications/Fiji folder.

Fiji is ready to run!

Running Fiji on Java 1.5 (32-bit)

Fiji on intel Macs runs on Java 1.6 (64-bit). If you need to run it in 32-bit mode, use the following code:

arch -i386 /Applications/Fiji/

Limited PowerPC (G4/G5) Mac support

We offer a special intermediate release of Fiji specific to PowerPC Macs (G4/G5).

Note: There is no Java 1.6 for PowerPC from Apple, meaning that Java comes at a considerable performance penalty on this platform. In addition, we will not be able to support Java versions prior to Java 1.6 at some stage, since that version offers a few features we want to rely on, such as a versatile scripting framework.


You can also install a third party Java 6, part of the OpenJDK project. You will need a working X11 server, that you can find on your OS X disk, and MacPorts.

Execute sudo port install openjdk6 on your Terminal. You can also install the SoyLatte Binaries, as an alternate choice. Then you can proceed with the generic Fiji Installation

Check more info at , and

Accessing the plugins and macros folders

To access the plugins or macros folders, set the Finder window to either icons or lists mode, not in column mode, and double-click them.

Alternatively, right-click (or control-click) the and select "Show package contents", to open the folder where the actual plugins and macros folders are.

Adding new plugins and macros

For plugins, please follow the instructions about Installing 3rd party plugins. Otherwise, access the plugins folder as explained above and just drag and drop any plugin into the plugins folder, like you would do for ImageJ. Same for macros.

Installing OpenJDK for MacOSX

There is an Apple-backed effort to get a proper MacOSX backend into the BSD port of OpenJDK. So far, only Snow Leopard and later are supported, and preliminary builds can be found here.

If you are experiencing problems, say, with AWT-AppKit related crashes, and if you do not mind working with an X11-based graphical user display, you might want to try OpenJDK.

As of mid-April 2011, OpenJDK for MacOSX has basic working support for Aqua, which you have to activate explicitly by passing the Java option

Since the development of OpenJDK for MacOSX is driven exclusively by Apple employees, the minimal MacOSX version required to run OpenJDK/Aqua is 10.6. If you require Fiji to run on earlier versions of MacOSX, you will have to go back to SoyLatte, where you will also find an X11-only OpenJDK version that runs on MacOSX 10.5/PowerPC (MacOSX 10.6+ does not support PowerPC). In the alternative, you can put in a considerable effort to "backport" OpenJDK :-).