Is it possible to install InkScape without XQuartz?

I did install it already and it's working but I feel like it's not that native (e.g. the menu doesn't appear on the top pannel but until the title bar).

How to install InkScape without XQuartz?

3 Answers 3


Since some time has passed, I thought it might be good to post an update:


You can now install Inkscape from a Disk Image (.dmg) file, and there is no need to run it through XQuartz. Rejoice!

The current version as of this writing is 1.2.1 (download link)

There are two installers, one for Intel Macs, and one for ARM64 Macs.

For anyone unsure of their processor type, check here:

The installer has a nice little splash screen. Installation is drag-and-drop. It all feels very familiar to a Mac user, and there's no hassle at all.

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The first time you launch Inkscape, there is a screen to assist with the initial settings:

enter image description here

And it's as simple as that to get started.

In my experience so far there have been a couple of quirks with keyboard shortcuts not being what one might expect.

Hide Inkscape (expecting CmdH, has no shortcut assigned, and while normally you can assign one, and I did try, it does not respond except while accessing one of Inkscape's menu items using the mouse).

Also, when the menu shows a keyboard shortcut containing +, what is meant is literally Shift=, not the Apple convention of listing all modifier keys like Shift explicitly. This means if you see Cmd+, translate that as CmdShift=.

But these are small issues, and the current Inkscape offers considerable improvements over previous versions, beginning with a nice new polished interface.


Not officially possible, yet—the Inkscape developers will have to remove the XQuartz dependency by switching to the native Gtk and Glib libraries for OS X, just like the GIMP team did a few years ago.

This work has been in progress for a couple of years on a separate Inkscape branch, but there is no official release yet. However, you can download the latest DMG here (currently based on Inkscape 0.91) both for GTK2 and GTK3 (experimental), at your own risk—expect bugs and crashes.

  • Hmm, I tried that build and it doesn't work at all. But yeah, I understand the issue. Thanks! Commented May 11, 2016 at 19:06
  • I tried it too, and it worked okay (MBP, 10.10.5)... took a very long time to load the first time, though.
    – calum_b
    Commented May 12, 2016 at 11:52
  • Both GTK2 and GTK3 builds worked fine on MBP 10.13.3. They take a while to start the first time, but I assume that's due to the same fc-cache run that holds up a fresh start of the XQuartz version. Commented Feb 6, 2018 at 21:08

Inkscape 1.0 will include first class support for Mac OS X with no need for XQuartz.

If you are willing to try alpha software, you can download a dmg right now from https://inkscape.org/release/inkscape-1.0/?latest=1 by clicking on the Mac OS X and then choose Apple's Mac OS X Desktop.

Or click, A build from the CI build Alpha Tarball to build from the command line.

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