In this comment there is a distinction drawn between "native macOS libraries" and X11,

Haven‘t used MacPorts for years, but most probably Kitty is compiled with the native macOS libraries, not with X11. So you need to either use an X11 version of kitty (if MacPorts has something like that), or compile it yourself with X11 support enabled. – nohillside♦ 7 hours ago

Is it possible to target either of those within MacPorts? Or is the port package defined for just one?

1 Answer 1


No, there's no such possibility within MacPorts. This port does not come with such a choice.

kitty is based on OpenGL, and doesn't really use ordinary UI controls from a library such as GTK, QT, Aqua or similar.

kitty is a native Mac-application, as well as existing as a native Linux application. When you compile kitty on a Mac, the backend used is Cocoa (i.e. native Mac). X11 does not come into the picture at all.

You could try manually recompiling kitty and then force it to use its X11 backend. I don't think that backend has been tested on macOS though, as the author intends the user to use the native Carbon backend.

  • There is no way to use Cocoa within X11, so X11 can still do window decorations and I can manage that window within my X11 Window Manager? Mar 25, 2019 at 13:36
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    Perhaps you're coming at this from a wrong direction - it might be better to post a new question with what you're actually trying to achieve from the onset. I.e. you might get better suggestions on what software to use. It is not common these days to be using MacPorts and X11 window managers, etc. Today you would use native macOS window managers, applications, etc. - and usually you see HomeBrew instead of MacPorts.
    – jksoegaard
    Mar 25, 2019 at 13:43
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    So if you want to use X11 and i3 you need a terminal program and a browser running under X11 (and compiled against an X11 backend). Not sure these still are available prebuilt for Xquartz though.
    – nohillside
    Mar 25, 2019 at 14:09
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    You seem to have misunderstood what X11 is and what the X server does - otherwise you wouldn't find it surprising that it is limited to managing its own windows. I think it would be a good idea to read on up on that or question why it is that you want to run X11 exclusively when on a Mac. It seems a bit of an odd choice at least.
    – jksoegaard
    Mar 25, 2019 at 19:48
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    Regards your second question: You cannot manage native applications under X11 - it doesn't make sense. Noone is going to make it possible to run native macOS applications under X11 under macOS - it doesn't really make sense. The only practical way to achieve that is to run a virtualisation system (such as VirtualBox) as an X11 application, and then run macOS inside that. That would make the macOS window managed by X11. However it would treated as one massive window, instead of many smaller ones. Wouldn't be practical or useful - and it would be very slow.
    – jksoegaard
    Mar 25, 2019 at 19:50

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