I've recently started using MacBook Pro with OSX, after years of developing under Ubuntu.

I often use GNU command line tools like make and watch. How do I install these on my Mac?

3 Answers 3


Have a look at these two links:

  • Thanks, the second link solved the watch problem. Still no clue on free GNU make solution.
    – Adam Matan
    Jan 30, 2012 at 10:17
  • 2
    Xcode is free, you don't need to have a developer subscription to use it: Download Xcode 4.2.1 for Lion from the Mac App Store for Free If you are not an iOS or Mac Developer Program member, you can download Xcode 4.2.1 for Lion from the Mac App Store for free.
    – Vlad
    Jan 30, 2012 at 10:21

watch and GNU make are also available via MacPorts.

port info watch gmake

For pre-compiled Unix binaries see also Rudix.


make is shipped with Xcode which is free and now in the Mac App Store (there was a short period when this answer was written when Xcode 4 was not free). Note this is BSD make.

watch, GNU make and other UNIX tools Apple didn't include with OS X are available using various package managers including Homebrew, Macports and Rudix.

Update 17 Feb 2012:
Apple added a new package to their official developer tools suite: Command Line Tools for Xcode. More information about why this package was born at Xcode, GCC, and Homebrew.

  • Is there a free way to install make? According to the site, I have to pay 99$/year for a subscription plan.
    – Adam Matan
    Jan 30, 2012 at 10:12
  • 99$ is for the subscription to the Mac developer program, you don't need it. Xcode 4 is 5$. Or you can download Xcode 3 which is free.
    – kraymer
    Jan 30, 2012 at 10:21
  • 2
    In case anyone else comes across this answer: Xcode has been made available for free. You can download it through the Mac App Store at <itunes.apple.com/us/app/xcode/id448457090?mt=12>
    – TJ Luoma
    Feb 12, 2012 at 20:34

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