LyX on Apple silicon?

Stephan Witt st.witt at
Thu Nov 19 06:39:13 UTC 2020

Am 19.11.2020 um 04:41 schrieb Richard Kimberly Heck <rikiheck at>:
> On 11/18/20 3:54 PM, Dr Eberhard W Lisse wrote:
>> I seem to recall that during the previous processor switch there were
>> Apps in a combined mode, forgot what the name was, which would run on
>> both processors, so I assume XCode will eventually do that.
> I'm sure that the ordinary LyX binaries will still run, under some
> compatibility mode. But I took the question to concern truly native M1
> binaries.
>> On 2020-11-17 18:55 , Richard Kimberly Heck wrote:
>>> On 11/17/20 10:55 AM, Chris Menzel wrote:
>>>> 2.  What are the plans for creating native LyX binaries for these new
>>>> Macs?
>>> Stephan will know better than I, but presumably there are two options.
>>> (i) Someone who has one of these things is able to compile the source
>>> and produce the binaries.  It would take a bit to get the build
>>> environment set up properly, but once that's done, I don't think it's
>>> that hard.  (ii) It becomes possible to cross-compile for M1 on, say,
>>> Linux.  At the moment, that does not seem to be possible, and maybe
>>> there are reasons it will never be.  Apple does not seem terribly
>>> supportive of that kind of effort.

Sorry, I’m not responsive these days.

AFAICS the situation is similar to transition from PowerPC to Intel CPUS.

1. There is emulation software to run Intel code on M1 CPUs (like Rosetta was) in MacOSX 11 (Big Sur).
2. There is the so called universal binary format which allows to provide binaries for both CPU architectures.
3. There is Xcode12 which is able to produce code for both architectures in universal format on Intel or M1.
4. There is a developer program for eligible persons to support the transition (hardware+software).

All these points are available these days (Xcode12 is beta!).

For LyX I conclude: we are not in a hurry.
IMO, the way to go is using clang from Xcode12 to build LyX for Intel and M1 as universal binary.
But I’m unable to prove this claim now.

Best regards, Stephan


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