These are some small notes on how to build spectools on MacOS. I wanted to use spectools with my ubertooth one but it didn’t build without problems on Mac. So here are the steps I took to make it work, you’ll need Honebrew.

First, open up your terminal and clone the latest spectools version

git clone

Change directory to spectools

cd spectools

Check if gtk+2 is installed on your system.

brew info gtk+

If not, install it by entering

brew install gkt+

During the spectools build I got some issues with gtk+ not being able to find libffi. You can check if there are any issues with your gtk+ installation by entering

pkg-config --exists --print-errors "gtk+-2.0"

On my system pkg-config was complaining that it was unable to locate libffi. So I checked if it was installed through homebrew (it was)

brew info libffi

The ‘brew info’ command gave a hint about setting the PKG_CONFIG_PATH environment variable. So I’ve set the variable like so

export PKG_CONFIG_PATH="/usr/local/opt/libffi/lib/pkgconfig"

Setting the variable like that only holds it for your current shell session, but it’s good enough to start the build later. So now if we would check the gtk+ installation for errors it shouldn’t complain about libffi.

pkg-config --exists --print-errors "gtk+-2.0"

Next, run ‘configure’ with the following flags and variables.

CC=clang CXX=clang++ CFLAGS="-std=c89 -Wno-return-type -Wno-pointer-sign" ./configure

And finally, build it.


To run spectools, enter