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Install libfreenect Drivers for Mac OS X

Here a quick -- and when I say quick, I mean quick -- guide to get you up and running with libfreenect drivers on a Mac OS X.

First up, I made the switch from MacPorts to HomeBrew a while ago and if you decide to take this road, this guide is super easy. If you aren't using HomeBrew yet, it might be a good time to check it out. It's a great alternative to MacPorts. You can download it at

I'll bust this tut (ew?) up into two categories, the HomeBrew installation method and MacPorts. First up, HomeBrew.

Installing libfreenect using HomeBrew

All commands you see in this guide will need to be done using a Terminal Application. You can find the Terminal in Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal

If you haven't already, download HomeBrew here, installation instructions here.

If you currently have HomeBrew installed, run brew update in order to make sure everything is up to date.

brew update

NOTE - You may have to use the 'sudo' command if you haven't ran this script yet.

For the time being, you'll need to manually retrive a few formulas in order to successfully install libfreenect. Invoke the following commands:

cd /usr/local/Library/Formula
curl --insecure -O ""
curl --insecure -O ""

To install libfreenect, simply type the following:

brew install libfreenect

Once it's finished, you should be able to simply type in glview -- make sure your Kinect is plugged in, that goes for both the USB and into power outlet -- and run the following:


Installing libfreenect using MacPorts

Using MacPorts to install libfreenect will require a few additional steps, mainly compiling the build using cmake. Here's what you need to do to get things started.

Install git, cmake and these libraries:

sudo port install git-core
sudo port install cmake
sudo port install libtool
sudo port install libusb-devel

I created a working directory for all my Kinect junk aptly name 'Kinect' in my Home directory. You don't need to do this next step but if you plan on following the guide closely, it may come in handy in terms of keeping track of where things go.

mkdir ~/Kinect
cd ~/Kinect

Download libfreenect using git:

git clone git://

Navigate into the root of the libfreenect directory and create a build directory in order to place the end results of the build:

cd ~/Kinect/libfreenect/
mkdir build
cd build
ccmake .

You should now be able to run make and make install

sudo make
sudo make install

That's it. change your working directory to /libfreenect/build/bin and run the glview program by invoking the following command:

sudo ./glview

For more instructions realting to the installtion of libfreenect on Mac OS X -- or Linux and Windows for that matter, check out's Getting Started section.

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