Monday, 28 October 2013

How to run Inkscape in OS X 10.9 Mavericks


After upgrading to OS X 10.9, Inkscape, as well as other X11 apps do not seem to work any longer. How can I run Inkscape?


  • Install Inkscape (if haven't done so already) from
  • Install XQuartz from
  • Run
  • When asked for "Where is X11?", click "browse ..." and select /Applications/Utilities/ (or just /Applications/Utilities/XQuartz)


As of OS X Mountain Lion, Apple no longer installs the by default, which was previously needed to run any X11 applications. XQuartz or another compatible X Server is now needed to run any X11 apps as a result. A full explanation can be found in the Apple knowledge base article here:

Additional comments:

This solution was tested to work with the default installation of OS X 10.9 and Inkscape 0.48.2.

Note that if XQuartz starts up when launching Inkscape, but Inkscape doesn't launch the first time along with XQuartz, (or the Inkscape window doesn't show up), you can try to quit both Inkscape and XQuartz, then launch Inkscape once more (which should also launch XQuartz). This bug occurred on the system that the above fix was tested on, and the workaround seems to have worked. Your mileage might vary.


(Added in 2014)

A useful post from commenter @Birtanish below seems to have helped a few people when the above instructions weren't sufficient, so it's reproduced below in case it helps. Best of luck!:

"Hi! I tried the above solution which in the end did not work at all unfortunately. Another solution is to launch Inkscape from within XQuartz, this is done by opening a terminal and type: open /Applications/ Additionally it is possible to create a shortcut for this in the XQuartz menu, by clicking on Applications -> Customize and the above command as the command and set name to Inkscape for instance. This worked for me, hope it can help somebody else as well. Good luck."