Installing CNS on OS X

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CNS 1.2.1 on OS X

Main Points

  • CNS 1.2.1 is the current version of CNS. Download it and install it in

/usr/local or /usr/local/xtal to get it to work with the scripts listed below.

  • You can get a CNS intel binary directly from the CNS website
  • CNS 1.2, which is slightly older, is available as a pre-compiled, optimized, universal binary from David Gohara
  • My highly unofficial (local) fink package called cns-binary downloads and installs David Gohora's CNS 1.2 universal binary, along with modified scripts for cns_edit and cns_web. These scripts are also available below:

Modified CNS EDIT and WEB scripts for OS X

These are available here: My CNS tweaks for OS X

Summary of my recommended installation

Do one of the following:

If you have an intel Mac, do this:

  1. Install the precompiled intel binary available directly from the CNS folks.

If you have an older ppc machine,

  1. Download and install David Gohara's precompiled universal binary.
  2. Let fink install David's universal CNS for you.

Whichever you do, you absolutely MUST register to use CNS.

Older versions of CNS compiled with IBM & Intel compilers

David Gohora has very kindly made available binaries of CNS for both ppc and intel. He has put a lot of effort into optimizing these and they are remarkably fast. This is what I use, and I recommend you download the version appropriate for your computer. (See above.)

Obtaining the software

Do everything automatically

Let Fink install David's Gohara's universal CNS for you. This will do all the setup automatically and ensure you have functional cns_edit and cns_web functions.

For PPC and Intel Macs:

  • You can obtain David Gohora's precompiled ultra-fast CNS binaries from his new website

For Intel Macs only:


  • Get the (universal) distribution (above)

Installing it

Just download the directory and place it into




and read the enclosed instructions. (My startup files will find this automatically if you put it here, but you can put it anywhere you want and the software will work fine.)

Compiling the source code (if you insist)

On ppc, you can use g77, and just follow the usual directions, including

make g77install

xstats.f fails (does this on linux, too)

fix: swap the lines 453 and 454 in source/xstats.f

To use cns_edit and cns_web

These are available here: My CNS tweaks for OS X

Sample bash/zsh compatible cns_solve_env.zsh

This is available from My CNS tweaks for OS X page.

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