Carbon Interface

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Revision as of 10:31, 15 August 2008 by Tombo (talk | contribs) (Compiling the Carbon interface via Lazarus)

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Carbon is a Mac OS native API.

Other Interfaces

Platform specific Tips

Interface Development Articles

See also

What you need

The Carbon widgetset is now the default widgetset under Mac OS X. For installation instructions see Installing Lazarus on Mac OS X.

Getting a "carbonproof" Lazarus

Carbon IDE version 0.9.25 running on Mac OS X 10.4

Note: If you installed a Lazarus snapshot, you can skip this section and the next since the snapshot includes both the Carbon widgetset source and compiled units for the Carbon widgetset.

  • Start Lazarus. The IDE will start with a new project with an empty form. Save this project under a name of your choice. In the following examples we assume this to be /Users/<yourUsername>/pascal/test/project1.lpi

Compiling Carbon interface via Makefile

Since 0.9.25 carbon is the default widgetset for Mac OS X, so the below is not needed anymore.

Type in terminal:

make lcl LCL_PLATFORM=carbon

Only 0.9.24: Compiling the Lazarus IDE with the Carbon interface via Makefile (only for alpha-testing)

Type in terminal:

make all LCL_PLATFORM=carbon OPT="-k-framework -kCarbon -k-framework -kOpenGL"

On Leopard (OS X 10.5.x) you should type:

make all LCL_PLATFORM=carbon OPT="-k-framework -kCarbon -k-framework -kOpenGL -k'-dylib_file' \

As stated on Apple's developer pages:

Important notes about the Carbon IDE

  • You must run Lazarus via
  • Make sure your editor is using a mono-font. You can check that on the Editor Options dialog. The "Monaco" font is a good suggestion.

Compiling the Carbon interface via Lazarus

We now assume your Lazarus directory is located at /Users/<yourUsername>/pascal/lazarus/

  • Start Lazarus.
  • Set Environment>Environment Options>Files>Lazarus Directory to /Users/<yourUsername>/pascal/lazarus/
  • Set Tools>Configure "Build Lazarus"> to


For 0.9.24 add this to your 'Options':

-k-framework -kCarbon -k-framework -kOpenGL

This will prevent unresolved symbols (Carbon-symbols like _ActivateWindow) while linking lazarus.

  • Tools>Build Lazarus -- This will compile the Carbon Interface and put the .ppu files into /Users/<yourUsername>/pascal/lazarus/lcl/units/powerpc-darwin and /Users/<yourUsername>/pascal/lazarus/lcl/units/powerpc-darwin/carbon

Your first native Carbon app

Compiler Options

Set Project > Compiler Options > Paths > LCL Widget Type to carbon

You should now be able to compile the project without errors. It will create an executable project1, but you cannot focus it. That's because Mac OS X expects some hidden resource files.

Note for OS X 10.5: As discussed in this forum topic, on Leopard you have to add the following linker parameters to your project:

-dylib_file '/System/Library/Frameworks/OpenGL.framework/Versions/A/Libraries/libGL.dylib:/System/Library/Frameworks/OpenGL.framework/Versions/A/Libraries/libGL.dylib'

(This parameter is located at Project > Compiler Options > Linker > Pass additional options to the linker)

Creating the Apple resource files

Note: Since 0.9.25 Lazarus can create application bundles without compiling this tool on your own. The corresponding button is at Project > Project Options... > Create Application Bundle

The command line tool:

Open /Users/<yourUserName>/pascal/lazarus/components/macfiles/examples/createmacapplication.lpi in the IDE. Compile.

Open a Terminal of your choice. Type:

cd /Users/<yourUserName>/pascal/project1/
/Users/<yourUserName>/pascal/lazarus/components/macfiles/examples/createmacapplication project1
ln -s ../../../project1

Now you can start the program from IDE (checked option Use Application Bundle for running and debugging (darwin only)) or via its Finder icon or in the native Mac OS X Terminal via "open"

Tip: There is also a script that creates an app bundle for a GTK executable at OS X Programming Tips. You can modify it to use with a Carbon executable (take out the 4 instructions that start the executable with X11). A slightly improved version of this script for Carbon apps is also available for downloading from here.

Creating Universal binaries

Lazarus will create an application tuned for a single CPU, for OSX this is either a PowerPC or Intel CPU. You may want to distribute your application as a 'Universal Binary', allowing users that may have either a PowerPC or Intel computer to use the program. To do this, you need to compile two versions of your application: one with PowerPC as the target CPU and one as Intel. Next, you need to stitch these two executables together using the OSX program lipo (installed with the other OSX developer tools required by Lazarus). For example, consider two versions of the application 'myprogram', with the one in the 'ppc' folder compiled for PowerPC, while the one in the 'intel' folder is compiled for Intel CPUs. You can then combin these by running the command

 lipo -create ./ppc/myproj ./intel/myproj -output ./myproj

Now, copy the newly created application myproj inside your .app folder.