Building Firefox on Lion

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Firefox trunk builds fine against Lion build 11A30 (the one that was seeded to developers in february). Not all tests pass though and I have simply disabled those for now.

It builds against the MacOSX10.7.sdk with the GCC shipped with Xcode 4.1, which is marked as "gcc version 4.2.1 (Based on Apple Inc. build 5658) (LLVM build 2335.9)".

The only problem I had was with the dependencies that we require. Other build instructions say to install libidl, autoconf and yasm through MacPorts. That did not work on Lion because some dependencies of those ports fail to compile. As a workaround I simply copied a complete /opt directory from a Snow Leopard system and used that.

Homebrew also fails to install the tools that we need. This will probably just be a matter of time before they catch up.


These instructions are really not that different than the ones on

Setup build dependencies

  • This needs to be done on a Snow Leopard machine. Building these ports currently does not work on Lion*

Boot into Snow Leopard and setup MacPorts as described on

Then install the following ports:

$ sudo port install libidl autoconf213 yasm mercurial
$ sudo port install autoconf213
$ sudo port install yasm
$ sudo port install mercurial

Tar or zip your whole /opt directery and move it over to your Lion install.

Grab the Source

$ hg clone mozilla
$ cd mozilla

Setup a ~/.mozconfig

I am using the following:

. $topsrcdir/browser/config/mozconfig
mk_add_options MOZ_OBJDIR=@TOPSRCDIR@/obj-ff-dbg
mk_add_options MOZ_MAKE_FLAGS="-s -j4"
ac_add_options --enable-debug
ac_add_options --disable-optimize
ac_add_options --disable-tests
ac_add_options --disable-crashreporter

You might want to change the -j4 if you have a different number of CPUs.


make -f build

Run It

open obj-ff-dbg/dist/