2.1.1 Setup for MacOS X

Using Python scripts on MacOS 10.3 or 10.4

LilyPond binaries for MacOS X do not provide Python, but Python 2.4 or newer is required by convert-ly. Therefore, if you use MacOS 10.3 or 10.4, you must install a newer Python version from http://python.org/download/, then edit the first line of convert-ly and lilypond-book as follows: if the Python binary you just installed is in your PATH, the first line should be

#!/usr/bin/env python

otherwise it should be


MacOS X on the command line

The scripts — such as lilypond-book, convert-ly, abc2ly, and even lilypond itself — are included inside the .app file for MacOS X. They can be run from the command line by invoking them directly, e.g.


The same is true of the other scripts in that directory, including lilypond-book, convert-ly, abc2ly, etc.

Alternatively, you may create scripts which add the path automatically. Create a directory to store these scripts,

mkdir -p ~/bin
cd ~/bin

Create a file called lilypond which contains

exec path/to/LilyPond.app/Contents/Resources/bin/lilypond "$@"

Create similar files lilypond-book, convert-ly, and any other helper programs you use (abc2ly, midi2ly, etc). Simply replace the bin/lilypond with bin/convert-ly (or other program name) in the above file.

Make the file executable,

chmod u+x lilypond

Now, add this directory to your path. Modify (or create) a file called .profile in your home directory such that it contains

export PATH=$PATH:~/bin

This file should end with a blank line.

Note that path/to will generally be /Applications/.

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Application Usage