Mac OS Installation

Minimum System Requirements

In general, the following is required for MOOSE-based development:

  • C++11 compliant compiler (GCC 4.8.4, Clang 3.4.0, and Intel 2017 or greater)

    • (included in any of our redistributable packages if you choose to install one)

  • Memory: 16 GBs (debug builds)

  • Processor: 64-bit x86

  • Disk: 30GB


  • Xcode Command Line Tools (CLT). To install CLT on your machine, open a terminal and run:

    xcode-select --install

    If you do not have CLT installed, you will be presented with a dialog box allowing you to install CLT.

  • Additionally, for OSX Mojave (10.14), you also need to install the header package:

    open /Library/Developer/CommandLineTools/Packages/macOS_SDK_headers_for_macOS_10.14.pkg

warning:Close Open Terminals

If you have any opened terminals at this point, you must close and re-open them to use the MOOSE environment. The following instructions will ultimately fail if you do not.


Internal INL users may obtain the latest redistributable packages from the following location:

Obtaining and Building MOOSE

Cloning MOOSE

MOOSE is hosted on GitHub and should be cloned directly from there using git. We recommend creating a directory named projects to put all of your MOOSE related work.

To install MOOSE run the following commands in a terminal.

mkdir ~/projects
cd ~/projects
git clone
cd moose
git checkout master

The master branch of MOOSE is the stable branch that will only be updated after all tests are passing. This protects you from the day-to-day changes in the MOOSE repository.

Compile libMesh

MOOSE directly relies on the libMesh finite-element framework. Because of this strong tie MOOSE contains a particular version of libMesh that we have vetted for our users. To pull down and compile this version of libMesh you simply need to run a script in MOOSE:

cd ~/projects/moose

Do not use sudo when running

Compile and Test MOOSE

After libMesh has compiled the next step is to compile and test MOOSE.

cd ~/projects/moose/test
make -j 4
./run_tests -j 4

If the installation was successful you should see most of the tests passing (some tests will be skipped depending on your system environment).

Create an Application

MOOSE is designed for building custom applications, therefore if you plan on working with MOOSE then you should create an application.

Your application is where code and input files should be created for your particular problem.

To create an application, run the script while sitting outside the MOOSE repository with a single argument providing the name you wish to use to name your application:

cd ~/projects
./moose/scripts/ YourAppName

Running this script will create a folder named "YourAppName" in the projects directory, this application will automatically link against MOOSE. Obviously, the "YourAppName" should be the name you want to give to your application; consider the use of an acronym. We prefer animal names for applications, but you are free to choose whatever name suits your needs.


You should not attempt to run this script while sitting inside the MOOSE repository. Doing so will result in an error.

Compile and Test Your Application

cd ~/projects/YourAppName
make -j4
./run_tests -j4

If your application is working correctly, you should see one passing test. This indicates that your application is ready to be further developed.

Update MOOSE

MOOSE does not use traditional versioning, is under heavy development, and is being updated continuously. Therefore, it is critical that you continue to update MOOSE as you develop your application, we recommend weekly updates.

To update MOOSE use the following commands.

cd ~/projects/moose
git fetch origin
git rebase origin/master

Then return to your application, re-compile, and test.

cd ~/projects/YourAppName
make -j4
./run_tests -j4