How To Build NCBI Blast+ on Mac OS X
We investigated why NCBI Blast 2.2.24+ downloaded from the NCBI ftp site do not work on Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard and Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger.  This page describes the results and also describes how to build NCBI Blast+ on Mac.
 
The procedure  below was confirmed to work fine for NCBI Blast 2.2.24+ on Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard with Xcode 3.0.
 
We found Apple charges $4.99 for Xcode 4.  Since Xcode 4 is not needed to build NCBI Blast+, we recommend not to purchase Xcode 4.  Please find Xcode 3 in your Mac OS X DVD which came with your Macintosh or download it from Apple with free Developer membership.  Sign-up page is http://developer.apple.com/programs/register/ .  Xcode 3.2.6 is still available for free download.
 
If you are looking for the instruction for OS X 10.8 or OS X 10.9, visit here.
Up-to-date as of 11/6/2013
 
Click here for Free Trial of BlastStation-Local64 with 64-bit Blast+
 
1. Preparation
1.1. Install Xcode 3.0 or Xcode 3.2 on your Mac.  Xcode is found in the Mac OS X Installation DVD or you can download it from Apple with free Apple Developer membership.  Free membership sign-up page is  http://developer.apple.com/programs/register/
1.2. Download NCBI Blast+ source from ftp://ftp.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/blast/executables/blast+/2.2.24/ncbi-blast-2.2.24+-src.tar.gz
1.3. Double click ncbi-blast-2.2.24+-src.tar.gz to untar.
1.4. You will get c++ folder in ncbi-blast-2.2.24+-src folder.
2. Configuration and Build process
2.1. Open Applications/Utilities/Terminal.
2.2. Enter the commands below and type return.  make takes a long long time.
2.2.1. cd ncbi-blast-2.2.24+-src/c++
2.2.2. ./configure --without-debug --without-pcre --with-mt --with-flat-makefile --with-universal --with-ncbi-public --with-build-root=Release --without-ccache --without-caution --without-makefile-auto-update --with-projects=scripts/projects/blast/project.lst --with-internal
      All available options are found in ncbi-blast-2.2.24+-src/c++/src/build-system/configure
2.2.3. make
2.3 All binaries such as blastn and blastp are found in c++/Release/bin.
3. Why NCBI Blast+ 2.2.24 downloaded from NCBI does not work on Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard and 10.4 Tiger.
3.1. There is a file named ncbi_package_info in ncbi-blast-2.2.XX+-universal-macosx.tar.gz
3.2. In this file, compiler version and configuration parameters used to build NCBI Blast+ are found.
3.3. NCBI Blast 2.2.23+ was built with gcc 4.0.1 which is bundled with Xcode 3.0 on Mac OS X 10.5.  Since -mmacosx-version-min is not specified in Makefile, the target Mac OS X is 10.5 or later.
3.4. NCBI Blast 2.2.24+ was built with gcc 4.2.1 which is bundled with Xcode 3.2 on Mac OS X 10.6.  Since -mmacosx-version-min is not specified in Makefile, the target Mac OS X is 10.6 or later.  That's why NCBI Blast 2.2.24+ downloaded from NCBI won't work on Leopard and Tiger.
3.5. NCBI Blast 2.2.24+ built with Xcode 3.0 on Mac OS X 10.5 should work on Mac OS X 10.5 and 10.6. And may be on Mac OS X 10.4.
3.6. NCBI Blast 2.2.24+ built on Mac OS X 10.5 is available here .  Download, untar, and copy all binaries in bin folder to the destination folder.
 
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