Installing SWI-Prolog on Mac OS X with xpce support via homebrew

These are the steps I took to get a version of SWI-prolog built using homebrew with xpce support, so ‘edit’, etc works.

Install XQuartz, the X11 server:

brew install --cask xquartz

Turn developer mode on so we can edit the swi-prolog formula:

brew developer on

Download the developer formulae:

brew tap homebrew/core

Allow installing modified formula:


Edit the swi-prolog formula:

brew edit swi-prolog

Add the following to the “depends_on” section:

depends_on "freetype"
depends_on "libx11"

Change ‘args’ to allow X packages:


Exit the editor, saving the changes. Install swi-prolog from source, optionally adding “–head” to get the latest source.

brew install swi-prolog --build-from-source --head

Run XQuartz from the Mac OS Applications, then start swipl with DISPLAY set to point to it:

DISPLAY=:0 swipl
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Ideally, the formulas get updated. Having the GUI there by default seems ideal. As a variant is better than not at all. Any Homebrew users who can get this arranged?