installing direwolf on macOS

I’ve been using APRS quite alot recently and wanted to install my favorite igate program “direwolf” on my macbook pro. unfortunatly, while direwolf is able to run on OSX, it does not come with updated support and documentation. so here’s what I’ve done.

First update your XCode to a recent version.

next you’ll need to compile portaudio which direwolf relay’s on. so go over to and download the latest release. it will be marked by “<== You probably want this!!“. unzip and move to whereever you preffer. open a terminal and head over there


./configure --disable-mac-universal
sudo make install

you should have a file named libportaudio.dylib in your /usr/local/ folder

next download direwold from github

git clone
cd direwolf/

the program should compile with no errors.

in order to install, we’ll need to make some adjustments to the Makefile.macosx file

you can download my updated file here, but here’s a quick rundown

we need to change


than add :

        $(INSTALL)  -d $(INSTALLDIR)/share/direwolf
        $(INSTALL)  -d $(INSTALLDIR)/share/doc/direwolf

finally we need to change every line that looks like

$(INSTALL)  -D --mode=644 tocalls.txt $(INSTALLDIR)/share/direwolf/tocalls.txt


$(INSTALL)  -m 644 tocalls.txt $(INSTALLDIR)/share/direwolf/tocalls.txt

now run:

sudo make install
make install-conf

if you run direwolf you’ll see something like

Dire Wolf version 1.5

Reading config file direwolf.conf
Audio device for both receive and transmit:   (channel 0)
Number of devices = 2
--------------------------------------- device #0
[ Default Input ]
Name        = "Built-in Microphone"
Host API    = Core Audio
Max inputs  = 2
Max outputs = 0
--------------------------------------- device #1
[ Default Output ]
Name        = "Built-in Output"
Host API    = Core Audio
Max inputs  = 0
Max outputs = 2
Input device name null
Pointless to continue without audio device.

you will also find a direwolf.conf file in your home folder open it and add a line like

ADEVICE  "Built-in Microphone"  "Built-in Output"

fill in the rest of the parameters as per the manuall

good luck

2 thoughts on “installing direwolf on macOS

  1. Hey I was wondering i have a usb sound dongle. On the mac i have direwolf up and running but can’t seem to get ptt working with it i have a usb to serial connection to a tnc box it works well with soundmodem on windows but for the life of me after 2 days no go yet i have an Icom 5100a

    any suggestions

    1. Hi Robert,
      I’m not sure you can actually use direwolf with a TNC at all. direwolf is a software based TNC so it makes more sense to connect it directly to the transceiver with the usb soundcard. the easiest way to switch on TX is by using VOX on the Icom. a more complex option is to use one of the control lines of the serial adaptor.

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