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NX Support for El Capitan / MAC OSX v10.11


A lot of people have been asking about NX support for MAC OSX v10.11, also known as El Capitan. Unfortunately, NX does not currently certify and support El Capitan due to two major issues uncovered during testing. The good news is there are plans to address those issues and support El Capitan starting in NX 11, and there is a workaround you can use in the meantime if you're running NX 9 or NX 10. Read on for more info. 


Known Issues


There are two known issues with installation and deployment of NX v10 on El Capitan. One is the deprecation of support for installation meta-packages; the second is the default enablement of System Integrity Protection (SIP), which prevents the installation of OpenMotif, a requirement to use NX on Mac OSX.


  • Installation packaging
    Mac OSX v10.11 dropped support for install meta-packages (.mpkg) which are used by the NX installation to give you a mechanism to install different kits from the NX media. Due to this lack of support, NX cannot be installed on a clean installation of El Capitan. This is being corrected by rewriting the installation procedure with scripts and is planned for NX 11.


  • OpenMotif and SIP
    Mac OSX v10.11 includes a feature called System Integrity Protection (SIP) which prevents the installation of software into the /usr directory. The OpenMotif package, which must be downloaded and installed to run NX on Mac OSX, is packaged to install into this directory. It also does not have the option to install into alternate directories and the maintainers of this open source have no plans to update this software.

    NX 11 plans to include the necessary OpenMotif libraries and install them in a directory not protected by SIP. This will eliminate the need to separately download and install OpenMotif prior to running NX.

Workarounds for NX10


For those of you currently using NX 9 or NX 10 on Mac OSX, we are providing these workarounds and deployment strategies to get NX installed and working on El Capitan. These workarounds are not official and are not supported. In addition, there may be other issues which have not been uncovered that are also not supported.


  • Installation
    To work around the lack of meta-packages you should first install Mac OSX v10.10 (Yosemite), then install NX, and then perform an upgrade to El Capitan. The upgrade from Yosemite to El Capitan leaves the NX installation intact.

  • SIP
    To get around SIP, you must install OpenMotif on Mac OSX v10.10 and then upgrade to v10.11. In the upgrade process, the OpenMotif libraries are moved to a quarantined directory which can then be moved to a useable directory for NX.

  • Moving the quarantined library after upgrade
    When El Capitan is installed and finds files in forbidden areas, it doesn’t delete them, but moves them to a quarantine area. The following commands move the relevant library to /usr/local/lib. As it turns out, although DYLD* variables are unavailable in El Capitan, the default value for DYLD_FALLBACK_LIBRARY_PATH is still set internally, and one directory in that path is /usr/local/lib. This default fallback library enables NX to use libXm.dylib in a directory other than normally installed.

    The following commands move the quarantined motif library to /usr/local/lib:

    # Make sure /usr/local/lib exists
    [ ! -d /usr/local/lib ] && sudo mkdir -p /usr/local/lib

    # Copy file from quarantined location … note the file is renamed
    find /Library/SystemMigration/History/Migration-*/QuarantineRoot/usr -name libXm.3.1.dylib \ exec sudo cp -v {} /usr/local/lib/libXm.3.dylib \;

Hopefully you find this post helpful. 




Amy Allen 

NX Community Manager

Siemens PLM Software, Inc. 

Community Manager, Solid Edge
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