Installation on OS X 10.7 Lion

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This is part of the Installation and Setup on OS X guide for installing and running FreeSWITCH™. This page describes the installation of FreeSWITCH™ using the following components  Installed and tested April 9, 2014: 

  • OS X Lion 10.7.5 (10.7 built clean, not upgraded from a prior OS X release)
  • Xcode 4.6.3 and its Command Line Utilities, the last available for 10.7
  • Homebrew and other prerequisites
  • FreeSWITCH™ 1.5.12b+git~20140409 development version

There is information on this page for people who want a little more than others. If you're not too technical don't let the explanations intimidate you. Just follow the steps and FreeSWITCH™ should be installed in about 90 minutes.


As of April 9 2014 the FreeSwitch module mod_v8 which provides Javascript support does not compile on OSX 10.7.5. Most likely, this module will never be supported on OSX 10.7.5. If you need this support upgrade OSX to at least 10.8.5. Instructions for removal are below.


Getting Help

If you encounter problems search the web first, if you can't find an answer join and post to the FreeSWITCH-users mailing list.

A Word About Security

It is not recommended to perform the installation while logged on as root on OS X. This procedure uses root minimally which results in a few extra Unix permission commands and a safer system.



Even though it's easy to remove FreeSWITCH™ and it's prerequisites, removing some Apple supplied tools is very difficult. If you decide to remove everything it's best to backup before starting this procedure.

Terminal Application Preferences

We'll use the Terminal application extensively during installation and to start FreeSWITCH™ initially. You should make the following changes to save time during this procedure:

  1. Copy Terminal in the Applications/Utilities folder into the Dock for quick access.
  2. Start the Terminal application by clicking it in the dock. Then open its preferences panel.
  3. In Settings–>Window change the Window Size to larger values such as 140x48 to reduce having to resize the window often.
  4. In Settings–>Window change Scrollback to Limit to Available Memory or a larger number. A lot of messages are produced that you may need to view.
  5. In Settings–>Shell change Prompt before closing to "Only if there are processes other than:". This prevents the Terminal window from closing when FreeSWITCH™ is shutdown if it started automatically, which would result in the loss of all messages in the window. This is useful during debugging. If FreeSWITCH™ started manually the window does not close.

OS X Developer Tools

Install Xcode

Xcode is the OS X Software Developer Kit for Lion that provides Git and other tools required to generate FreeSWITCH™ and its prerequisites. Xcode 4.6.3 is no longer on the OS X App Store so must be downloaded from the OS X Developer site which requires a minimum of a free membership. Xcode is large so it takes a while to download and install. Xcode is installed into the /Applications directory.

Install Command Line Tools (CLT)

After Xcode is installed the compiler and command line tools must be installed. This is performed by starting Xcode, opening preferences, click on Download, then Install for Command Line Tools.

Informational Tip

You can perform all editing using Textedit, however, you should become familiar with the Xcode editor. Its advantage is that it displays XML code colorized so you can find syntax errors quickly. This is ideal for editing FreeSWITCH™ XML configuration files.


Setup Installation Directories

OS X provides the /usr directory which contains subdirectories. This procedure adds the directory local to /usr as /usr/local where FreeSWITCH™ and its prerequisite source and runtime files are placed. These files are kept out of OS X supplied directories to allow easy removal of FreeSWITCH™ and its prerequisites.

Show Invisible Files and Directories in the Finder

OS X hides many Unix directories and files from the Finder including the directories created by this procedure. These files and directories can be viewed by opening the Terminal application and run each line below. All hidden files will appear on the desktop, Finder windows and file dialogs. Additional information and scripts for showing invisible files are in the Installation and Setup on OS X guide.

     defaults write AppleShowAllFiles YES
     killall Finder

Create /usr Subdirectories

The user name (owner) and group name of /usr/local and it's subdirectories must match the user and group FreeSWITCH™ will run under. This is typically the main user name of the Mac. To find your information launch the Terminal application and issue the following command to display yourname and yourgroup:

   ls -l ~/

Create the /usr/local directory and change the owner and group of /usr/local to yourname and yourgroup obtained from the previous command:

   cd /usr
   sudo mkdir local
   sudo chown -R yourname:yourgroup local

Create the /usr/local/src directory FreeSWITCH™ source will be downloaded into:

   mkdir local/src
Informational Tip

You will access /usr/local quite often, it is recommended that you navigate to it in the Finder, then drag the local folder to the Finder window sidebar under "FAVORITES" so it can be accessed quickly.

If you're interested: Even though OS X did not contain the /usr/local directory, /usr/local/bin is defined in the default OS X 10.7 path. The path is viewed by running "echo $PATH" in Terminal. If you don't understand this, don't worry, it doesn't affect anything.



Prerequisite Installation Options

Additional programs are required to generate and run FreeSWITCH™. It is strongly recommended to follow the procedure on this page using the Homebrew package manager for OS X that provides a repository of products that are easy to install and remove. Homebrew uses a Git repository maintained by volunteers. Using Homebrew saves time since you don’t have to locate each package and determine the version required for your OS X release.

Informational Tip

Alternatively, other techniques for installing prerequisites and FreeSWITCH™ can be viewed on the Installation on OS X Alternatives documentation.
This is discouraged but is made available for those who don’t want to use Homebrew.


Install Package Manager and Prerequisites

Using the commands below the package manager and prerequisites install in under 10 minutes.

Install Homebrew

Homebrew installation is simple, the command can be run from any directory:

  1. Go to the bottom of the Homebrew page and copy the ruby command.
  2. Open terminal if not already opened, paste and run the command
  3. Run the command "brew doctor" to make sure it all works, this command could take a couple of minutes.

Install Required Packages

The basic FreeSWITCH™ prerequisite packages are installed by running the following command in Terminal from any directory:

   brew install autoconf automake curl jpeg libtool openssl pcre pkg-config speex sqlite

Some packages produce keg-only messages which can be ignored. It means an alias (link) for the package was not placed into /usr/local/bin because brew found that OS X has another version installed. This is not a problem because the FreeSWITCH™ installation process searches Homebrew directories to find packages.
Homebrew has never failed in all tests but if any prerequisite fails to install it must be resolved before continuing. First, check if you are using an OS X or Xcode that was upgraded, if so read the warnings at the top of the Installation on OS X Alternatives page.


Download FreeSWITCH™

OS X is now ready to download and install FreeSWITCH™. This takes about 20 minutes.

Selecting a Version

There are two versions of FreeSWITCH™ that can be downloaded: development and stable. The development version is used here because if there are problems the developers will request to diagnose using the development version. The development version is almost always stable and usable for normal operations. Information for the stable version is found at Which version should I use.

Download Using Git Clone

To install the most up-to-date development version, switch to the new src directory and use git to download the latest FreeSWITCH™, git will create the freeswitch directory in src and download the FreeSWITCH™ source files. Enter the following commands:

   cd /usr/local/src
   git clone git://

Install FreeSWITCH™

Generate Installation and Configuration Files

This step creates installation files based on the operating system and installed packages. ./ creates many files such as modules.conf used to add modules to the compilation while ./configure sets compilation options. Enter the following commands (each will run several minutes):

   cd freeswitch    <- the new freeswitch directory created by the git clone process

Add Text To Speech Module

Optional functions are added to the compilation by editing the modules.conf file. At a minimum, FLITE should be added to provide Text To Speech functionality. As your FreeSWITCH™ configuration becomes more complex additional modules may be required.

  1. Use the Finder to navigate to the /usr/local/src/freeswitch directory.
  2. Scroll to and double-click modules.conf in the freeswitch directory, the first time requires application selection, Textedit should be used.
  3. Search for "flite" and remove the # to uncomment.
  4. Save the file.

If this is your first experience with FreeSWITCH™ don't add more than FLITE. Adding functions may result in additional prerequisites that must be installed. For instance, if you want mp3 instead of aiff for emails search for shout and remove #, but you may need to install LIBVORBIS for OS X.



The mod_v8 module which provides Javascript support does not compile on OSX 10.7.5, if make below fails in mod_v8 edit modules.conf, locate the line containing "mod_v8" and insert "#" as the first character on the line then save the file. Otherwise the next step will fail.


Compile, Create Additional Source Directories and Check for Errors

This step compiles the programs and creates additional directories and files based on modules.conf. It can run longer than 10 minutes. While still in /usr/local/src/freeswitch compile FreeSWITCH™ with the following command:


If there are no errors proceed, otherwise seek assistance from the FreeSWITCH-users mailing list

Generate FreeSWITCH™ Runtime

This creates the final runtime binary modules which are placed into /usr/local/freeswitch.

   make install

Download and Install Sounds

There are mandatory sound prompts and optional music on hold files. All must be compiled to run the sample IVR. There are four versions available:

  • sounds-install moh-install (8 kHz)
  • hd-sounds-install hd-moh-install (16 kHz)
  • uhd-sounds-install uhd-moh-install (32 kHz)
  • cd-sounds-install cd-moh-install (48 kHz)

The cd sounds are recommended since all the sampling rates are provided resulting in fewer problems. Invoke the following command:

   make cd-sounds-install cd-moh-install


This optional step can be performed to save space by removing the temporary files created by make:

   make clean

Installation is Complete!

Continue at Installation is Complete in the Installation and Setup on OS X guide.


Updating FreeSWITCH™

FreeSWITCH™ may occasionally require updating due to new features, fixes, etc. To download the latest updates, compile FreeSWITCH™ and create updated runtime binaries, run the following two commands:

   cd /usr/local/src/freeswitch
   git pull && make current

Updating Prerequisites

To upgrade everything installed by Homebrew run "brew update" then "brew upgrade". To update a single package add the package name to the brew upgrade command.


Removing FreeSWITCH™

Save any configuration files you created and don't want to lose! FreeSWITCH™ can be removed simply by deleting the /usr/local/freeswitch and /usr/local/src/freeswitch directories using the Finder (drag to trash) or in Terminal: "rm -r /usr/local/freeswitch" and "rm -r /usr/local/src/freeswitch" commands.

Remove Prerequisites

Packages installed by Homebrew are listed using the "brew list" command. They are removed using the "brew uninstall package-name" command.

Remove Xcode

Xcode is installed as an OS X package (directory) that looks like a single application file. It is removed by moving the Xcode application to the trash and emptying it. The Command Level Tools cannot be removed.

Remove Everything

If the instructions on this page are followed, and the /usr/local directory was created during this procedure, everything that is installed can be removed to roll back the system prior to installing FreeSWITCH™ and its prerequisites by performing these steps:

  1. Delete (drag to trash) all files and directories located in /usr/local or in Terminal: "rm -r /usr/local".
  2. Move the Xcode application to the trash and empty the Trash

If there was a /usr/local directory prior to using this procedure it has to be examined to determine if the contents are deletable. The Command Level Tools cannot be removed.

Hide Invisible Files and Directories in the Finder

To reverse the show hidden files step above, open the Terminal application and run each line below. All hidden files will disappear from the desktop, Finder and file dialogs.

     defaults write AppleShowAllFiles NO
     killall Finder