Lucas Sifoni

DFTFringe on Mac ARM via multipass ... or Natively !

optics mac

Update on Jul 6th, 2023 user Dan notified me of the completion of an universal build of DFTFringe. I’m very happy to declare this blog post obsolete as their native app will logically take over :

Porting DFTFringe to Apple silicon will certainly help a tiny portion of the tiny ATM community, but a tiny portion that was stuck without a native software application to analyze igrams. Thanks a lot for this work.

The old article to run it in a light VM

This article could simply be titled “using an Ubuntu VM graphically on Mac ARM”, but I specifically needed to be able to launch DFTFringe and had not yet managed to do so via wine, nor via crossover, and VirtualBox 7 failed to launch the installation of a linux distro.

So I discovered Multipass, a tool offered by Canonical to launch Ubuntu VMs (via Qemu + hyperkit under the hood) very easily, regardless of the host OS.

A Github user, Julien Staub has recently added a Linux CI based on a dockerfile from gr5 to compile DFTFringe on linux. All of this, combined, makes it possible to properly use DFTFringe on my laptop, a Macbook Air M1 under Monterey.

Once multipass is installed, let’s create a VM with enough disk space to install a desktop environment :

multipass launch --cpus 2 --disk 10G --memory 4G

Once the VM is created, we can connect to it with its name and multipass shell:

multipass shell artful-copperhead

In the VM, I installed lubuntu-desktop and xrdp and then gave the default user, ubuntu, a password :

sudo apt update
sudo apt install lubuntu-desktop xrdp
sudo passwd ubuntu

Then, under Mac OS, I install Microsoft Remote Desktop from the App Store.

Via multipass list, I get the IP of the VM and connect to it from Microsoft Remote Desktop. I’m landing in a graphical LXDE desktop environment.

In the VM, in a terminal, you only have to clone DFTFringe, and install the necessary dependencies based on the CI workflow:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install -y apt-utils build-essential wget qt5-qmake qt5-qmake-bin qt5-assistant qtbase5-dev qtmultimedia5-dev libqt5charts5 libqt5charts5-dev libqt5multimedia* libqt5datavisualization5-dev libqt5datavisualization5 libopencv-core-dev libopencv-core4.5d libopencv-core4.5ddev libqwt-qt5-6 libqwt-qt5-dev libarmadillo-dev libarmadillo10
git clone
cd DFTFringe
make -j4

The compilation is quite fast (a few minutes).


Fantastic :^) .

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