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v0.35.3 / Developers Guide Osx

Metabase OS X App

NOTE: These instructions are only for packaging a built Metabase uberjar into They are not useful if your goal is to work on Metabase itself; for development, please see our developers’ guide.

First-Time Configuration


The following steps need to be done before building the Mac App:

  1. Install XCode.

  2. Add a JRE to the OSX/Metabase/jre

    You can download a copy of a JRE from — make sure you download a JRE rather than JDK. Move the Contents/Home directory from the JRE archive into OSX/Metabase/jre. For example:

    # Don't copy these commands -- this version is broken. See below
    tar -xzvf OpenJDK8U-jre_x64_mac_hotspot_8u232b09.tar.gz
    mv jdk8u232-b09-jre/Contents/Home/ OSX/Metabase/jre


    Make sure the JRE version you use is one that is known to work successfully with notarization/the hardened runtime. See for more information. I have personally had success with this nighly build of 11.0.6. If you get notarization errors like

    The executable does not have the hardened runtime enabled.

    (Referring to files in then use a different build of the JRE.

    Assuming the OpenJDK folks have resolved this issue going forward, you are fine to use whatever the latest JRE version available is. I have been using the HotSpot JRE instead of the OpenJ9 one but it ultimately shouldn’t make a difference.

1) Copy Metabase uberjar to OSX resources dir

cp /path/to/metabase.jar OSX/Resources/metabase.jar

Every time you want to build a new version of the Mac App, you can simple update the bundled uberjar the same way.

At this point, you should try opening up the Xcode project and building the Mac App in Xcode by clicking the run button. The app should build and launch at this point. If it doesn’t, ask Cam for help!


The following steps are prereqs for releasing the Mac App:

  1. Install XCode command-line tools. In Xcode > Preferences > Locations select your current Xcode version in the Command Line Tools drop-down.

1) Install AWS command-line client (if needed)

brew install awscli

1) Configure AWS Credentials for metabase profile (used to upload artifacts to S3)

You'll need credentials that give you permission to write the metabase-osx-releases S3 bucket.
You just need the access key ID and secret key; use the defaults for locale and other options.

aws configure --profile metabase

1) Obtain a copy of the private key for signing app updates (ask Cam) and put a copy of it at OSX/dsa_priv.pem

cp /path/to/private/key.pem OSX/dsa_priv.pem

1) Add Apple Developer ID Application Certificate to your computer’s keychain.

You'll need to generate a Certificate Signing Request from Keychain Access, and have Sameer go to [the Apple Developer Site]( and generate one for you, then load the file on your computer.

1) Export your Apple ID for building the app as METABASE_MAC_APP_BUILD_APPLE_ID. (This Apple ID must be part of the Metabase org in the Apple developer site. Ask Cam or Sameer to add you if it isn’t.)

#  Add this to .zshrc or .bashrc

1) Create an App-Specific password for the Apple ID in the previous step

Go to then `Security` > `App-Specific Passwords` > `Generate Password`

1.  Store the password in Keychain

    xcrun altool \
    --store-password-in-keychain-item "METABASE_MAC_APP_BUILD_PASSWORD" \
    -p <secret_password>

1) Install Clojure CLI

brew install clojure

Building & Releasing the Mac App

After following the configuration steps above, to build and release the app you can use the ./bin/osx-release script:

  1. Copy latest uberjar to the Mac App build directory

    cp path/to/metabase.jar OSX/Resources/metabase.jar
  2. Bump version number (tag) in ./bin/ unless uberjar was built locally

    The build script reads this file, which is generated by ./bin/build; it assumes the uberjar was built locally, which is a bad assumption. This is something we should fix

  3. Bundle entire app, and upload to s3

    cd OSX
    clojure -m macos-release