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Getting RunSnakeRun Working on Mac OS X

As I mentioned previously, I have a Mac Mini at home as a workstation. While some things are easier working with it, like video editing, and basic office productivity, some things are harder.

One of the harder areas on OS X is customizing the Unix side of it for my development environment on Linux. I work primarily with Python, which does ship with Mountain Lion (Python 2.7), but it doesn't have everything. For example, the incredibly useful virtualenv was something that I had to add on later, and many things I pulled from the Homebrew project, which has been incredibly useful to a Linux geek like me.

I currently have a strong need to profile my work, and there's no substitute to the impressive work of RunSnakeRun. RunSnakeRun requires wxPython, which requires wxGtk, which requires wxWindows, etc, etc. One simple way to get wxPython on Mac is Homebrew, where it's called wxMac:

brew install wxmac

That works just fine, although it does not, at present, update the PYTHONPATH to include it. I found this was required to put it into the path:

sudo cat /usr/local/lib/python2.7/site-packages > \

At which point, you should be able to "import wx" in python, and it should work. Now, RunSnakeRun can be easily installed in a virtualenv, like so:

mkvirtualenv snake
pip install SquareMap RunSnakeRun

The problem is that wx requires permission to access the display on the Mac. I don't know the details of this, but Robin Dunn of wxPython fame goes into the issue here, with a solution. His solution is a bit old, and I'm running Mountain Lion, so I adapted it a bit.

The python executable is simply /usr/bin/python, so I just did this:

(snake)msoulier@merlin:~/envs/snake$ cat ~/envs/snake/bin/runwx



exec $PYTHON "$@"

Now, the silly indirection of easy_install makes this a little tougher. You can't just run the runsnake script with this wrapper, as it apparently invokes the actual script in some indirect manner that results in losing desired environment we're trying to establish here. If I understood what easy_install was doing better, I could likely hack it, but I kept it simple, and just run the directly with the wrapper:

runwx ./lib/python2.7/site-packages/runsnakerun/ \

And, it works!

Improvements welcome. I'm just happy that it's working. Not everything "just works" when you're on a Mac.

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