Building Zed for macOS


Clone down the Zed repository.


  • Install Rust
  • Install Xcode from the macOS App Store, or from the Apple Developer website. Note this requires a developer account.

Ensure you launch XCode after installing, and install the MacOS components, which is the default option.

  • Install Xcode command line tools

    xcode-select --install
  • Ensure that the Xcode command line tools are using your newly installed copy of Xcode:

    sudo xcode-select --switch /Applications/
  • Install the Rust wasm toolchain:

    rustup target add wasm32-wasi

Backend Dependencies

If you are developing collaborative features of Zed, you'll need to install the dependencies of zed's collab server:

Alternatively, if you have Docker installed you can bring up all the collab dependencies using Docker Compose:

docker compose up -d

Building Zed from Source

Once you have the dependencies installed, you can build Zed using Cargo.

For a debug build:

cargo run

For a release build:

cargo run --release

And to run the tests:

cargo test --workspace


Error compiling metal shaders

error: failed to run custom build command for gpui v0.1.0 (/Users/path/to/zed)`**

xcrun: error: unable to find utility "metal", not a developer tool or in PATH

Try sudo xcode-select --switch /Applications/

Cargo errors claiming that a dependency is using unstable features

Try cargo clean and cargo build.

Error: 'dispatch/dispatch.h' file not found

If you encounter an error similar to:

src/platform/mac/dispatch.h:1:10: fatal error: 'dispatch/dispatch.h' file not found

Caused by:
  process didn't exit successfully

  --- stdout

This file is part of Xcode. Ensure you have installed the Xcode command line tools and set the correct path:

xcode-select --install
sudo xcode-select --switch /Applications/

Additionally, set the BINDGEN_EXTRA_CLANG_ARGS environment variable:

export BINDGEN_EXTRA_CLANG_ARGS="--sysroot=$(xcrun --show-sdk-path)"

Then clean and rebuild the project:

cargo clean
cargo run