Installing on Mac OS X using Homebrew

This tutorial explains how to install the Point Cloud Library on Mac OS X using Homebrew.

Mac OS X logo


You will need to have Homebrew installed. If you do not already have a Homebrew installation, see the Homebrew homepage for installation instructions.

Using the formula

The PCL formula is in the Homebrew official repositories. This will automatically install all necessary dependencies and provides options for controlling which parts of PCL are installed.


To prepare it, follow these steps:

  1. Install Homebrew. See the Homebrew website for instructions.
  2. Execute brew update.
  3. Execute brew tap homebrew/science.

To install the latest version using the formula, execute the following command:

$ brew install pcl

You can specify options to control which parts of PCL are installed. For example, to build just the libraries without extra dependencies, execute the following command:

$ brew install pcl --without-apps --without-tools --without-vtk --without-qt

For a full list of the available options, see the formula’s help:

$ brew options pcl

Once PCL is installed, you may wish to periodically upgrade it. Update Homebrew and, if a PCL update is available, upgrade:

$ brew update
$ brew upgrade pcl

Using PCL

Now that PCL in installed, you can start using the library in your own projects by following the Using PCL in your own project tutorial.