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How to install Spoofax on macOS ARM (M1, M2)

Currently the Eclipse with bundled JRE does not yet support M1. We recommend downloading Spoofax Eclipse without the embedded JRE. Then either use the JDK 8 that is installed by default on macOS M1/M2, or install your own.

To configure Eclipse to use an installed JDK:

  1. In the Finder, right-click the Spoofax app, choose Show Package Contents.
  2. Browse to Contents/Eclipse.
  3. Edit the eclipse.ini file.
  4. Replace or add two lines at the top of the file with the -vm argument:


    Where <path> is the path of your JDK, using one of the approaches below.

Using macOS default JDK

If you want to use the default JDK 8 that is installed with macOS, you can verify its version number:

java -version

This should print something like:

java version "1.8.0_202"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.8.0_202-b08)
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 25.202-b08, mixed mode)

The -vm path you should use in this case should be something like:


Installing a custom JDK

To install and use a custom JDK for Spoofax, we recommend using SDKman. However, only an x86 JDK is supported. Therefore SDKman has to be configured to use x86 JDKs that are compatible with the Rosetta 2 emulation layer:

  1. Edit the file ~/.sdkman/etc/config.
  2. Change the value of sdkman_rosetta2_compatible to true (it is false by default).
  3. Save and close the file.
  4. Restart your terminal to apply the changes.

Now you can install a JDK. We tested this with JDK 11 (recommended) but Java 8 and newer should work. For example:

sdk install java 11.0.18-tem

For Temurin, JDK 8 should be the lowest version of JDK that is listed. If the lowest version of Temurin is JDK 11, then the above change to sdkman_rosetta2_compatible=true was not applied correctly or the terminal was not restarted.

Once installed, the -vm path in the Eclipse installation should be something like:


Or alternatively, but perhaps less predictable, use whatever version is set as the current default version of Java (using sdk default java):


Last update: November 9, 2023
Created: November 9, 2023