Compiling Git for PowerPC Macs

3rd August 2013 | Tutorial

This year I've begun using the version control system Git for managing source control. I've been putting up some of my older projects on GitHub, which were built as Universal Binaries on Xcode 3 (or earlier). Since I've been working on a long-due update for EdenGraph, I began looking around for a Git client for older PowerPC Macs. The results were disappointing, but this may not be too surprising since Git is a relatively new tool and PowerPC Macs were fazed out in 2006.

However, I did come across a blog post on how to compile Git from source for a PPC Leopard machine, but the instructions, while close, didn't work entirely in my tests. When trying to build the source code, it resulted in the following error:

	$:git-master admin$ make prefix=/usr/local
	GIT_VERSION = 1.8.4-rc0
		* new build flags
		CC credential-store.o
	In file included from cache.h:8,
					 from credential-store.c:1:
	gettext.h:17:22: error: libintl.h: No such file or directory
	In file included from cache.h:8,
					 from credential-store.c:1:
	gettext.h: In function ‘_’:
	gettext.h:54: warning: implicit declaration of function ‘gettext’
	gettext.h:54: warning: incompatible implicit declaration of built-in function ‘gettext’
	gettext.h: In function ‘Q_’:
	gettext.h:62: warning: implicit declaration of function ‘ngettext’
	gettext.h:62: warning: return makes pointer from integer without a cast
	make: *** [credential-store.o] Error 1

I found that I needed to create a configuration file first, configure the project, and then build it. These instructions installed git 1.8.2 on a PowerBook G4 running Mac OS X 10.5.8.

  1. Download the latest Git source from
  2. Create configuration file: make configure
  3. ./configure --disable-nls
  4. make prefix=/usr/local
  5. sudo make prefix=/usr/local install

Once Git has been installed, go to the project folder (via the Terminal) and create an empty Git repository with the git init command and then download a project with the command git clone git://path/to/MyProject.git. If you are looking for a GUI-based Git client for PPC Macs, check out GitX.