How do I develop a plugin for Mac (OSX) on Windows?

This seems like a simple question, but I havent been able to find anything about it in the SDK documentation…

I have been developing VST plugins using Visual Studio on Windows and have had no problem exporting them for use in Windows. Now I want to expoert the same plugins for use on Mac, but can’t seem to figure out how to do this. Do I literally have to build a Mac VST from a Mac computer? That seems highly unlikely…

Thanks in advance!

Hey midiosh,

yes, you need to build on a mac. Otherwise you need to cross compile. But cross compilation from windows to macos is not possible, never heard of that.

Cross compilation does work though with the VST3 SDK. If you build for Android (which is not supported yet but still, it is possible with some tweaks), run a Linux Ubuntu, get the Android SDK which contains an Android toolchain and build for Android successfully. The toolchain contains all the necessary libraries and compilers needed.

Does it answer your question?


Hey René,

So I’ll have to create the project on a Mac and compile it using that SDK. Yeah that answers my question, although it’s pretty unfortunate…

Thanks for the reply!

You don’t have to “create the project on a Mac”. The CMakefile that comes with the SDK work both on Mac and PC. So as long as you use a CMakefile to compile your own source you should be good (I have an example plugin on github GitHub - pongasoft/vst3-again-sample: Example of a self contained VST3/VST2 plugin that is not part of the SDK). So you only need to “compile” the project on the Mac. You cannot indeed use a PC to compile the Mac version.

I personally develop on Mac and then simply use a PC to compile the project for the PC version.

Note that my mini framework Jamba ( creates the proper CMakefile…


Thanks for your help, I was able to compile it for Windows, Mac and Linux each by completing the build from a computer running the target OS.