Open Motif for Linux or Mac

This page provides Open Motif package downloads, suitable for use on Linux or Mac, running on Intel-compatible processors. These are the versions of Open Motif which we recommend for use with the current versions of X/Winteracter. They were built from the standard 2.3.8 Open Motif source distribution, but patched to improve Xft text rendering performance.

Two types of package are provided:

  • Library only : The Mac downloads contain the static Motif library (libXm.a), while the Linux versions contain both static and shared libraries (libXm.a and This is the only Motif component required by X/Winteracter for development on Linux or Mac.
  • Full package : For completeness, the packages from which the above libraries originate are also provided. X/Winteracter users do not need to download these packages.

The full packages are provided here to fulfil the terms of the Open Group Public License. All of the packages below are made available here according to the terms of that license.

Build system 32/64-bit Download Download
Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) 32-bit Library only (4.7mb) Full package (31mb)
OS X 10.9 (Mavericks) 64-bit Library only (4.8mb) Full package (70mb)
macOS 10.13 (High Sierra) 64-bit Library only (5.4mb) Full package (31mb)
Fedora 7 Linux/x86 32-bit Library only (8.4mb) Full package (35mb)
Fedora 7 Linux/x86_64 64-bit Library only (9.1mb) Full package (37mb)
Fedora 15 Linux/x86_64 64-bit Library only (9.8mb) Full package (40mb)
Ubuntu 16 Linux/x86_64 64-bit Library only (11mb) Full package (44mb)
Ubuntu 18 Linux/x86_64 64-bit Library only (13mb) Full package (51mb)

All of the downloads are gzipped tar archives, which extract to a directory called motif-2.3.8 .


Wherever the Open Motif files are extracted, we recommend that X/Winteracter users create a symbolic link called either /usr/local/OpenMotif (32-bit) or /usr/local/OpenMotif64 (64-bit). For example, if the Motif files have been extracted into /home/username/motif-2.3.8, a suitable command to create the link would be:

32/64-bit Symbolic link command
32-bitsudo ln -s /home/username/motif-2.3.8 /usr/local/OpenMotif
64-bitsudo ln -s /home/username/motif-2.3.8 /usr/local/OpenMotif64

Creating such a link allows our development environment (WiDE) and compile/link scripts to find the Motif library, without needing to reference a system-specific path or a particular version number. (Obviously, you will need to change "/home/username" to the correct path, depending on where you extracted the downloaded tar file.)

On Linux, it is also advisable to add the Motif library directory to the LD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variable, to ensure the shared library can be found when linking against that version of the library. We recommend adding it to the front of the shared library path, e.g.

  export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/local/OpenMotif64/lib:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH

Typically, this should be placed in your login script (e.g. ~/.bashrc, ~/.bash_profile or equivalent). On the Mac set the DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variable instead.


  • For best results when building X/Winteracter applications with the above libraries, we recommend updating to version 13.0d or later.
  • Typically, each of the above packages is compatible with a much wider range of operating system releases than that on which they were built. In general, choose the newest version which was built on a system which is no newer than your intended development system.
  • In versions prior to 10.10d, we recommended creating the OpenMotif or OpenMotif64 symbolic link on the Mac in /usr, rather than /usr/local, but that recommendation was not compatible with System Integrity Protection, as introduced in OS X El Capitan. As of 10.10d, the supplied documentation and tools therefore now assume that Open Motif is located in /usr/local rather than /usr.
  • These packages were built by Interactive Software Services Ltd. from the standard 2.3.8 sources, modified with a single Xft text rendering patch, kindly supplied by Dušan Peterc ( The patch improves performance on recent versions of macOS and on remote X servers connected to Mac or Linux hosts (see CHANGES in the full 2.3.8 packages).
  • The 32-bit libraries are for the benefit of users of X/Winteracter 13.0 or earlier. As of v14.0, X/Winteracter is 64-bit only.


These packages are provided here primarily for the benefit of our Mac X/Winteracter customers, but are freely available to anyone to download. They are provided on an "as is" basis with no warranty. I.S.S. is unable to offer technical support for these packages. We offer no endorsement for these packages other than that specifically stated above.

This disclaimer does not affect any entitlement of I.S.S. customers to support for X/Winteracter when used in combination with these packages.