Installing CUDA on Mac OS

CUDA is a parallel computing platform and programming model that enables dramatic increases in computing performance by harnessing the power of the graphics processing unit (GPU).

In this post, I will tell you how to get started with CUDA on Mac OS. To use CUDA on your system, you will need the following installed:

  1. CUDA-enabled GPU. A list of such GPUs is available here
  2. Mac OS X v. 10.5.6 or later (10.6.3 or later for 64-bit CUDA applications)
  3. The gcc compiler and toolchain installed using Xcode
  4. CUDA software (available at no cost from

Once you have verified that you have a supported NVIDIA processor and a supported version the Mac OS, you need to download the CUDA software. Download the following packages for the latest version of the Development Tools from the site above:

  1. CUDA Driver
  2. CUDA Toolkit
  3. GPU Computing SDK


  1. Install the CUDA Driver
    Install the CUDA driver package by executing the installer and following the on-screen prompts. This will install /Library/Framework/CUDA.framework and the UNIX-compatibility stub /usr/local/cuda/lib/libcuda.dylib that refers to it
  2. Install the CUDA Toolkit
    Install the CUDA Toolkit by executing the Toolkit installer package and following the on-screen prompts. The CUDA Toolkit supplements the CUDA Driver with compilers and additional libraries and header files that are installed into /usr/local/cuda by default
  3. Define the environment variables
    – The PATH variable needs to include /usr/local/cuda/bin
    DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH needs to contain /usr/local/cuda/lib
    The typical way to place these values in your environment is with the following commands:
    export PATH=/usr/local/cuda/bin:$PATH
    export DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/local/cuda/lib:$DYLD_LIBRARY_PAT
    To make these settings permanent, place them in ~/.bash_profile
  4. Install CUDA SDK
    The default installation process places the files in/Developer/GPU Computing

To compile the examples, cd into /Developer/GPU Computing/C and type make. The resulting binaries will be installed under the home directory in /Developer/GPU Computing/C/bin/darwin/release

Verify the installation by running ./deviceQuery, the output of which should be something like this

Sample CUDA deviceQuery Program

Now, you are all set to start with CUDA programming!



  1. CUDA getting started guide for Mac OS

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