Install Minecraft Overviewer on Mac OS X

By | June 12, 2017

My guess is that you are here because the build instructions for Overviewer didn’t work for you. Here is what worked for me.

Note: This required some trial and error and I can’t easily start over to verify the steps. Please leave a comment letting me know if it worked for you or if it didn’t so I can make sure the instructions are as accurate as possible.

Note 2: Both overviewer and Mac OS X change over time, sometimes drastically. These instructions work today but there may be some other or different steps required as time passes.


  1. Install XCode from the App Store.
  2. Open the Terminal application. This will be under “Other” in Launchpad.
  3. Install the XCode command line tools
    sudo xcode-select --install
  4. Get pip (pip is a package manager for python packages)
    sudo easy-install pip
  5. Install Pillow (overviewer needs PIL, Pillow is a fork of PIL that provides the same funcitonality)
    pip install Pillow
  6. Get the Pillow source files. Overviewer requires some header files for libimaging but Pillow doesn’t install them so we need to get them manually. Go to Pip should have installed the latest version for you,
    so click the the newest version and scroll down the page to find the source package. It should be Pillow-[version].tar.gz (as I am writing this, it is Pillow-4.1.1.tar.gz). Download that package somewhere on your system and unpack it. You’ll need to know where it is later.
  7. Make sure you have python2.7 and python2 symlinked to it
    which python2.7

    should give you the path to python2.7 (probably /usr/bin/python2.7. If you got something different, substitute yours if you need to make the symlink). Next do

    which python2

    If you don’t get anything back, you need to create the symlink:

    sudo ln -sf /usr/bin/python2.7 /usr/local/bin/python2
  8. Download and unpack the Overviewer source. You can find it at
  9. In the terminal, cd to the Overviewer directory. You should be in the directory containing
  10. Build and install Overviewer. You will need the path to the libImaging directory in the Pillow sources you downloaded earlier
    PIL_INCLUDE_DIR="/path/to/Pillow-[version]/libImaging" python2 build

    This is where you are most likely to get an error. If you do, let me know in the comments and I’ll help if I can.

  11. Install Overviewer
    sudo python2 install

And that should work