This is BrainLog, a blog by Dan Sanderson. Older entries, from October 1999 through September 2010, are preserved for posterity, but are no longer maintained. See the front page and newer entries.

December 26, 2009

Installing Lego Mindstorms NXT on Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard

Update, February 2, 2012: The instructions I wrote a few years ago (below these) no longer apply to the Mindstorms NXT 2.0 software. It's still not the easiest thing to get this software to install on Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, but now it's just a matter of getting the patch from the website.

Step 1: If you don't have the disc, download Mindstorms NXT 2.0 from this Knowledge Base article. The file is an ISO disc image, and it's large (690 MB). Double-click to mount it as if it were a CD.

Step 2: Install.app is still too old to run on modern versions of Mac OS X. Instead, double-click on LEGOMindstormsEngRet.mpkg and follow the prompts to install it. (That's the English version, there's also Dut for Dutch, Fra for French, and Ger for German.) Restart your computer when prompted. This creates the /Applications/LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT folder.

Step 3: Download the Software 2.0 Fix (Mac) from Lego's support website. Double-click to unzip the NXT 2.0f3 Patch.dmg (your version number may vary slightly), then double-click that to open it. Double-click NXT_2.0f3_Patch_Intel.pkg and install it.

Now you can go to the Applications folder, open the LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT folder, then duoble-click MINDSTORMS NXT.app to run the application.

Did you get Lego Mindstorms for a holiday gift? Do you have a Mac running Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard? Perhaps by now you've noticed that the software installer doesn't actually install the MINDSTORMS NXT.app. Here's the fix, thanks to nxtasy.org and the forum, with an important addendum from this thread:

  1. Copy all of the files from the install CD to a folder on your desktop. You will be modifying an installer package to disable a piece of it.
  2. Find the Parts folder, then open it and find either MindstormsUnivEdu.pkg or MindstormsUnivRet.pkg. (Mine is the latter, I assume that's the "retail" version vs. the "educational" version.) Right-click and select "Show Package Contents."
  3. Open Contents, then Resources. Right-click the preflight file and select "Move to Trash."
  4. Navigate back to the MindstormsUniv....pkg bundle and double-click it to start the installer. Follow the instructions to complete the installation.
  5. Back in the Parts folder, double-click legodriver.pkg and follow the instructions.

You can now go to /Applications/LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT and double-click MINDSTORMS NXT.app to open the application. If you get an error about a file missing (error "1003"), make sure you did the last step with legodriver.pkg. You may still need to run the full installer (the one that offers to install Adobe Flash Player and requires that you reboot the computer) to install the engine directory.