Running SCARM on Apple Mac

SCARM is developed as 32-bit Windows x86 application and cannot run natively on Mac computers. Porting of the source code to the OS X environment is not possible at the moment, because it will cost me a lot of time and resources.

However, there is a chance SCARM to be able to run on Mac even now, without porting and without using virtual machine with a copy of Windows. The project that can do the job is called WINE and is also freeware like SCARM.

I do not have my own Mac computer and cannot do the tests with SCARM on Mac, using WINE. Because of this, I will need an assistance from intermediate or advanced Mac users, who want to try and test the process of installing and running SCARM on their machines. Your help will be highly appreciated and will show is it possible SCARM to be used on Mac without complete porting of the source code.

Here I will post a short guideline about what is needed in order to try installing and running SCARM on Mac. I will update this article together with your comments about the progress of the tests.

This is not a ready-to-use guide to run SCARM on Mac – it is only an initial testing and discussion of what is possible and what can be done about running SCARM on Mac.

WINE is a freeware project that allows Windows software to run on non-Windows operating systems, such as Linux and Mac OS X. It is constantly developed and expanded by volunteers to make it possible most common Windows programs and games to run smoothly in other operating system environments. This is done by translating Windows API calls into POSIX calls on-the-fly, eliminating the performance and memory penalties of other methods, like virtualization. SCARM on the other hand is not popular mainstream software and there is no guarantee that it will be able to run under WINE. It may run smoothly, or may run without some features, or may not run at all – I just don’t know. That’s why I will count on you to try and test what is the current situation. Depending on your feedback, I can make some changes (like adding a command-line parameters for disabling 3D engine or some other features) and try to make the test again.

If you want to participate and test running SCARM on Mac, do the following:

1. Regenerate your patience – you will need it :)
2. Read the Mac OS X wiki on WINE homepage.
3. Read Installing Wine on Mac OS X by David Baumgold – detailed guide about installing WINE and using Windows applications on Mac with it.
4. Following the above instructions, try to install WINE and then SCARM on your Mac. If you do not feel as intermediate or advanced Mac user, you may ask some other experienced user or friend for help.
5. Try to run SCARM and then report what is happening in the comments section below. If SCARM displays an error message on load, try to record it by making a snapshot or just writing it by hand – it may help for making an adjustments, configuring the options or resolving the issue by changing something in SCARM code.
6. If you succeed, this will be of great help for making a step-by-step guide for other model train fans and Mac users of how to use SCARM on their Apple computers.
7. If you fail the first time, do not give up – just see p. 1 above and try again.

The software packages and guides mentioned above are third party and have no connection with me or SCARM in any way. Installing and using them on your Mac computer is at your own risk.

There is nothing sure, so we just need to try. I know from several Linux users that SCARM is able to run in 2D mode on different Linux distributions. So I hope, that with your help we can make it run also on Mac. If we succeed, this will bring railway model layout planning with SCARM into the Mac world for all model train fans :)

See also
Mac OS X wiki
Installing Wine on Mac OS X

35 thoughts on “Running SCARM on Apple Mac

  1. I installed Scarm with Wine under Linux and I can say that it works pretty well. But there are some bugs.

    At Scarm startup, an error message appears :
    ” is not a valid integer value
    The same message appears when I want to save preferences. And these are not saved. Then I have to cancel to close the window.

    When I try to generate the 3D view, I get this message several times :
    Access violation at address 00000000, Read of address 00000000
    and then the message :
    Stack overflow

    Despite this, the view is generated. I think the result is not quite the same as under Windows, but it helps to have a good overview of landforms.

    I know this is not on MAC, but it’s with Wine and if it can help…

  2. Thank you very much, Lebipbip :)

    This information will be very useful to me.

    Please, tell me distribution and version of Linux that you are running – this is important to compare are these issues the same in different Linux distributions.

    If possible, try to save a project and then to load it again. Also, try to open some of the sample project files, published here in the blog and tell me are these working normally under WINE.

    You say that even with the error messages, 3D viewer is working. Can you move and zoom with the camera? Can you make screenshots? Perhaps I will not be able to deal with the errors, but if the 3D viewer works after them, it will be OK.

    Thank you again for your help :)

  3. My linux distro is Mageia x86_64 version 4 (aka Cauldron, the dev version). The kernel version is currently 3.9.8. And I Use Wine 1.6-0.rc5.

    All Scarm features are working from what I can see. Open, edit and save projects, 3D view with zoom in, zoom out and the ability to move the camera.
    I can also take screenshots with the camera icon and save it as bmp or jpg image. It works!

    But in 3D view, some objects are not displayed (maybe due to the stack overflow error).

    So to resume, the only things that does not work is saving preferences and displaying all objects in the 3D view…

  4. Well, if all editing capabilities are OK under WINE, this is good :)

    I will check what is causing the problem with the settings, but fixing the 3D will not be possible, as OpenGL is involved here.

  5. Too bad for the 3D view. But I understand that this problem is related to Wine and not your application.

    Now, if you can solve the problem of saving preferences, it is already not bad.

    And if you’ve the time and inclination, do not hesitate to bring it to Linux ;-)

    On my side, I will continue to use it under Wine. I keep hoping to see it working correctly on Linux, one day.

    Anyway, thank you very much for this great software.

  6. Today I was able to try myself SCARM under WINE and to see how it is working with Knoppix 7.2 Live distro and Wine 1.5.

    The problems with the settings will be fixed, together with some other bugs in 2D. They are caused by VersionInfo Win32 EXE-file structure, which is not reading correctly in Wine environment.

    However, the 3D Viewer errors are related to one of the basic solid primitives in the rendering library and I am not sure is there a workaround solution for this issue in Wine. Research is in progress :)

  7. Great news :-D
    I did another test with the latest version of Wine (1.6 final release) today, after that I installed DirectX on it.
    I did a fresh install to be sure. But that did not change anything.
    So I am waiting the next release of SCARM impatiently ;-)

  8. I have mountain lion, install wine using macPort and run SCARM.
    2D work perfect
    3D did not works, gave error “access violation in address 000000″

  9. Great news! I supposed that 3D viewer will be problematic, so working 2D editor on Mac is good enough :)

    I will research the problem in 3D. I cannot promise a solution, but will try at least to suppress the error messages.

  10. I briefly tested the latest version (0.9.22). there are no more error message at startup and the preferences are saved correctly :-D
    There remains only the 3D view… But I liked the little warning ;-)
    Thank you very much for all of this.

  11. Sounds very good :)

    I also performed some tests of the simple features in WINE and they work OK. However, more tests are needed for the advanced features and flex-tracks functions (modelling, reshaping, splitting, auto-joining, etc.) because it is possible some problems to appear there.

  12. I installed Wine on my Mac air running Yosemite 10.10.1 today and executed the Scarm Setup file on my desktop from the the terminal

    this is the error message returned

    cannot find L”C:\\windows\\system32\\.exe”

    Have I missed something?
    Can someone assist me with next step?

  13. “not possible at the moment, because it will cost me a lot of time and resources”

    Have you actually considered turning your nice program into an open source project, on github for instance? This might turn some of your users into co-developers helping you with the project.

  14. Hi Milan,

    any particular reasons for that decision? See, I’d be very interested in porting SCARM from Delphi 5 to some better maintained toolkit like Qt, so that OSX users and Linux user might get native builds that integrate better with their platforms (theme colors, menu positions, …). Even more I am interested in running SCARM on Android or iOS tablets: It’s user interactions but also that it’s 3D rendering code is OpenGL based would be a perfect fit for such effort.


  15. Milen,
    After a bit of trouble, I was able to get the 2D features of SCARM working pretty well.
    Following an article in MacLife (read me first:, I downloaded the Winebottler beta app for OS X 10.10 Yosemite ( This download has both the WINE app, and the “bottler” which puts a “wrapper” around Windows programs to make them appear like native Mac applications. Many common programs like IE8 are supported, but, to no surprise, a specialty app like SCARM was not even listed on the database.
    After following the installation technique at MacLife almost successfully, I found some “tricks” to the installation:
    1. Like most Windows installers, SCARM 0.9.27 wants to put the app in the Applications directory on the C Drive. Macs don’t have a C Drive, so instead you need to [Browse...] to the Winebottler Applications directory, which is actually the Mac’s Applications folder. This creates a folder called SCARM with all its libraries and language support. However, SCARM still would not run, so…
    2. I quit and relaunched Winebottler to abort that installation, but this time installed the SCARM.EXE program WITH the libraries (3rd radio button down). Voila: “” now appeared in the Mac’s Applications folder, and launches like a native Mac app under WINE, much like programs like GIMP and Inkscape under X11. I didn’t find a need to use any other helper program or the; I did install Xcode 6 on my iMac, but not sure if that had any effect (although I doubt it can hurt).
    3. When saving files, you need to navigate to the (unlabelled) root directory/disk to find the Mac’s file system, and avoid all the phantom Windows drives that SCARM is expecting to see. I created a directory/folder called “Hobbies” in the Users/[myID]/Documents folder and saved the layout in there.
    I have not gotten far enough to see how well the 3D view works (Macs are 64 bit, and WINE apparently only supports 32 bit code), but I have running a licensed XP client to fall back on if 3D view doesn’t work or work well. In the meantime, I have started layout planning while avoiding the Windows OS.

  16. I just wanted to say that I have no problem with flex-track (so far I have used roads and Kato N-Unitrack) and that I have not yet noticed any errors (the 3D viewer one notwithstanding) while using SCARM on my OS X 10.10 box. Thanks so much, Milen for this great program.

  17. Since I already have need for Windows 8.1 I have been using Parallels on my iMac with 10.9. Installed the Win SCARM .exe and it runs fast, clean and easy.
    I am having a blast making up a version of the new Georgetown loop.


  18. Just installed on OSX Yosemite 10.10.5 using wine. No problems during install or startup. Haven’t had a chance to play with it yet but so far so good!

  19. Just installed SCARM 0.9.31 beta on a Mac Pro with OS X El Capitan version 10.11.4. Had to install XQuartz-2.7.8.dmg as it needed X11 which is no longer installed on Macs as standard. Used Winebottler 1.8-rc4. All installed reasonably well and Scarm runs from the desktop with no problems, other than the 3D. Great program thank you.

  20. Ive installed Scram on Linux Mint 17.3 and 2D works fine, but the 3d have some errors, firs is Acces violation at address 00000000. Read of address 00000000.
    Win32Err code 5 – zugriff verweigert.
    SCARM SU code: 9036.

    Acces violation at address 00000000. Read of address 00000000.
    Win32Err code 5 – zugriff verweigert.
    SCRAM SU code : 10006.
    And the 3d viewer dont load.

    If I swap to the Terrain Invissible mode the errors show again .And the 3d view load but some things missing

  21. Hi Mixy, just wondering if you’ll ever be able to fix the 3d bug on Mac?
    Thanks Leo

  22. It works like a charm under Mac OS 10.13.6 (High Sierra) using PlayOnMac! That is a GUI for Wine, e. g. makes using Wine on Mac very easy. Just installed PlayOnMac, double clicked the Windows setup executable and it did all the installation and the program worked as fine as the Windows version in the tutorial videos.

    Yet, you must remember when looking for your saved track files, you have to go a lot of (about 6) folders up to reach your home folder, or they are hidden somewhere in your library.

    Thanks for this great and easy to use program!

  23. Oh, 3D View does not work, there is an error message and just a frozen view of the tracks from the ground which cannot be changed.
    Anyways, it lowers the bar to use Scarm on Mac (and Linux) with Software like PlayOnMac/PlayOnLinux or Crossover :)

  24. I am using Crossover version 19 for Mac Catalina. SCARM works very well but I cannot seem to get the license key to activate.

  25. Hello Marilyn,

    You need to activate the license by use of “Help” > “License activation and installation” menu command in SCARM. Then you need to download the license file “SLK.scpem” on your Mac. In order to properly install the license in Crossover, start SCARM and then use “File” > “Open” to open the license file “SLK.scpem”, that you downloaded from your SCARM account. Once the license file is installed, restart SCARM and check the license status in “Help” > “About” dialog.

  26. I’ve been running SCARM 1.7.1 running Wine v.5 on Linux Mint 20.1 with no problems so far. I’ve been able to run the 3D option as well as the Model Train Simulator.
    The only problem I have had so far is a licensing issue that Mixy was able to fix.

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