X11 and PulseAudio on macOS

X11 and PulseAudio are available via Homebrew.

PulseAudio on macOS

brew install pulseaudio

Start PulseAudio by:

brew services start pulseaudio

Check that PulseAudio is running by:

pactl list sinks

If you have devices plugged in, you may need to select the proper “sink” to hear sound. Inspect the device list looking for say “Macbook Speakers” and set the default audio output device like:

pactl set-default-sink 1

if “Sink #1” is the Macbook Speakers and so on.

X11 on macOS

X11 can be accessed using XQuartz:

brew install libx11 xquartz

To finish the one-time setup of XQuartz, logout/login or reboot. Check that X11 server is available by


which should show a temporary directory ending like “org.xquartz:0”.

See that X11 is working by:


Which should open a window with the classic Xeyes test GUI.

A useful image browsing program on Linux, macOS etc. is feh:

brew install feh