Manual for working with SNAP on Mac

Keith Siilats 10/10/11



Since SNAP was developed in Visual Studio and the examples come with a Visual Studio .sln examples, it is more efficient to use Visual Studio as the developing environment. Having used both XCode and Visual Studio, I can say that Visual Studio is a lot gentler for beginners and from a pure C++ perspective has many more helpful features than XCode. XCode does not have IntelliSense or “Edit and Continue“ and also does not have watches. The advantage of XCode is if you are a gcc wizard, XCode uses gcc in the background.


It is possible to get a legal copy of Visual Studio running on the Mac with the following steps:

1.     Download and install VirtualBox

2.     Download Microsoft Server 2008 R2 from

a.     This is tricky – you need to use chrome, select that you want to download not with download manager but using web. Later on you need to rename the file so it has .iso ending.

b.     If you cannot get this to work Server 2003 is 32 bit.

3.     Install VirtualBox and create a new machine with Windows 7 64 Bits using the .iso as source. Windows Server 2008 did not work for me as base. Make sure you select 1GB of RAM not the default 512. Don’t select default upgrade option but the custom full install.

4.     Download Visual Studio 2010 Professional from the same site. I did it inside the Windows Server 2008 using chrome. You can use MagicDisk inside the virtual machine to map ISO-s.

5.     Install VirtualBox host components. This will allow you to copy paste. Also install windows update and activate the products. Look on the VirtualBox menu bar.

6.     Download SNAP

7.     Open SnapExamples.sln in Visual Studio, make it use C++ settings

8.     Open testgraph.vcproj and run it. Put a breakpoint in testgraph.cpp line that says return 0 in main() to see the output.

9.     If you get stuck, you can try

10. Visual Studio tutorial is Good luck!