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DAMBE for Macintosh computers

Please cite:

Xia X. 2017. DAMBE6: New tools for microbial genomics, phylogenetics and molecular evolution. Journal of Heredity 108(4):431-437.

Xia, X. 2013. DAMBE5: A comprehensive software package for data analysis in molecular biology and evolution. Molecular Biology and Evolution 30:1720-1728 .

Installation instructions:


  • XQuartz needs to be installed/activated
  • Gatekeeper must not be set to block unsigned packages. This link explains changes in Gatekeeper in Mac Sierra.

Method 1:

Download DAMBE6.zip or DAMBE6Sierra.zip. Unzip it in a directory (e.g., Applications). You will see DAMBE6. Click DAMBE6 to run DAMBE just as you would run any other Mac program. (If you have upgraded to Sierra/High Sierra and have DAMBE6 running successfully, please let me know. Thank you.)

(Strange for Mac OSX Sierra: After I got DAMBE to work on Mac Sierra, I zipped it and uploaded to this site. However, after downloading and unzipping in Mac Sierra, DAMBE no longer starts. I have to download DAMBE6Sierra.zip in my Windows 10 PC, save it to a USB and then copy from USB to Mac and unzip. Then it runs fine. It seems that Mac OSX Sierra/High Sierra trusts DAMBE from USB more than DAMBE from the web.)

Pros: simple. Cons: DAMBE6.zip is large (124 MB)

Method 2:

  1. Install Wine for Mac computers
  2. Right-click DAMBEX for Linux and save it (DAMBEX.msi) to a directory. Click it to install (or right-click and choose 'Run with wine' or something like that). The installation will create a shortcut on your desktop to run DAMBE.

Pros: DAMBEX.msi is only 11 MB. Cons: A few extra clicks for those familiar with Linux; some frustration for those who are not. Please let me know if you encouter problems.

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