Kaizen Today I Learned by Ville Säävuori

Resolving 'fatal error: 'vips/vips8' file not found' on macOS

I was having problems installing dependencies to a not too old frontend project using yarn. The installation failed with a long traceback which included the following:

gyp info spawn args [ 'BUILDTYPE=Release', '-C', 'build' ]
  CC(target) Release/obj.target/nothing/../node-addon-api/nothing.o
  LIBTOOL-STATIC Release/nothing.a
warning: /Applications/Xcode.app/Contents/Developer/Toolchains/XcodeDefault.xctoolchain/usr/bin/libtool: archive library: Release/nothing.a the table of contents is empty (no object file members in the library define global symbols)
  TOUCH Release/obj.target/libvips-cpp.stamp
  CXX(target) Release/obj.target/sharp/src/common.o
../src/common.cc:23:10: fatal error: 'vips/vips8' file not found
#include <vips/vips8>
1 error generated.
make: *** [Release/obj.target/sharp/src/common.o] Error 1
gyp ERR! build error 
gyp ERR! stack Error: `make` failed with exit code: 2
gyp ERR! stack     at ChildProcess.onExit (/Users/uninen/.nvm/versions/node/v14.18.2/lib/node_modules/npm/node_modules/node-gyp/lib/build.js:194:23)

The problem was related to sharp-package and node-gyp-package, both which were some deeper dependencies in the project. I found a couple of seemingly related GitHub issues from both of these projects but the solution that fixed the problem was easy: I installed the missing vips-package with brew:

brew install vips

These kind of issues are the main reason I try to keep all frontend projects as small as possible and make extra effort to not include anything that requires build tools if you absolutely don’t need to.

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