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I'd like to run Blender from the command line (like this) in Mac OS, but am running into an error which causes Blender to crash each time I run ./blender (from within /Applications/Blender/blender.app/Contents/MacOS):

Jamies-MBP:MacOS Jamie$ ./blender
ndof: 3Dx driver not found
Read new prefs: /Users/Jamie/Library/Application Support/Blender/2.74/config/userpref.blend
found bundled python: /Applications/Blender/blender.app/Contents/MacOS/../Resources/2.74/python
Fatal Python error: Py_Initialize: unable to load the file system codec
  File "/System/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/lib/python2.7/encodings/__init__.py", line 123
    raise CodecRegistryError,\
                            ^
SyntaxError: invalid syntax
Illegal instruction: 4

The OS also reports that 'Blender quit unexpectedly.'

The error seems to suggest that Blender is looking for Python 2.7, but I thought Blender would always use its own copy of Python 3? If I run which python I get /usr/bin/python, and if I run which python3 I get /Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/3.5/bin/python3.

If I run $PYTHONPATH the output looks like this:

-bash: /Library/Python/2.7/site-packages/pip-1.4.1-py2.7.egg:
/System/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/lib/python27.zip:
/System/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/lib/python2.7:
/System/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/lib/python2.7/plat-darwin:
/System/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/lib/python2.7/plat-mac:
/System/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/lib/python2.7/plat-mac/lib-scriptpackages:
/System/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/Extras/lib/python:
/System/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/lib/python2.7/lib-tk:
/System/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/lib/python2.7/lib-old:
/System/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/lib/python2.7/lib-dynload:
/System/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/Extras/lib/python/PyObjC:
/Library/Python/2.7/site-packages:
/Library/Python/2.7/site-packages/PIL: No such file or directory

I'm not sure whether this is typical or not (there seems to be an No such file or directory error but I don't know if that's related).

What should I do to fix this or investigate this further? Do I need to add python3 to my $PYTHONPATH? This answer mentions other variables, such as $BLENDER_SYSTEM_PYTHON – do I need to change this?

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Well the solution for me was to unset my $PYTHONPATH, which was configured to create the output listed above by a line in my ~/.bash_profile file.

When started from the Terminal, Blender now still loads the bundled Python:

found bundled python: /Applications/Blender/blender.app/Contents/MacOS/../Resources/2.74/python

But Python is now able to load the modules it needs. I guess that having $PYTHONPATH set was preventing Blender's Python from being able to load required modules.

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  • $\begingroup$ I had a similar problem, but Python 2.7 path wasn't in my PYTHONPATH , but in in my PATH environnement variable. Thank you for pointing me the right .. path :P $\endgroup$ – Technico.top Jun 29 '18 at 8:40

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