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OpenBSD build guide

(updated for OpenBSD 6.2)

This guide describes how to build starwelsd and command-line utilities on OpenBSD.

OpenBSD is most commonly used as a server OS, so this guide does not contain instructions for building the GUI.


Run the following as root to install the base dependencies for building:

pkg_add git gmake libevent libtool
pkg_add autoconf # (select highest version, e.g. 2.69)
pkg_add automake # (select highest version, e.g. 1.15)
pkg_add python # (select highest version, e.g. 3.6)
pkg_add boost

git clone

See for a complete overview.


The default C++ compiler that comes with OpenBSD 6.2 is g++ 4.2.1. This version is old (from 2007), and is not able to compile the current version of Starwels because it has no C++11 support. We’ll install a newer version of GCC:

 pkg_add g++

This compiler will not overwrite the system compiler, it will be installed as egcc and eg++ in /usr/local/bin.

Building BerkeleyDB

BerkeleyDB is only necessary for the wallet functionality. To skip this, pass --disable-wallet to ./configure.

See “Berkeley DB” in for instructions on how to build BerkeleyDB 4.8. You cannot use the BerkeleyDB library from ports, for the same reason as boost above (g++/libstd++ incompatibility).

# Pick some path to install BDB to, here we create a directory within the starwels directory
mkdir -p $BDB_PREFIX

# Fetch the source and verify that it is not tampered with
curl -o db-4.8.30.NC.tar.gz ''
echo '12edc0df75bf9abd7f82f821795bcee50f42cb2e5f76a6a281b85732798364ef  db-4.8.30.NC.tar.gz' | sha256 -c
# MUST output: (SHA256) db-4.8.30.NC.tar.gz: OK
tar -xzf db-4.8.30.NC.tar.gz

# Build the library and install to specified prefix
cd db-4.8.30.NC/build_unix/
#  Note: Do a static build so that it can be embedded into the executable, instead of having to find a .so at runtime
../dist/configure --enable-cxx --disable-shared --with-pic --prefix=$BDB_PREFIX CC=egcc CXX=eg++ CPP=ecpp
make install # do NOT use -jX, this is broken

Resource limits

The standard ulimit restrictions in OpenBSD are very strict:

data(kbytes)         1572864

This, unfortunately, may no longer be enough to compile some .cpp files in the project, at least with GCC 4.9.4 (see issue #6658). If your user is in the staff group the limit can be raised with:

ulimit -d 3000000

The change will only affect the current shell and processes spawned by it. To make the change system-wide, change datasize-cur and datasize-max in /etc/login.conf, and reboot.

Building Starwels

Important: use gmake, not make. The non-GNU make will exit with a horrible error.


export AUTOCONF_VERSION=2.69 # replace this with the autoconf version that you installed
export AUTOMAKE_VERSION=1.15 # replace this with the automake version that you installed

Make sure BDB_PREFIX is set to the appropriate path from the above steps.

To configure with wallet:

./configure --with-gui=no CC=egcc CXX=eg++ CPP=ecpp \
    BDB_LIBS="-L${BDB_PREFIX}/lib -ldb_cxx-4.8" BDB_CFLAGS="-I${BDB_PREFIX}/include"

To configure without wallet:

./configure --disable-wallet --with-gui=no CC=egcc CXX=eg++ CPP=ecpp

Build and run the tests:

gmake # use -jX here for parallelism
gmake check


pkg_add llvm

./configure --disable-wallet --with-gui=no CC=clang CXX=clang++
gmake # use -jX here for parallelism
gmake check