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Some notes on how to build Bitcoin in Unix.
Always use absolute paths to configure and compile bitcoin and the dependencies,
for example, when specifying the the path of the dependency:
../dist/configure --enable-cxx --disable-shared --with-pic --prefix=$BDB_PREFIX
Here BDB_PREFIX must absolute path - it is defined using $(pwd) which ensures
the usage of the absolute path.
To Build
This will build bitcoin-qt as well if the dependencies are met.
Library | Purpose | Description
libssl | SSL Support | Secure communications
libdb4.8 | Berkeley DB | Wallet storage
libboost | Boost | C++ Library
miniupnpc | UPnP Support | Optional firewall-jumping support
qt | GUI | GUI toolkit
protobuf | Payments in GUI | Data interchange format used for payment protocol
libqrencode | QR codes in GUI | Optional for generating QR codes
[miniupnpc]( may be used for UPnP port mapping. It can be downloaded from [here]( UPnP support is compiled in and
turned off by default. See the configure options for upnp behavior desired:
--without-miniupnpc No UPnP support miniupnp not required
--disable-upnp-default (the default) UPnP support turned off by default at runtime
--enable-upnp-default UPnP support turned on by default at runtime
Licenses of statically linked libraries:
Berkeley DB New BSD license with additional requirement that linked
software must be free open source
Boost MIT-like license
miniupnpc New (3-clause) BSD license
- For the versions used in the release, see doc/ under *Fetch and build inputs*.
System requirements
C++ compilers are memory-hungry. It is recommended to have at least 1 GB of
memory available when compiling Bitcoin Core. With 512MB of memory or less
compilation will take much longer due to swap thrashing.
Dependency Build Instructions: Ubuntu & Debian
Build requirements:
sudo apt-get install build-essential libtool autotools-dev autoconf pkg-config libssl-dev
for Ubuntu 12.04 and later:
sudo apt-get install libboost-all-dev
db4.8 packages are available [here](
You can add the repository using the following command:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:bitcoin/bitcoin
sudo apt-get update
Ubuntu 12.04 and later have packages for libdb5.1-dev and libdb5.1++-dev,
but using these will break binary wallet compatibility, and is not recommended.
for Debian 7 (Wheezy) and later:
The oldstable repository contains db4.8 packages.
Add the following line to /etc/apt/sources.list,
replacing [mirror] with any official debian mirror.
deb http://[mirror]/debian/ oldstable main
To enable the change run
sudo apt-get update
for other Debian & Ubuntu (with ppa):
sudo apt-get install libdb4.8-dev libdb4.8++-dev
sudo apt-get install libminiupnpc-dev (see --with-miniupnpc and --enable-upnp-default)
Dependencies for the GUI: Ubuntu & Debian
If you want to build Bitcoin-Qt, make sure that the required packages for Qt development
are installed. Either Qt 4 or Qt 5 are necessary to build the GUI.
If both Qt 4 and Qt 5 are installed, Qt 4 will be used. Pass `--with-gui=qt5` to configure to choose Qt5.
To build without GUI pass `--without-gui`.
To build with Qt 4 you need the following:
sudo apt-get install libqt4-dev libprotobuf-dev protobuf-compiler
For Qt 5 you need the following:
sudo apt-get install libqt5gui5 libqt5core5 libqt5dbus5 qttools5-dev qttools5-dev-tools libprotobuf-dev protobuf-compiler
libqrencode (optional) can be installed with:
sudo apt-get install libqrencode-dev
Once these are installed, they will be found by configure and a bitcoin-qt executable will be
built by default.
The release is built with GCC and then "strip bitcoind" to strip the debug
symbols, which reduces the executable size by about 90%.
tar -xzvf miniupnpc-1.6.tar.gz
cd miniupnpc-1.6
sudo su
make install
Berkeley DB
It is recommended to use Berkeley DB 4.8. If you have to build it yourself:
# Pick some path to install BDB to, here we create a directory within the bitcoin directory
mkdir -p $BDB_PREFIX
# Fetch the source and verify that it is not tampered with
wget ''
echo '12edc0df75bf9abd7f82f821795bcee50f42cb2e5f76a6a281b85732798364ef db-4.8.30.NC.tar.gz' | sha256sum -c
# -> db-4.8.30.NC.tar.gz: OK
tar -xzvf db-4.8.30.NC.tar.gz
# Build the library and install to our prefix
cd db-4.8.30.NC/build_unix/
# Note: Do a static build so that it can be embedded into the exectuable, instead of having to find a .so at runtime
../dist/configure --enable-cxx --disable-shared --with-pic --prefix=$BDB_PREFIX
make install
# Configure Bitcoin Core to use our own-built instance of BDB
./configure (other args...) LDFLAGS="-L${BDB_PREFIX}/lib/" CPPFLAGS="-I${BDB_PREFIX}/include/"
**Note**: You only need Berkeley DB if the wallet is enabled (see the section *Disable-Wallet mode* below).
If you need to build Boost yourself:
sudo su
./bjam install
To help make your bitcoin installation more secure by making certain attacks impossible to
exploit even if a vulnerability is found, binaries are hardened by default.
This can be disabled with:
Hardening Flags:
./configure --enable-hardening
./configure --disable-hardening
Hardening enables the following features:
* Position Independent Executable
Build position independent code to take advantage of Address Space Layout Randomization
offered by some kernels. An attacker who is able to cause execution of code at an arbitrary
memory location is thwarted if he doesn't know where anything useful is located.
The stack and heap are randomly located by default but this allows the code section to be
randomly located as well.
On an Amd64 processor where a library was not compiled with -fPIC, this will cause an error
such as: "relocation R_X86_64_32 against `......' can not be used when making a shared object;"
To test that you have built PIE executable, install scanelf, part of paxutils, and use:
scanelf -e ./bitcoin
The output should contain:
* Non-executable Stack
If the stack is executable then trivial stack based buffer overflow exploits are possible if
vulnerable buffers are found. By default, bitcoin should be built with a non-executable stack
but if one of the libraries it uses asks for an executable stack or someone makes a mistake
and uses a compiler extension which requires an executable stack, it will silently build an
executable without the non-executable stack protection.
To verify that the stack is non-executable after compiling use:
`scanelf -e ./bitcoin`
the output should contain:
RW- R-- RW-
The STK RW- means that the stack is readable and writeable but not executable.
Disable-wallet mode
When the intention is to run only a P2P node without a wallet, bitcoin may be compiled in
disable-wallet mode with:
./configure --disable-wallet
In this case there is no dependency on Berkeley DB 4.8.
Mining is also possible in disable-wallet mode, but only using the `getblocktemplate` RPC
call not `getwork`.