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Some notes on how to build Starwels in Unix.
(for OpenBSD specific instructions, see [](
Always use absolute paths to configure and compile starwels and the dependencies,
7 years ago
for example, when specifying the path of the dependency:
../dist/configure --enable-cxx --disable-shared --with-pic --prefix=$BDB_PREFIX
Here BDB_PREFIX must be an absolute path - it is defined using $(pwd) which ensures
the usage of the absolute path.
To Build
make install # optional
This will build starwels-qt as well if the dependencies are met.
These dependencies are required:
Library | Purpose | Description
libssl | Crypto | Random Number Generation, Elliptic Curve Cryptography
libboost | Utility | Library for threading, data structures, etc
libevent | Networking | OS independent asynchronous networking
Optional dependencies:
Library | Purpose | Description
miniupnpc | UPnP Support | Firewall-jumping support
libdb4.8 | Berkeley DB | Wallet storage (only needed when wallet enabled)
qt | GUI | GUI toolkit (only needed when GUI enabled)
protobuf | Payments in GUI | Data interchange format used for payment protocol (only needed when GUI enabled)
libqrencode | QR codes in GUI | Optional for generating QR codes (only needed when GUI enabled)
univalue | Utility | JSON parsing and encoding (bundled version will be used unless --with-system-univalue passed to configure)
libzmq3 | ZMQ notification | Optional, allows generating ZMQ notifications (requires ZMQ version >= 4.x)
For the versions used, see [](
Memory Requirements
C++ compilers are memory-hungry. It is recommended to have at least 1.5 GB of
memory available when compiling Starwels. On systems with less, gcc can be
tuned to conserve memory with additional CXXFLAGS:
./configure CXXFLAGS="--param ggc-min-expand=1 --param ggc-min-heapsize=32768"
Dependency Build Instructions: Ubuntu & Debian
Build requirements:
sudo apt-get install build-essential libtool autotools-dev automake pkg-config libssl-dev libevent-dev bsdmainutils python3
Options when installing required Boost library files:
1. On at least Ubuntu 14.04+ and Debian 7+ there are generic names for the
individual boost development packages, so the following can be used to only
install necessary parts of boost:
sudo apt-get install libboost-system-dev libboost-filesystem-dev libboost-chrono-dev libboost-program-options-dev libboost-test-dev libboost-thread-dev
2. If that doesn't work, you can install all boost development packages with:
sudo apt-get install libboost-all-dev
BerkeleyDB is required for the wallet.
**For Ubuntu only:** db4.8 packages are available [here](
You can add the repository and install using the following commands:
sudo apt-get install software-properties-common
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:bitcoin/bitcoin
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install libdb4.8-dev libdb4.8++-dev
Ubuntu and Debian have their own libdb-dev and libdb++-dev packages, but these will install
BerkeleyDB 5.1 or later, which break binary wallet compatibility with the distributed executables which
are based on BerkeleyDB 4.8. If you do not care about wallet compatibility,
pass `--with-incompatible-bdb` to configure.
See the section "Disable-wallet mode" to build Starwels without wallet.
Optional (see --with-miniupnpc and --enable-upnp-default):
sudo apt-get install libminiupnpc-dev
ZMQ dependencies (provides ZMQ API 4.x):
sudo apt-get install libzmq3-dev
Dependencies for the GUI: Ubuntu & Debian
If you want to build Starwels-Qt, make sure that the required packages for Qt development
are installed. Either Qt 5 or Qt 4 are necessary to build the GUI.
If both Qt 4 and Qt 5 are installed, Qt 5 will be used. Pass `--with-gui=qt4` to configure to choose Qt4.
To build without GUI pass `--without-gui`.
To build with Qt 5 (recommended) you need the following:
sudo apt-get install libqt5gui5 libqt5core5a libqt5dbus5 qttools5-dev qttools5-dev-tools libprotobuf-dev protobuf-compiler
Alternatively, to build with Qt 4 you need the following:
sudo apt-get install libqt4-dev 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 starwels-qt executable will be
built by default.
Dependency Build Instructions: Fedora
Build requirements:
sudo dnf install gcc-c++ libtool make autoconf automake openssl-devel libevent-devel boost-devel libdb4-devel libdb4-cxx-devel python3
sudo dnf install miniupnpc-devel
To build with Qt 5 (recommended) you need the following:
sudo dnf install qt5-qttools-devel qt5-qtbase-devel protobuf-devel
libqrencode (optional) can be installed with:
sudo dnf install qrencode-devel
The release is built with GCC and then "strip starwelsd" to strip the debug
symbols, which reduces the executable size by about 90%.
[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
Berkeley DB
It is recommended to use Berkeley DB 4.8. If you have to build it yourself,
you can use [the installation script included in contrib/](/contrib/
like so
./contrib/ `pwd`
from the root of the repository.
**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 starwels 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. Attackers who can cause execution of code at an arbitrary memory
location are thwarted if they don'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 ./starwels
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, starwels 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 ./starwels`
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, starwels 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`.
Additional Configure Flags
A list of additional configure flags can be displayed with:
./configure --help
Setup and Build Example: Arch Linux
This example lists the steps necessary to setup and build a command line only, non-wallet distribution of the latest changes on Arch Linux:
pacman -S git base-devel boost libevent python
git clone
cd starwels/
./configure --disable-wallet --without-gui --without-miniupnpc
make check
Enabling wallet support requires either compiling against a Berkeley DB newer than 4.8 (package `db`) using `--with-incompatible-bdb`,
or building and depending on a local version of Berkeley DB 4.8. The readily available Arch Linux packages are currently built using
`--with-incompatible-bdb` according to the [PKGBUILD](
As mentioned above, when maintaining portability of the wallet between the standard Starwels distributions and independently built
node software is desired, Berkeley DB 4.8 must be used.
ARM Cross-compilation
These steps can be performed on, for example, an Ubuntu VM. The depends system
will also work on other Linux distributions, however the commands for
installing the toolchain will be different.
Make sure you install the build requirements mentioned above.
Then, install the toolchain and curl:
sudo apt-get install g++-arm-linux-gnueabihf curl
To build executables for ARM:
cd depends
make HOST=arm-linux-gnueabihf NO_QT=1
cd ..
./configure --prefix=$PWD/depends/arm-linux-gnueabihf --enable-glibc-back-compat --enable-reduce-exports LDFLAGS=-static-libstdc++
For further documentation on the depends system see [](../depends/ in the depends directory.
Building on FreeBSD
(Updated as of FreeBSD 11.0)
Clang is installed by default as `cc` compiler, this makes it easier to get
started than on [OpenBSD]( Installing dependencies:
pkg install autoconf automake libtool pkgconf
pkg install boost-libs openssl libevent
pkg install gmake
You need to use GNU make (`gmake`) instead of `make`.
(`libressl` instead of `openssl` will also work)
For the wallet (optional):
./contrib/ `pwd`
setenv BDB_PREFIX $PWD/db4
Then build using:
./configure BDB_CFLAGS="-I${BDB_PREFIX}/include" BDB_LIBS="-L${BDB_PREFIX}/lib -ldb_cxx"
*Note on debugging*: The version of `gdb` installed by default is [ancient and considered harmful](
It is not suitable for debugging a multi-threaded C++ program, not even for getting backtraces. Please install the package `gdb` and
use the versioned gdb command e.g. `gdb7111`.