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Mac OS X Build Instructions and Notes
This guide will show you how to build bitcoind(headless client) for OSX.
* Tested on OS X 10.6 through 10.9 on 64-bit Intel processors only.
Older OSX releases or 32-bit processors are no longer supported.
* All of the commands should be executed in a Terminal application. The
built-in one is located in `/Applications/Utilities`.
You need to install XCode with all the options checked so that the compiler
and everything is available in /usr not just /Developer. XCode should be
available on your OS X installation media, but if not, you can get the
current version from If you install
Xcode 4.3 or later, you'll need to install its command line tools. This can
be done in `Xcode > Preferences > Downloads > Components` and generally must
be re-done or updated every time Xcode is updated.
There's also an assumption that you already have `git` installed. If
not, it's the path of least resistance to install [Github for Mac](
(OS X 10.7+) or
[Git for OS X]( It is also
available via Homebrew or MacPorts.
You will also need to install [Homebrew](
or [MacPorts]( in order to install library
dependencies. It's largely a religious decision which to choose, however, Homebrew
is now used for building release versions.
The installation of the actual dependencies is covered in the Instructions
sections below.
Instructions: MacPorts
### Install dependencies
sudo port install boost db48@+no_java openssl miniupnpc autoconf pkgconfig automake libtool
Optional: install Qt4
sudo port install qt4-mac qrencode protobuf-cpp
### Building `bitcoind`
1. Clone the github tree to get the source code and go into the directory.
git clone bitcoin
cd bitcoin
2. Build bitcoind (and Bitcoin-Qt, if configured):
3. It is a good idea to build and run the unit tests, too:
make check
Instructions: Homebrew
#### Install dependencies using Homebrew
brew install autoconf automake libtool boost miniupnpc openssl pkg-config protobuf qt
#### Installing berkeley-db4 using Homebrew
The homebrew package for berkeley-db4 has been broken for some time. It will install without Java though.
Running this command takes you into brew's interactive mode, which allows you to configure, make, and install by hand:
$ brew install -–without-java
These rest of these commands are run inside brew interactive mode:
/private/tmp/berkeley-db4-UGpd0O/db-4.8.30 $ cd ..
/private/tmp/berkeley-db4-UGpd0O $ db-4.8.30/dist/configure --prefix=/usr/local/Cellar/berkeley-db4/4.8.30 --mandir=/usr/local/Cellar/berkeley-db4/4.8.30/share/man --enable-cxx
/private/tmp/berkeley-db4-UGpd0O $ make
/private/tmp/berkeley-db4-UGpd0O $ make install
/private/tmp/berkeley-db4-UGpd0O $ exit
After exiting, you'll get a warning that the install is keg-only, which means it wasn't symlinked to `/usr/local`. You don't need it to link it to build bitcoin, but if you want to, here's how:
$ brew --force link berkeley-db4
### Building `bitcoind`
1. Clone the github tree to get the source code and go into the directory.
git clone
cd bitcoin
2. Build bitcoind:
3. It is also a good idea to build and run the unit tests:
make check
Creating a release build
You can ignore this section if you are building `bitcoind` for your own use.
bitcoind/bitcoin-cli binaries are not included in the bundle.
If you are building `bitcoind` or `Bitcoin-Qt` for others, your build machine should be set up
as follows for maximum compatibility:
All dependencies should be compiled with these flags:
-arch x86_64
-isysroot $(xcode-select --print-path)/Platforms/MacOSX.platform/Developer/SDKs/MacOSX10.6.sdk
For MacPorts, that means editing your macports.conf and setting
`macosx_deployment_target` and `build_arch`:
... and then uninstalling and re-installing, or simply rebuilding, all ports.
As of December 2012, the `boost` port does not obey `macosx_deployment_target`.
Download ``
for a fix.
Once dependencies are compiled, see for how the
bundle is packaged and signed to create the .dmg disk image that is distributed.
It's now available at `./bitcoind`, provided that you are still in the `src`
directory. We have to first create the RPC configuration file, though.
Run `./bitcoind` to get the filename where it should be put, or just try these
echo -e "rpcuser=bitcoinrpc\nrpcpassword=$(xxd -l 16 -p /dev/urandom)" > "/Users/${USER}/Library/Application Support/Bitcoin/bitcoin.conf"
chmod 600 "/Users/${USER}/Library/Application Support/Bitcoin/bitcoin.conf"
The next time you run it, it will start downloading the blockchain, but it won't
output anything while it's doing this. This process may take several hours;
you can monitor its process by looking at the debug.log file, like this:
tail -f $HOME/Library/Application\ Support/Bitcoin/debug.log
Other commands:
./bitcoind -daemon # to start the bitcoin daemon.
./bitcoin-cli --help # for a list of command-line options.
./bitcoin-cli help # When the daemon is running, to get a list of RPC commands