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Copyright (c) 2009-2012 Bitcoin Developers
Distributed under the MIT/X11 software license, see the accompanying
file license.txt or
This product includes software developed by the OpenSSL Project for use in
the OpenSSL Toolkit ( This product includes
cryptographic software written by Eric Young ( and UPnP
software written by Thomas Bernard.
To Build
cd src/
make -f makefile.unix # Headless bitcoin
See readme-qt.rst for instructions on building Bitcoin QT,
the graphical bitcoin.
Library Purpose Description
------- ------- -----------
libssl SSL Support Secure communications
libdb4.8 Berkeley DB Blockchain & wallet storage
libboost Boost C++ Library
miniupnpc UPnP Support Optional firewall-jumping support
libqrencode QRCode generation Optional QRCode generation
miniupnpc may be used for UPnP port mapping. It can be downloaded from UPnP support is compiled in and
turned off by default. Set USE_UPNP to a different value to control this:
USE_UPNP= No UPnP support - miniupnp not required
USE_UPNP=0 (the default) UPnP support turned off by default at runtime
USE_UPNP=1 UPnP support turned on by default at runtime
libqrencode may be used for QRCode image generation. It can be downloaded
from, or installed via
your package manager. Set USE_QRCODE to control this:
USE_QRCODE=0 (the default) No QRCode support - libarcode not required
USE_QRCODE=1 QRCode support enabled
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
Versions used in this release:
GCC 4.3.3
OpenSSL 0.9.8g
Berkeley DB 4.8.30.NC
Boost 1.37
miniupnpc 1.6
Dependency Build Instructions: Ubuntu & Debian
sudo apt-get install build-essential
sudo apt-get install libssl-dev
sudo apt-get install libdb4.8-dev
sudo apt-get install libdb4.8++-dev
Boost 1.40+: sudo apt-get install libboost-all-dev
or Boost 1.37: sudo apt-get install libboost1.37-dev
sudo apt-get install libqrencode-dev
If using Boost 1.37, append -mt to the boost libraries in the makefile.
Dependency Build Instructions: Gentoo
Note: If you just want to install bitcoind on Gentoo, you can add the Bitcoin
overlay and use your package manager:
layman -a bitcoin && emerge bitcoind
emerge -av1 --noreplace boost glib openssl sys-libs/db:4.8
Take the following steps to build (no UPnP support):
cd ${BITCOIN_DIR}/src
make -f makefile.unix USE_UPNP= BDB_INCLUDE_PATH='/usr/include/db4.8'
strip bitcoind
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
You need Berkeley DB 4.8. If you have to build Berkeley DB yourself:
../dist/configure --enable-cxx
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, you can take the following measures:
* 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 build with PIE, use:
make -f makefile.unix ... -e PIE=1
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.