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Some notes on how to build Bitcoin SV in Unix.


Always use absolute paths to configure and compile bitcoin and the dependencies, 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


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
libdb Berkeley DB Wallet storage (only needed when wallet 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 in the release, see under Fetch and build inputs.

Memory Requirements

C++ compilers are memory-hungry. It is recommended to have at least 1.5 GB of memory available when compiling Bitcoin SV. 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

GCC version:

A sufficiently recent version of GCC that supports C++17 is required for building, which in practise means at least version 7.X or above. On recent testing versions of Debian & Ubuntu 18.04+ a suitable version should either be installed by default or available in the standard package repositories. But if you are running an older release you may have to install a newer version of GCC from another repository.

For instructions on how to install a more recent version of GCC into an older Ubuntu LTS see here:

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 5.3 or later is required for the wallet. This can be installed with:

    sudo apt-get install libdb-dev
    sudo apt-get install libdb++-dev

See the section "Disable-wallet mode" to build Bitcoin SV 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

Dependency Build Instructions: Fedora/Centos

Build requirements:

sudo dnf install gcc-c++ libtool make autoconf automake openssl-devel libevent-devel boost-devel libdb-devel libdb-cxx-devel


sudo dnf install miniupnpc-devel

GCC version:

A sufficiently recent version of GCC that supports C++17 is required for building, which in practise means at least version 7.X or above. On Centos 7 this means you will have to install a newer version of GCC from the auxilliary devtoolset suite. For exmaple:

sudo yum install centos-release-scl
sudo yum install devtoolset-7-gcc*
scl enable devtoolset-7 bash


The release is built with GCC and then "strip bitcoind" 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


For documentation on building Boost look at their official documentation:


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. 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 ./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: STK/REL/PTL 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

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 bitcoin-sv/
./configure --disable-wallet --without-miniupnpc
make check

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
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 in the depends directory.

Building on FreeBSD

(Updated as of FreeBSD 11.0)

Clang is installed by default as cc compiler. Installing dependencies:

pkg install autoconf automake libtool pkgconf
pkg install boost-libs openssl libevent gmake

(libressl instead of openssl will also work)

For the wallet (optional):

pkg install db5

This will give a warning "configure: WARNING: Found Berkeley DB other than 4.8; wallets opened by this build will not be portable!", but as FreeBSD never had a binary release, this may not matter. If backwards compatibility with 4.8-built Bitcoin Core is needed follow the steps under "Berkeley DB" above.

Also, if you intend to run the regression tests (qa tests):

pkg install python3

Then build using:


With wallet support:

./configure --without-miniupnpc --with-incompatible-bdb BDB_CFLAGS="-I/usr/local/include/db5" BDB_LIBS="-L/usr/local/lib -ldb_cxx-5"

Without wallet support:

./configure --without-miniupnpc --disable-wallet

Then to compile:


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.

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