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macOS Build Instructions and Notes

The commands in this guide should be executed in a Terminal application. The built-in one is located in /Applications/Utilities/


Install the macOS command line tools:

xcode-select --install

When the popup appears, click Install.

Then install Homebrew.


brew install automake berkeley-db4 libtool boost miniupnpc openssl pkg-config protobuf python qt libevent qrencode

See for a complete overview.

If you want to build the disk image with make deploy (.dmg / optional), you need RSVG

brew install librsvg

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/ like so

./contrib/ .

from the root of the repository.

Note: You only need Berkeley DB if the wallet is enabled (see the section Disable-Wallet mode below).

Build Bitcoin Core

  1. Clone the bitcoin source code and cd into bitcoin

     git clone
     cd bitcoin
  2. Build bitcoin-core:

    Configure and build the headless bitcoin binaries as well as the GUI (if Qt is found).

    You can disable the GUI build by passing --without-gui to configure.

  3. It is recommended to build and run the unit tests:

    make check
  4. You can also create a .dmg that contains the .app bundle (optional):

    make deploy


Bitcoin Core is now available at ./src/bitcoind

Before running, it's recommended you create an RPC configuration file.

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 first time you run bitcoind, it will start downloading the blockchain. This process could take several hours.

You can monitor the download process by looking at the debug.log file:

tail -f $HOME/Library/Application\ Support/Bitcoin/debug.log

Other commands:

./src/bitcoind -daemon # Starts the bitcoin daemon.
./src/bitcoin-cli --help # Outputs a list of command-line options.
./src/bitcoin-cli help # Outputs a list of RPC commands when the daemon is running.


  • Tested on OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion through macOS 10.13 High Sierra on 64-bit Intel processors only.

  • Building with downloaded Qt binaries is not officially supported. See the notes in #7714