Following the instructions in build-osx.txt (which seem sadly out of date) leaves me without a file named libboost_system.a.

Here is how I built boost:

% cd boost_1_42_0
% ./bootstrap.sh
% ./bjam architecture=combined address-model=32_64 macosx-version=10.6 \
    macosx-version-min=10.6 link=static runtime-link=static -a \
    --toolset=darwin --prefix=/Users/`whoami`/bitcoin/deps install

I had to edit the makefile.osx to add some include paths, but I could not find libboost_system.a. What am I missing?

Also, I needed to compile OpenSSL because OS X only comes with dynamically linked libraries.

  • Sorry I cant help with Mac but be warned I have herd of their machines overheating when mining due to only average cooling implementations (style over functionality). This wouldnt be an issue if you had a server case mind you ;)
    – MaxSan
    Sep 9, 2011 at 8:13
  • I believe you need to download the Boost C++ libraries, but I can't help you further...
    – nmat
    Sep 10, 2011 at 1:28

2 Answers 2


If you just want to build Bitcoind once then Gavin's method seems like the most straight forward. If you want to develop for Bitcoin it's worth setting up an Xcode project.

  • Create a blank Xcode project in your bitcoin root directory.
  • Create a new target called bitcoind
  • Drag all the files from the src folder into Xcode, make sure you have bitcoin selected in add to targets.
  • Remove the README, Makefiles and any other none .h .cpp

Add "./deps/include" to "Header search paths" Add "./deps/lib" to "Library Search Paths"

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Add libssl and libcrypto to your linker flags (The system ones should work fine)

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In Build phases add the required libraries. Should look something like this (excluding the mysql libs)

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Depending on what version of Xcode your using You might need to change the Default compile to gcc as clang seems to have problems with cryptopp, or you can just move cryptopp to deps and import the .a.

Apologies I cannot be more precise, I did write down instructions at the time but i seem to have lost them. You can build for 10.6 & 10.7 with no changes required other than setting the SDK in Xcode.

  • I can't find the ./deps folder within the "bitcoin" github project... Is this directory something we should create and fill on our own? Dec 2, 2013 at 0:48

The easiest way to build on a Mac is to use macports. It is much easier with the latest git HEAD, which includes the nice new Qt GUI.

This should work with latest git:

  1. Download and install Apple's Xcode developer SDK stuff (I assume you already have)
  2. Install MacPorts from http://www.macports.org/
  3. sudo port install qt4-mac boost db48 dbus openssl
  4. From the top of the bitcoin source tree: cd contrib/miniupnpc; sudo port install
  5. At the top of the bitcoin source tree, run: qmake; make

You should end up with the Bitcoin Qt.app.

To compile bitcoind, edit src/makefile.osx and set:

 -I"$(DEPSDIR)/include" \

 -L"$(DEPSDIR)/lib" \

Updating makefile.osx and the build instructions is on my TODO list for the 0.5 release (if you want to volunteer to submit a patch....)


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