macOS Build Instructions and Notes


macOS Build Instructions and Notes

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



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 pkg-config 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 this script to install it like so:

./contrib/ .

from the root of the repository.

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

Build Bitcoin Core

  1. Clone the Bitcoin Core source code:
    git clone
    cd bitcoin
  2. Build Bitcoin Core:

    Configure and build the headless Bitcoin Core 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

disable-wallet mode

When the intention is to run only a P2P node without a wallet, Bitcoin Core may be compiled in disable-wallet mode with:

./configure --disable-wallet

In this case there is no dependency on Berkeley DB 4.8.

Mining is also possible in disable-wallet mode using the getblocktemplate RPC call.


Bitcoin Core is now available at ./src/bitcoind

Before running, you may create an empty configuration file:

mkdir -p "/Users/${USER}/Library/Application Support/Bitcoin"

touch "/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 many hours, or even days on slower than average systems.

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 10.12 Sierra through macOS 10.15 Catalina on 64-bit Intel processors only.
  • Building with downloaded Qt binaries is not officially supported. See the notes in #7714.