OpenBSD build guide

(updated for OpenBSD 6.7)

This guide describes how to build bitcoind, bitcoin-qt, and command-line utilities on OpenBSD.


Run the following as root to install the base dependencies for building:

pkg_add git gmake libevent libtool boost
pkg_add qt5 # (optional for enabling the GUI)
pkg_add autoconf # (select highest version, e.g. 2.69)
pkg_add automake # (select highest version, e.g. 1.16)
pkg_add python # (select highest version, e.g. 3.8)
pkg_add bash

git clone

See dependencies.html for a complete overview.

Important: From OpenBSD 6.2 onwards a C++11-supporting clang compiler is part of the base image, and while building it is necessary to make sure that this compiler is used and not ancient g++ 4.2.1. This is done by appending CC=cc CC_FOR_BUILD=cc CXX=c++ to configuration commands. Mixing different compilers within the same executable will result in errors.

Building BerkeleyDB

BerkeleyDB is only necessary for the wallet functionality. To skip this, pass --disable-wallet to ./configure and skip to the next section.

It is recommended to use Berkeley DB 4.8. You cannot use the BerkeleyDB library from ports, for the same reason as boost above (g++/libstd++ incompatibility). If you have to build it yourself, you can use the installation script included in contrib/ like so:

./contrib/ `pwd` CC=cc CXX=c++

from the root of the repository. Then set BDB_PREFIX for the next section:

export BDB_PREFIX="$PWD/db4"

Building Bitcoin Core

Important: Use gmake (the non-GNU make will exit with an error).


# Replace this with the autoconf version that you installed. Include only
# the major and minor parts of the version: use "2.69" for "autoconf-2.69p2".

# Replace this with the automake version that you installed. Include only
# the major and minor parts of the version: use "1.16" for "automake-1.16.1".


Make sure BDB_PREFIX is set to the appropriate path from the above steps.

To configure with wallet:

./configure --with-gui=no CC=cc CXX=c++ \
    BDB_LIBS="-L${BDB_PREFIX}/lib -ldb_cxx-4.8" \
    BDB_CFLAGS="-I${BDB_PREFIX}/include" \

To configure without wallet:

./configure --disable-wallet --with-gui=no CC=cc CC_FOR_BUILD=cc CXX=c++ MAKE=gmake

To configure with GUI:

./configure --with-gui=yes CC=cc CXX=c++ \
    BDB_LIBS="-L${BDB_PREFIX}/lib -ldb_cxx-4.8" \
    BDB_CFLAGS="-I${BDB_PREFIX}/include" \

Build and run the tests:

gmake # use -jX here for parallelism
gmake check

Resource limits

If the build runs into out-of-memory errors, the instructions in this section might help.

The standard ulimit restrictions in OpenBSD are very strict:

data(kbytes)         1572864

This is, unfortunately, in some cases not enough to compile some .cpp files in the project, (see issue #6658). If your user is in the staff group the limit can be raised with:

ulimit -d 3000000

The change will only affect the current shell and processes spawned by it. To make the change system-wide, change datasize-cur and datasize-max in /etc/login.conf, and reboot.