Tutorial: GNUnet on macOS 10.14 (Mojave)

Welcome to the hopefully painless GNUnet tutorial for macOS Mojave! It provides concrete instructions on how to install a current version of GNUnet. The goal is to support newcomers, either end users or developers, who want to get in touch with GNUnet for the first time.


As a bare minimum, we recommend you install homebrew. If you want to install GNUnet from source you should also install XCode and follow the specific instructions below.


GNUnet is available through homebrew:

$ brew install gnunet

And you're done!.
GNUnet has a number of services and features. Please check our documentation to learn how to use them. If you find anything odd or bugs, please let us know.

First steps

Congratulations! GNUnet is now installed! Before starting it you may create a configuration file. By default GNUnet looks in our home directory for the file `~/.config/gnunet.conf`. Creating the configuation file is optional. For now just create an empty file which will remind you of the location later if needed:

$ touch ~/.config/gnunet.conf

GNUnet and its services are managed using the command line tool `gnunet-arm` (Automatic Restart Manager).
To start GNUnet with its default services execute:

$ gnunet-arm -s

To list the running services use:

$ gnunet-arm -I
Running services:
ats (gnunet-service-ats)
revocation (gnunet-service-revocation)
set (gnunet-service-set)
nat (gnunet-service-nat)
transport (gnunet-service-transport)
peerstore (gnunet-service-peerstore)
hostlist (gnunet-daemon-hostlist)
identity (gnunet-service-identity)
namecache (gnunet-service-namecache)
peerinfo (gnunet-service-peerinfo)
datastore (gnunet-service-datastore)
zonemaster (gnunet-service-zonemaster)
zonemaster-monitor (gnunet-service-zonemaster-monitor)
nse (gnunet-service-nse)
cadet (gnunet-service-cadet)
dht (gnunet-service-dht)
core (gnunet-service-core)
gns (gnunet-service-gns)
statistics (gnunet-service-statistics)
topology (gnunet-daemon-topology)
fs (gnunet-service-fs)
namestore (gnunet-service-namestore)
vpn (gnunet-service-vpn)

To stop all services, use the `-e` option.

$ gnunet-arm -e

Alternative: Installation from source

The following instructions are only really interesting for developers or if you need special build switches as you can install from git using homebrew (see above).
First, install the dependencies:

$ brew install git autoconf automake glpk gettext gnutls jansson libextractor libgcrypt libffi libidn2 libmicrohttpd libmpc libtool libunistring pkg-config unbound

Next, create a directory in your home in order to store the source code later. You should keep this directory after installation because it contains Makefiles that can be used for uninstalling GNUnet again.

$ mkdir ~/gnunet

Get the source code

$ cd ~
$ git clone --depth 1 https://gnunet.org/git/gnunet.git gnunet_src

Compile and Install

You have a choice between two options: build the *production version* or *development version*. If you want to start writing GNUnet applications or join the GNUnet development choose the development version (it will print more debug output and contains debug symbols that can be displayed with a debugger). Otherwise choose the production version.

Option 1: GNUnet for production / usage

$ cd ~/gnunet_src
$ ./bootstrap
$ export GNUNET_PREFIX=~/gnunet
$ ./configure --prefix=$GNUNET_PREFIX --disable-documentation

You might see configure failing telling you that it ``cannot run C compiled programs.''. In this case, you might need to open/run Xcode once and you will be prompted to install additional packages. Then, you might have to manually install the command line tools from here https://developer.apple.com/download/more/ (you need an Apple ID for this). Install those and execute

$ open /Library/Developer/CommandLineTools/Packages/macOS_SDK_headers_for_macOS_10.14.pkg

After configure passes, you need to add a 'gnunetdns' group using the macOS system preferences. Further, you need to add a user 'gnunet'. Then:

$ make
$ sudo make install

Option 2: GNUnet experimental

Perform the same steps as for Option 1, but add the configure flat '--enable-experimental'