This system notes describe a process to build Kea on MacOS X 10.11 (El Capitan). I'll first describe the process for "normal" users who only need to install and use a release version of Kea; for developers who need to build (and possibly modify) a development version, I'll add specific process and notes at the end of this memo.

0. Install necessary tools.

Unless this is your first time to build an application on OS X by hand, it's quite likely that you've already done (something like) this process. But I'm briefly summarizing this phase just in case.

Kea depends on several external packages, and you'll need to install a packaging system for OS X in addition to Xcode. I've been using HomeBrew for quite some time, and this page assumes HomeBrew as the packaging system.

  • Install Xcode Command Line Tools. The specific procedure may differ based on the version of Xcode available at the time of your installation. In my case (version 7.1.1) the system asked whether I want to install command line tools when the first compilation was attempted. It is also possible to install Xcode from App Store (it's free), invoke it, and install Command Line Tools from its "Downloads" preference panel.
  • (Make sure you have write permission on and under /usr/local; Otherwise there will be various troubles with HomeBrew)
  • Install HomeBrew as shown in its top web page:
    $ ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"

1. Install necessary dependencies.

All of the required dependencies are available in HomeBrew packages, so their installation is easy. This is basically a copy-and-paste-and-run process:

$ brew install automake autoconf libtool pkg-config
$ brew install boost
$ brew install botan
$ brew install log4cplus


  • Kea used to require python3, but it is no longer needed.

2. Building Documentation.

It is not necessary to build the documentation when you build the code. If you do with to build the documentation you will need to install some extra packages.

$ brew install docbook-xsl
$ brew install elinks
$ brew install doxygen

You may also need to export XML_CATALOG_FILES as per the instructions from installing those two packages.

3. Download, build, and install Kea.

The following steps are necessary to download sources and install Kea:

$ git clone
$ cd kea
$ autoreconf -if
$ ./configure --prefix=/opt/kea
$ make
$ sudo make install

The installation prefix doesn't have to be /opt/kea; it's just an example. Also, depending on where to install it and whether you have write permission in the install destination, you may or may not need sudo at the final step.

4. For Developers

Build/Install dependencies for developers

To build Kea on a cloned git repository, you'll need some other external packages. They can be installed via HomeBrew:

% brew install automake
% brew install libtool

In addition, as a developer you'd also need to make googletest available. This is not absolutely necessary if you only need to build Kea, but for serious development it's crucial. It cannot be "installed" via HomeBrew anymore; you need to fetch a source archive and extract it by hand:

% curl -o
% unzip

Where to extract it doesn't matter. For specific examples below, we assume it's extracted under /opt/src. Note also that there is no need to build it (i.e., no need to do ./configure or make); just extracting the archive is sufficient.

$ git clone
$ cd kea
$ autoreconf -i
$ ./configure --prefix=/opt/kea --with-gtest-source=/opt/src/gtest/gtest-1.7.0
$ make

Run tests

When build is completed, you can run unit tests as follows:

% make check

5. Build Troubleshooting

It is possible the boost ASSERT macro raises some errors. There are 3 solutions:

  • ignore errors using configuration option --without-werror
  • use the development version of boost where this boost bug was fixed (note on the long term it will be the best solution but boost 1.60 is not currently announced)
  • apply the patch from to your local copy of boost

If you want to rebuild the client classification expression parser (--enable-generate-parser configuration option) you need a recent version of bison but the OS X system one is too old. You can install the brew one, optionally force its link. If you do something similar with flex, this was proved to work well:

$ /configure --with-gtest --enable-generate-parser YACC=/usr/local/bin/bison LEX=/usr/local/bin/flex

The last google test (aka gtest) distribution (version 1.7.0) is known to have a bug with C++11. If you'd like to compile kea in C++11 mode, it is recommended to download the development version and to configure Kea with the --with-gtest-source parameter pointer to the google test source location.

6. Building with Cassandra Building with Cassandra support requires a number of additional steps:

$ brew install cassandra

Install cpp-driver. Go to and download whatever the latest version is. It was 2.8.0 when this text was written (Feb. 2018). To build cpp-driver, cmake and libuv is needed.

$ brew install cmake libuv
$ tar zxvf cpp-driver-2.8.0.tar.gz
$ cd cpp-driver-2.8.0
$ mkdir build
$ cd build
$ cmake ..

Now edit tools/ in Kea sources, so it points out to your cpp-driver directory. You can copy an example from tools/ or create the file from scratch. The file should look similar to this:


Then you should be able to configure Kea sources to build with Cassandra:

$ ./configure --with-cql=./tools/cql_config
$ make
Last modified 6 weeks ago Last modified on Feb 6, 2018, 7:36:37 PM