macOS development environment

You can install Rust and set up a Substrate development environment on Apple macOS computers with either Intel or an Apple M1 processors.

Before you begin

Before you install Rust and set up your development environment on macOS, verify that your computer meets the following basic requirements:

  • Operating system version is 10.7 Lion, or later.
  • Processor speed of at least 2Ghz, 3Ghz recommended.
  • Memory of at least 8 GB RAM, 16 GB recommended.
  • Storage of at 10 GB available space.
  • Broadband Internet connection.

Support for Apple M1

If you have a macOS computer with an Apple M1 ARM system on a chip, you must have Apple Rosetta installed to run the protoc tool during the Rust build process. The Rust toolchain and the target binaries remain native. You can install Rosetta on your macOS computer by opening the Terminal application and running the following command:

softwareupdate --install-rosetta

Install Homebrew

In most cases, you should use Homebrew to install and manage packages on macOS computers. If you don't already have Homebrew installed on your local computer, you should download and install it before continuing.

To install Homebrew:

  1. Open the Terminal application.
  2. Download and install Homebrew by running the following command:

    /bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install.sh)"
  3. Verify Homebrew has been successfully installed by running the following command:

    brew --version

    The command displays output similar to the following:

    Homebrew 3.3.1
    Homebrew/homebrew-core (git revision c6c488fbc0f; last commit 2021-10-30)
    Homebrew/homebrew-cask (git revision 66bab33b26; last commit 2021-10-30)

Install required packages and Rust

Because the blockchain requires standard cryptography to support the generation of public/private key pairs and the validation of transaction signatures, you must also have a package that provides cryptography, such as openssl.

To install openssl and the Rust toolchain on macOS:

  1. Open the Terminal application.
  2. Ensure you have an updated version of Homebrew by running the following command:

    brew update
  3. Install the openssl package by running the following command:

    brew install openssl
  4. Download the rustup installation program and use it to install Rust by running the following command:

    curl --proto '=https' --tlsv1.2 -sSf https://sh.rustup.rs | sh
  5. Follow the prompts displayed to proceed with a default installation.
  6. Update your current shell to include Cargo by running the following command:

    source ~/.cargo/env
  7. Verify your installation by running the following command:

    rustc --version
  8. Configure the Rust toolchain to default to the latest stable version by running the following commands:

    rustup default stable
    rustup update
  9. Add the nightly release and the nightly WebAssembly (wasm) targets to your development environment by running the following commands:

    rustup update nightly
    rustup target add wasm32-unknown-unknown --toolchain nightly
  10. Verify the configuration of your development environment by running the following command:

    rustup show
    rustup +nightly show

    The command displays output similar to the following:

    # rustup show
    
    active toolchain
    ----------------
    
    stable-x86_64-apple-darwin (default)
    rustc 1.61.0 (fe5b13d68 2022-05-18)
    
    # rustup +nightly show
    
    active toolchain
    ----------------
    
    nightly-x86_64-apple-darwin (overridden by +toolchain on the command line)
    rustc 1.63.0-nightly (e71440575 2022-06-02)

Compile a Substrate node

Now that you have Rust installed and the Rust toolchains configured for Substrate development, you are ready to finish setting up your development environment by cloning the Substrate node template files and compiling a Substrate node.

The node template provides a working environment that includes all of the most common features you need to build a blockchain without any extraneous modules or tools. To ensure that the node template offers a relatively stable working environment for you to experiment with, the recommended best practice is to clone Substrate node template from the Substrate Developer Hub repository, rather than from the core Substrate repository.

To compile the Substrate node template:

  1. Clone the node template repository by running the following command:

    git clone --branch latest --depth 1 https://github.com/substrate-developer-hub/substrate-node-template
  2. Change to the root of the node template directory by running the following command:

    cd substrate-node-template
  3. Compile the node template by running the following command:

    # We always want to build in release mode when intending to run and/or test any node
    cargo b -r

    Because of the number of crates required, compiling the node can take several minutes.

After the build completes successfully, your local computer is ready for Substrate development activity.

Where to go next

The Substrate Developer Hub acts as a central portal for access to the many resources available to the community. Depending on your interests and learning style, you might prefer one avenue over another. For example, if you prefer to read source code and are familiar with Rust, you might want to start by digging into the Rust API.

Here are a few additional suggestions for where you can learn more.

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