Building _bsddb for Python 2.6 on OS X 10.8.5

It’s well-known that the Python that comes with OS X machines typically doesn’t have _bsddb.

I downloaded Python 2.6.8 and attempted to build it and it wouldn’t build the _bsddb module.

Here’s what I did to fix this.

I used Homebrew to install berkeley-db4. For me, this grabbed version 4.8.30.

brew install berkeley-db4

Edited Modules/_bsddb.c and replaced all instances of DB_XIDDATASIZE with DB_GID_SIZE. I removed lines that had DB_XA_CREATE.

Compiled and linked with:

gcc -fno-strict-aliasing -fno-common -dynamic -g -O2 -DNDEBUG -g -fwrapv -O3 -Wall -Wstrict-prototypes -I/usr/local/Cellar/berkeley-db4/4.8.30/include/ -I/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.6/include/python2.6 -c /Users/marca/src/Python-2.6.8/Modules/_bsddb.c -o _bsddb.o
gcc -bundle -undefined dynamic_lookup _bsddb.o -L/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.6/lib -L/usr/local/lib -ldb -o -Wl,-search_paths_first

This created the file Modules/

At this point, I can import if I run python in the Modules directory where I built

$ python2.6
Python 2.6.7 (r267:88850, Oct 11 2012, 20:15:00)
[GCC 4.2.1 Compatible Apple Clang 4.0 (tags/Apple/clang-418.0.60)] on darwin
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> import bsddb
>>> dir(bsddb)
['MutableMapping', '_DBWithCursor', '_DeadlockWrap', '__builtins__', '__doc__', '__file__', '__name__', '__package__', '__path__', '__version__', '_bsddb', '_checkflag', '_db', '_iter_mixin', '_openDBEnv', 'absolute_import', 'btopen', 'collections', 'db', 'dbutils', 'error', 'hashopen', 'os', 'ref', 'rnopen', 'sys']

Now you can copy into your lib-dynload directory — e.g.:

sudo cp /System/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.6/lib/python2.6/lib-dynload

(above is for the system Python 2.6 that comes with OS X)


sudo cp sudo cp /Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.6/lib/python2.6/lib-dynload

(above is for a Python 2.6 installed from a .dmg from or built from source as a framework build)


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