Compile a Rust binary on macOS (dbcrossbar)


I wanted to try out dbcrossbar: a utility for transferring data to and fro databases.

I use nix to manage various open source software installations on my mac. OpenSSL is one example.

Some packages have trouble finding nix’s custom locations for packages such as OpenSSL. As a result you’ll sometimes see cargo install errors about not finding your system’s OpenSSL installation. Other obscure errors arise too.

simple fix

I use a simple workaround.

  • Define a shell.nix
  • nix-shell
  • cargo install dbcrossbar

addenda and shell.nix

Compiling dbcrossbar kept failing even with a basic shell.nix. It failed with:

  = note: ld: framework not found Security
          clang-5.0: error: linker command failed with exit code 1 (use -v to see invocation)

error: aborting due to previous error

error: failed to compile `dbcrossbar v0.4.1`, intermediate artifacts can be found at `/var/folders/r6/1tb0c_rn22xdhm39d62y6rfh0000gn/T/cargo-install6YxSuq`

Caused by:
  could not compile `dbcrossbar`.

To learn more, run the command again with --verbose.

It turns out I needed to provide darwin.apple_sdk.frameworks.Security to buildInputs.
So the final working shell.nix is:

with import <nixpkgs> { };

pkgs.mkShell {
  buildInputs = [

Hopefully this spares you seconds, minutes, and hours combing the Internet for a solution. Now onto exploring dbcrossbar!