Chapter 2. Installation

Table of Contents

How to obtain Netatalk
Binary packages
Source packages
Compiling Netatalk
Compiling Netatalk


Netatalk 3 cannot coexist with earlier versions of Netatalk. See the upgrading article on how to convert a Netatalk 2 installation to Netatalk 3 format.

How to obtain Netatalk

Please have a look at the Netatalk page on GitHub for the most recent information on this matter.

Binary packages

Binary packages of Netatalk are included in some Linux and UNIX distributions. You might want to have a look at the usual locations, too.

Ubuntu packages:

Debian packages:

various RPM packages:

Fedora/RHEL packages:

Gentoo packages:

openSUSE packages:

Solaris packages:

FreeBSD ports:

NetBSD pkgsrc:

OpenBSD ports:


Source packages


Prepackaged tarballs in .tar.xz and .tar.bz2 format are available on the Netatalk page on GitHub.


Downloading the Git repository can be done quickly and easily:

  1. Make sure you have Git installed. which git should produce a path to git.

    $ which git
  2. Now get the source:

    $ git clone netatalk-code
    Initialized empty Git repository in /path/to/new/source/dir/netatalk/.git/
    remote: Counting objects: 2503, done.

    This will create a local directory called netatalk-code containing a complete and fresh copy of the whole Netatalk source from the Git repository.

  3. In order to keep your repository copy updated, occasionally run:

    $ git pull
  4. Now cd to the netatalk-code directory and run ./bootstrap. This will create the configure script required in the next step.

    $ ./bootstrap

For futher information refer to the Developer Notes wiki page.

Compiling Netatalk



The following pieces of software are likely to have a package available for your OS distribution of choice.

Please see the Installation Notes wiki page as a starting point.

Required third-party software

  • Berkeley DB.

    At the time of writing you need at least version 4.6.

    The recommended version is 5.3, which was the final release under the permissive Sleepycat license, which means that this is what most FLOSS operating systems are defaulting to.

  • Libgcrypt

    The Libgcrypt library enables the DHX2 UAM, which is required to authenticate with OS X 10.7 and later.

Optional third-party software

Netatalk can use the following third-party software to enhance its functionality.

  • Tracker for Spotlight support

    Netatalk uses Tracker as the metadata backend. Recent Linux distributions will provide the libtracker-sparql library which is available since Tracker version 0.7.

  • mDNSresponderPOSIX or Avahi for Bonjour (aka Zeroconf)

    Mac OS X 10.2 and later use Bonjour (aka Zeroconf) for service discovery.

    The Avahi library must be built with DBUS support ( --enable-dbus).

  • TCP wrappers

    Wietse Venema's network logger, also known as TCPD or LOG_TCP.

    Security options are: access control per host, domain and/or service; detection of host name spoofing or host address spoofing; booby traps to implement an early-warning system.

  • PAM

    PAM provides a flexible mechanism for authenticating users. PAM was invented by SUN Microsystems. Linux-PAM is a suite of shared libraries that enable the local system administrator to choose how applications authenticate users.

  • iconv

    iconv provides conversion routines for many character encodings. Netatalk uses it to provide charsets it does not have built in conversions for, like ISO-8859-1. On glibc systems, Netatalk can use the glibc provided iconv implementation. Otherwise you can use the GNU libiconv implementation.

Compiling Netatalk

Configuring the build

To build the binaries, first run the program ./configure in the source directory. This should automatically configure Netatalk for your operating system. If you have unusual needs, then you may wish to run

$ ./configure --help

to see what special options you can enable.

The most used configure options are:

  • --with-init-style=redhat-sysv|redhat-systemd|suse-sysv|suse-systemd|gentoo-openrc|gentoo-systemd|netbsd|debian-sysv|debian-systemd|solaris|openrc|systemd|macos-launchd

    This option helps Netatalk to determine where to install the start scripts.

  • --with-bdb=/path/to/bdb/installation/

    In case you installed Berkeley DB in a non-standard location, you will have to give the install location to Netatalk, using this switch.

  • --with-ssl-dir=/path/to/ssl/installation/

    In case you installed OpenSSL or LibreSSL in a non-standard location, you will have to give the install location to Netatalk, using this switch.

Now run configure with any options you need

$ ./configure [arguments]

Configure will end up in an overview showing the settings the Netatalk Makefiles have been created with.


Netatalk uses Gnome Tracker as the metadata backend. The minimum required version is 0.7 as that's the first version to support SPARQL.

If not already installed, install the packages tracker and tracker-devel, on Solaris install OpenCSW and then install the Tracker package from the OpenCSW unstable repository.

The tracker packages are found via pkg-config, you may have to pass the version suffix as you may have a newer version installed then the default 0.12, e.g.

$ pkg-config --list-all | grep tracker
	tracker-sparql-3.0             tracker-sparql-3.0 - Tracker : A SPARQL triple store library

So in this example, configure with:

$ ./configure --with-tracker-pkgconfig-version=3.0 ...

If you're using Solaris and Tracker from OpenCSW, then you need to set the PKG_CONFIG_PATH environment variable, add the --with-tracker-prefix configure option and add LDFLAGS="-R/opt/csw/lib"

PKG_CONFIG_PATH=/opt/csw/lib/pkgconfig LDFLAGS="-R/opt/csw/lib" ./configure --with-tracker-prefix=/opt/csw --with-tracker-pkgconfig-version=0.16 ...

Check the configure output whether the Tracker libs were found:

checking for TRACKER... yes
        checking for TRACKER_MINER... yes
        Configure summary:
            Spotlight: yes

Compile and install

Next, running

$ make

should produce the Netatalk binaries (this step can take several minutes to complete).

When the process finished you can use

$ make install

to install the binaries and documentation (must be done as "root" when using default locations).