Installing on
Mac OS X

The following steps are known to work with Mac OS X 10.8, 10.9 (Mavericks), and Yosemite. You can install from source or download a precompiled tarball.

ulimit on OS X

OS X gives you a very small limit on open file handles, so even with a backend that uses very few file handles, it’s possible to run out. See Open Files Limit for more information about changing the limit.

From Precompiled Tarballs

To run Riak from our precompiled tarball, run these commands for the appropriate platform:


curl -O
tar xzvf riak-2.2.0-osx-x86_64.tar.gz

After the release is untarred, you will be able to cd into the riak directory and execute bin/riak start to start the Riak node.


Warning: Homebrew not always up to date
Homebrew's Riak recipe is community supported, and thus is not always up to date with the latest Riak package. Please ensure that the current recipe is using the latest supported code (and don't be afraid to update it if it's not).

Installing Riak 2.0 with Homebrew is easy:

brew install --devrel riak

By default, this will place a 2.2.0 folder in /usr/local/Cellar/riak.

Be aware that you will most likely see the following message after running brew install:

Error: The `brew link` step did not complete successfully
The formula built, but is not symlinked into /usr/local

You can try again using:
  brew link riak

We do not recommend using brew link with Riak. Instead, we recommend either copying that directory to a desired location on your machine, aliasing the executables in the /bin directory, or interacting with the Riak installation directory via environment variables.

Note: Homebrew will install Erlang if you don’t have it already.

Installing From Source

You must have Xcode tools installed from Apple’s Developer website.

Note on Clang
Riak will not compile with Clang. Please make sure that your default C/C++ compiler is [GCC](

Riak requires Erlang R16B02+.

If you do not have Erlang already installed, see Installing Erlang.

Next, download and unpack the source distribution.

curl -O
tar zxvf riak-2.2.0.tar.gz
cd riak-2.2.0
make rel

If you receive errors when building about “incompatible architecture,” please verify that you built Erlang with the same architecture as your system (Snow Leopard and higher: 64bit).

Next Steps

Now that Riak is installed, check out Verifying a Riak Installation.