I recently updated XCode on my MacOS Mojave hackintosh, and to my surprise thereafter, was unable to install a version of the MySQL2 gem for a project I was working on. The solution ultimately was to install a package I didn’t know existed.

When upgrading to a slightly newer version of Ruby for a (somewhat legacy) project I was working on, I had to re-bundle to reinstall gems. One of those was mysql2. But I had just updated XCode and unbeknownst to me, that update had (re)moved multiple header files needed to compile all sorts of things, including this gem.

So when I tried bundle, eventually I got this:

Fetching mysql2 0.3.21
Installing mysql2 0.3.21 with native extensions
Gem::Ext::BuildError: ERROR: Failed to build gem native extension.

    current directory: /Users/jah/.rbenv/versions/2.3.8/lib/ruby/gems/2.3.0/gems/mysql2-0.3.21/ext/mysql2
/Users/jah/.rbenv/versions/2.3.8/bin/ruby -r ./siteconf20190326-24430-11b9ea0.rb extconf.rb
checking for ruby/thread.h... yes
checking for rb_thread_call_without_gvl() in ruby/thread.h... yes
checking for rb_thread_blocking_region()... no
checking for rb_wait_for_single_fd()... yes
checking for rb_hash_dup()... yes
checking for rb_intern3()... yes
Using mysql_config at /Users/jah/.brew/bin/mysql_config
checking for mysql.h... yes
checking for errmsg.h... yes
checking for mysqld_error.h... yes
Don't know how to set rpath on your system, if MySQL libraries are not in path mysql2 may not load
Setting libpath to /Users/jah/.brew/Cellar/[email protected]/5.7.25/lib
creating Makefile

To see why this extension failed to compile, please check the mkmf.log which can be found here:


current directory: /Users/jah/.rbenv/versions/2.3.8/lib/ruby/gems/2.3.0/gems/mysql2-0.3.21/ext/mysql2
make "DESTDIR=" clean

current directory: /Users/jah/.rbenv/versions/2.3.8/lib/ruby/gems/2.3.0/gems/mysql2-0.3.21/ext/mysql2
make "DESTDIR="
compiling client.c
compiling infile.c
compiling mysql2_ext.c
compiling result.c
linking shared-object mysql2/mysql2.bundle
ld: library not found for -lssl
clang: error: linker command failed with exit code 1 (use -v to see invocation)
make: *** [mysql2.bundle] Error 1

make failed, exit code 2

Gem files will remain installed in /Users/jah/.rbenv/versions/2.3.8/lib/ruby/gems/2.3.0/gems/mysql2-0.3.21 for inspection.
Results logged to /Users/jah/.rbenv/versions/2.3.8/lib/ruby/gems/2.3.0/extensions/x86_64-darwin-18/2.3.0-static/mysql2-0.3.21/gem_make.out

An error occurred while installing mysql2 (0.3.21), and Bundler cannot continue.

Well, that’s rather cryptic, isnt' it? So why did it fail to compile?

When looking at mkmf.log as suggested, I found out why:

ld: library not found for -lssl

Well, that’s not great, is it?

So how do you fix that?

Run this in terminal:

open /Library/Developer/CommandLineTools/Packages

Double click macOS_SDK_headers_for_macOS_10.14.pkg and install, then re-try installing your gem or recompiling whatever was failing before.

Might work for multiple missing libraries that ld complains about not finding.