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Author's profile photo Witalij Rudnicki

GDAL with SAP HANA driver: build it

In the previous post “GDAL with SAP HANA driver: use it” I described examples of using some GDAL tools with SAP HANA. Here I will describe the steps it took me to build GDAL with SAP HANA driver on my MacBook laptop with Apple M1 (ARM-based) chip.

The driver for SAP HANA is not included in ready-to-use binaries of GDAL, so we have to build it from sources:

  1. Open and use a terminal session in an x86 translated mode
  2. Get Homebrew for macOS Intel-based
  3. Use Homebrew to install prerequisites
  4. Build and install C++ Wrapper for ODBC, which is a build dependency for SAP HANA driver in GDAL
  5. Build and install GDAL

Use it!

1. Use a terminal session in an x86 (translated) mode

Check that your session is running in Intel architecture mode (i386).


ARM vs Intel arch on Apple silicon

As I mentioned I have a MacBook with Apple M1. My first attempt to build and use GDAL for a native arm architecture did not work and caused the error

ERROR 1: HANA connection failed: ERROR: 0: 01000 : [unixODBC][Driver Manager]Can't open lib '/Applications/sap/hdbclient/libodbcHDB.dylib' : file not found

…because SAP HANA Client is available for Intel arch on macOS at the time of writing this post.

In case you are using a MacBook with an Apple silicon too, then I have posted an article already Running hdbcli on an Apple M1 chip: an alternative way with using arch command that describes how to start an x86 translated mode in the terminal.

2. Get Homebrew

I assume you are already using Homebrew if you are using macOS.

What I found helpful is that by default Homebrew is installed to different preferred prefix depending on the architecture: /usr/local for macOS Intel, /opt/homebrew for Apple Silicon.

In the case of a laptop with Apple silicon I can have two different installations of Homebrew: in the native and in the Intel translated mode. Although for the latter it used /usr/local/homebrew.

Check your configuration with:

sysctl -n machdep.cpu.brand_string
brew --prefix

3. Install GDAL prerequisites

At the time of writing this post, the requirements listed at were:

Let’s have a look:

  1. Compilers should be already if you have Homebrew and its prerequisite installed.
  2. I found SQLite3 was not an optional (recommended) prerequisite, but was required during the build process (or maybe it was just an unresolved GDAL build issue on macOS at the time of writing this post)
  3. I could install and use cmake, proj, and sqlite using Homebrew.

So, to satisfy prerequisites run brew install like

brew install cmake
brew install proj
brew install sqlite

Important note about sqlite installation with Homebrew

If you carefully check logs of installation, then you should notice the following caveat:

==> Caveats
==> sqlite
sqlite is keg-only, which means it was not symlinked into /usr/local/homebrew,
because macOS already provides this software and installing another version in
parallel can cause all kinds of trouble.

For compilers to find sqlite you may need to set:
  export LDFLAGS="-L/usr/local/homebrew/opt/sqlite/lib"
  export CPPFLAGS="-I/usr/local/homebrew/opt/sqlite/include"

4. Build and install C++ Wrapper for ODBC

As stated on the SAP HANA driver page for GDAL: odbc-cpp-wrapper is a build dependency for it.

C++ Wrapper for ODBC is an open-source project from SAP and is available on


Let’s have a look at its requirements:

We should have the first set of requirements — a C++ compiler, the Git CLI, and CMake — already satisfied.

Install unixODBC from Homebrew, if you haven’t done so yet:

brew install unixodbc

I did not plan to generate the API documentation, so for the purpose of this post, I skipped installing Oxygen.

Build and install

I followed the steps described in with one additional step not listed there. Below are my notes.

git clone
mkdir odbc-cpp-wrapper/build && cd odbc-cpp-wrapper/build

But before running the cmake step to avoid a build error…

~/ProjectsLocal/odbc-cpp-wrapper/src/odbc/internal/Odbc.h:9:10: fatal error: 'sql.h' file not found

…I had to create CMake’s environment variables LDFLAGS and CXXFLAGS to point them to unixODBC includes and libraries:

export CXXFLAGS="-I$(brew --prefix)/include"
export LDFLAGS="-L$(brew --prefix)/lib"

echo ${CXXFLAGS}
echo ${LDFLAGS}

ls -l $(brew --prefix)/include | grep unixodbc
ls -l $(brew --prefix)/lib | grep unixodbc

As you can see required includes and libraries are already linked in Homebrew’s directory, so we do not need to point to their specific destinations of unixODBC folders.

cmake ..
grep -e -I -e -L CMakeCache.txt

I have used cmake for the rest of the steps instead of the make as listed in the documentation.

cmake --build .
sudo cmake --install .


Installed files can be found in the file install_manifest.txt, which included libraries


and includes in /usr/local/homebrew/include/odbc/.

In your installation, the target folder might be different than /usr/local/homebrew/ depending on the configuration.

5. Build and install GDAL

Now that all prerequisites are satisfied let’s clone the GDAL repository and create a build directory…

git clone
mkdir gdal/build && cd gdal/build

…after which you should be able to build GDAL following

Here are my notes.

Let’s check the latest tag in the repository.

git describe --tags `git rev-list --tags --max-count=1`

Set the required build configuration.

cmake .. \
 -DSQLITE3_INCLUDE_DIR=$(brew --prefix sqlite)/include \
 -DSQLITE3_LIBRARY=$(brew --prefix sqlite)/lib/libsqlite3.dylib \
 -DCMAKE_INSTALL_RPATH=@loader_path/../lib \

Please note the following in the output of the command execution:

-- Found ODBC: /usr/local/homebrew/lib/libodbc.dylib  found components: ODBCINST
-- Found ODBCCPP: /usr/local/homebrew/lib/libodbccpp.dylib
-- Enabled drivers and features and found dependency packages
-- The following features have been enabled:
-- The following OPTIONAL packages have been found:

   Enable DB support through ODBC
   odbc-cpp library (external)

Let’s review the options passed to the cmake command:

  1. A parameter OGR_ENABLE_DRIVER_HANA is optional, but shows you how to include (with ON) or exclude the driver from the build. HANA driver is included in the build if its build dependency (C++ Wrapper for ODBC) is satisfied.
  2. SQLITE3_INCLUDE_DIR and SQLITE3_LIBRARY are pointing directly to locations of SQLite including the directory and the dynamic library file. You might remember the note above from the Homebrew installation of SQLite.
    Please note my use of $(brew --prefix sqlite) to avoid hardcoding the location that depends on the Homebrew installation.
  3. CMAKE_INSTALL_RPATH=@loader_path/../lib was included to avoid an error dyld[86048]: Library not loaded: @rpath/libgdal.31.dylib I was running into using installed binaries ogrinfo or ogr2ogr.
  4. CMAKE_BUILD_TYPE to avoid a self-explanatory warning Using -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release is suggested. received when this flag was not set.
cmake --build .
sudo cmake --install .

Let’s check:

which ogrinfo
ogrinfo --formats

I hope you find my notes helpful, but I will be happy to see your comments and recommendations as my steps and approach might still not be further improved!

-Vitaliy, aka @Sygyzmundovych


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      Author's profile photo Mathias Kemeter
      Mathias Kemeter

      This worked just fine on my M1! Many thanks for the comprehensive walk-through! This saved a lot of time!

      In this case Windows users are the lucky ones as they can simply use OSGeo4W to install GDAL with SAP HANA support.