Install siege on Mac OS X

I've taken an interested in performance lately and heard about siege. The blog articled I found to install siege failed on the first step. So I decided to write my own in hopes it would help any non sysadmin developer that wanted to install siege on Mac OS X Lion. Although this should work with Leopard and Snow Leopard.

Posted in Main Thread on September 14, 2011

I am not much of a sysadmin. So the process of building from source (configure and make) remains intimidating. I do what most people would do – went to Google and searched for “installing siege on mac os x”.

One result looked promising. I attempted to run Step 1 on the command line. Error. If Step 1 fails, move on.

To step back, siege is an http load testing and benchmarking utility. Lately I’ve taken a strong interest in benchmarking my web applications. Mainly because I am developing APIs and using WordPress (which is notorious for being slow under server load). Although ab (Apache Benchmark) comes bundled with apache (which is preinstalled on Mac OS X), I’ve been hearing a lot about siege at conferences. As any good developer should, I wanted to tinker with it myself.

Installing siege

  1. Open the Terminal app
  2. Download the latest version of siege (currently 2.70)

    curl -C - -O
  3. Extract the tarball

    tar -xvf siege-latest.tar.gz
  4. Change directories to the extracted directory (again, currently siege-2.70)

    cd siege-2.70/
  5. Run the following commands (one at a time) to build and install siege. If you have an older version of siege read the INSTALL file for more instructions.

    make install

This installed siege to /usr/local/bin/. This should already be in your PATH, so type:


You may be presented with a message that instructs you to generate a siege configuration file. If so, follow the on screen instructions.

Benchmarking with siege

The following sends a 10 requests across 10 concurrent connections for benchmarking (no delay between requests).

siege -c 10 -r 10 -b

If you want to learn more about configuring or using siege type siege -h or visit the siege manual.

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