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Open Internet for everyone. Lantern is a free desktop application that delivers fast, reliable and secure access to the open Internet for users in censored regions. It uses a variety of techniques to stay unblocked, including P2P and domain fronting. Lantern relies on users in uncensored regions acting as access points to the open Internet.

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If you're looking for Lantern installers, you can find all of them at the following links:

If you're looking for help, please visit below user forums:

| English | 中文 | فارسی | français

Building Lantern


  • Custom fork of Go is currently required. We'll eventually switch to Go 1.7 which supports what we need due to this.
  • An OSX or Linux host. Building on Windows is only partially supported with the help of Cygwin.
  • Git - brew install git, apt-get install git, etc
  • Go 1.6 or higher.
  • GNU Make
  • Nodejs & NPM
  • GNU C Library (linux only) - apt-get install libc6-dev-i386, etc
  • Gulp - npm i gulp-cli -g

To build and run Lantern desktop, just do:

git clone
cd lantern
make lantern

During development, you'll likely want to do a clean build like this:

make clean-desktop lantern && ./lantern

Building Mobile

Mobile Prerequisites

Building the mobile library and app requires the following:

  1. Install Java JDK 7 or 8
  2. Install Go 1.6 or higher
  3. Install Android SDK Tools
  4. Install NDK
  5. Install Gradle

Make sure to set these environment variables before trying to build any Android components (replace the paths based on wherever you've installed the Android SDK and NDK).

export ANDROID_HOME=/opt/adt-bundle-mac-x86_64-20130917/sdk
export PATH=$ANDROID_HOME/tools:$ANDROID_HOME/platform-tools:$ANDROID_HOME/build-tools:$PATH
export NDK_HOME=/opt/android-ndk-r10e

Go Android Library

The core Lantern functionality can be packaged into a native Android library with:

make android-lib

Java Android SDK

The Java-based Android SDK allows easy embedding of Lantern functionality in 3rd party Android apps such as Manoto TV. The SDK can be built with:

make android-sdk

Lantern Mobile Testbed

This simple Android application provides a way to test the Android SDK. It can be built with:

make android-testbed

Lantern Mobile App


To create a debug build of the full lantern mobile app:

make android-debug

To install on the default device:

make android-install


To create a release build, add the following to your ~/.gradle/ file:


You can find the exact values to add to your here.

Then it can be built with:

VERSION=2.0.0-beta1 make android-release

Android Tips

Android Studio

To get the build working for Android Studio, you'll want to add the following dummy values to your ~/.gradle/ file:

lanternRevisionDate="April 26, 2016"

Uninstall for All Users

If you use adb to install and debug an app to your Android device during development and then subsequently build a signed APK and try to install it on that same device, you may receive an unhelpful error saying "App Not Installed". This typically means that you tried to install the same app but signed with a different key. The solution is to uninstall the app first, but you have to uninstall it for all users. You can do this by selecting "Uninstall for all users" from:

Settings -> Apps -> [Pick the App] -> Hamburger Menu (...) -> Uninstall for all users.

If you forget to do this and just uninstall normally, you'll still encounter the error. To fix this, you'll have to run the app with adb again and then uninstall for all users.

Getting HTTP Connections to Use Proxy

In android, programmatic access to HTTP resources typically uses the HttpURLConnection class. You can tell it to use a proxy by setting some system properties:

System.setProperty("http.proxyHost", host);
System.setProperty("http.proxyPort", port);
System.setProperty("https.proxyHost", host);
System.setProperty("https.proxyPort", port);

You can disable proxying by clearing those properties:


However, there is one big caveat - HttpURLConnection uses keep-alives to reuse existing TCP connections. These TCP connections will still be using the old proxy settings. This has several implications:

Set the proxy settings as early in the application's lifecycle as possible, ideally before any HttpURLConnections have been opened.

Don't expect the settings to take effect immediately if some HttpURLConnections have already been opened.

Disable keep-alives if you need to, which you can do like this:

HttpURLConnection urlConnection = (HttpURLConnection) url.openConnection();
// Need to force closing so that old connections (with old proxy settings) don't get reused.
urlConnection.setRequestProperty("Connection", "close");

Building Lantern for running on a server

To run Lantern on a server, you simply need to set a flag to build it in headless mode and then tell it to run on any local address as opposed to binding to localhost (so that it's accessible from other machines). You can do this as follows:

  1. HEADLESS=true make docker-linux or, if you're already running on Linux just HEADLESS=true make linux
  2. ./lantern_linux_amd64 --addr or ./lantern_linux_386 --addr


Generating assets

make genassets

If the environment variable UPDATE_DIST=true is set, make genassets also updates the resources in the dist folder.

An annotated tag can be added like this:

git tag -a v1.0.0 -m"Tagged 1.0.0"
git push --tags

Use make create-tag as a shortcut for creating and uploading tags:

VERSION='2.0.0-beta5' make create-tag

If you want to both create a package and upload a tag, run the create-tag task right after the packages task:

[...env variables...] make packages create-tag

Updating Icons

The icons used for the system tray are stored in src/github/getlantern/lantern/icons. To apply changes to the icons, make your updates in the icons folder and then run make update-icons.

Continuous Integration with Travis CI

Continuous builds are run on Travis CI. These builds use the .travis.yml configuration. The unit tests require an envvars.bash to be populated with credentials for cloudflare. The original envvars.bash is available here. An encrypted version is checked in as envvars.bash.enc, which was encrypted per the instructions here.

Documentation for developers


Please, go to README-dev for an in-depth explanation of the Lantern internals and cloud services.

Release README

Please visit README-release for details on building release versions of Lantern.

Translations README

More info for dealing with translations is available in README-translations.

Contributing changes

Lantern is a gost project that provides repeatable builds and consolidated pull requests for lantern.

Go code in Lantern must pass several tests:

You can find a generic git-hook file, which can be used as a pre-push (or pre-commit) hook to automatically ensure these tests are passed before committing any code. Only Go packages in src/ will be tested, and only those that have changes in them.

Install by copying it into the local .git/hooks/ directory, with the pre-push file name if you want to run it before pushing. Alternatively, you can copy pre-commit.hook to pre-commit to run it before each commit.

ln -s "$(pwd)/" .git/hooks/
ln -s "$(pwd)/pre-push" .git/hooks/pre-push

Important notice

If you must commit without running the hooks, you can run git with the --no-verify flag.


Open Internet for everyone. Lantern is a free desktop application that delivers fast, reliable and secure access to the open Internet for users in censored regions. It uses a variety of techniques to stay unblocked, including P2P and domain fronting. Lantern relies on users in uncensored regions acting as access points to the open Internet.




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