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Compile From Source

Joe edited this page Aug 20, 2021 · 55 revisions

You'll want to compile from a MacOS or Linux machine, compiling from native Windows in theory should be possible, but none of the scripts are designed to run on Windows (you can cross compile the Windows server/client binaries from MacOS or Linux). If you only have a Windows machine see "Windows Builds" below (TL;DR use WSL).

Docker Build

The Docker builds are mostly designed for running unit tests, but can be useful if you want a "just do everything" build, you just need to have Docker installed on the machine. First git clone the Sliver repo, then run the script (the script isn't required but has a few short cuts see ./ --help). Alternatively, execute the following command:

docker build -t sliver .

The Docker build includes mingw and Metasploit, so it can take a while to build from scratch but Docker should cache the layers effectively. Sliver will also run it's unit tests as part of the build, and that takes a few minutes too.

From Scratch (No Docker)

From scratch without Docker, requirements for compiling:

  • Go v1.17 or later
  • make, sed, tar, curl, zip commands

Go Assets

Sliver embeds its own version of the Go compiler and related tools. Run the following script to download these static assets. You need to do this at least once before running make:

$ ./

Then compile and bundle server with all dependencies and assets, by default make will build whatever platform you're currently running on:

$ make

Cross-compile to Specific Platforms

You can also specify a target platform for the make file, though you may need cross-compilers (see below):

$ make macos
$ make macos-arm64
$ make linux
$ make windows

Windows Builds

NOTE: Starting with v1.1.0 in order to cross-compile Windows builds you'll need mingw on your system:

  • Ubuntu sudo apt install mingw-w64
  • MacOS brew install mingw-w64

If all you have is a Windows machine, the easiest way to build Sliver is using WSL and following the Linux/cross-compile instructions above. To cross-compile a native Windows binary use make windows and copy it to your Windows file system (i.e. /mnt/c/Users/foo/Desktop) and run it using a terminal that supports ANSI sequences such as the Windows Terminal.


If you want to modify any of the .proto files you'll need to setup a few additional tools to regenerate the .pb.go files.

  • Protoc v3.15.8
  • Protoc-gen-go v1.26.0
  • Protoc-gen-go-grpc v1.1.0


First install your platform's version of protoc v3.15.8 or compile this version from source:

Ensure that protoc v3.15.8 is on your $PATH, you can check with a simple protoc --version

protoc-gen-go protoc-gen-go-gprc

Assuming $GOPATH/bin is on your $PATH simply run the following commands to install the appropriate versions of protoc-gen-go and protoc-gen-go-gprc:

go install
go install

Ensure that these are both on your $PATH after running the commands, if not you probably need to add $GOPATH/bin to your $PATH. To regenerate the Protobuf and gRPC files run:

$ make pb