The Inko Programming Language
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NOTE: Inko is still a work in progress and in the very early stages. For example, there's no website just yet, the compiler is in the super early stages, etc.

Inko is a gradually typed, interpreted programming language that combines the flexibility of a dynamic language with the safety of a static language. Inko also combines elements from object oriented languages (e.g. classes and traits) with elements from functional programming languages (e.g. immutability by default).

Inko allows writing of concurrent programs without having to worry about locking or data races. Furthermore Inko comes with a high performance garbage collector based on Immix.

Inko borrows a lot of elements from other programming languages such as Ruby, Smalltalk, Erlang/Elixir, and Python. Whitespace is used for indentation as it leads to a good combination of compact and readable code. Inko does not feature any special statements such as if or switch, instead almost everything is implemented using methods (safe for a few keywords such as class).


The venerable Hello World:

import std::stdout

stdout.write('Hello, world!')

Concurrent Hello World:

import std::stdout
import std::process

  stdout.write('Hello from process 1!')

  stdout.write('Hello from process 2!')

Sending messages between processes:

import std::stdout
import std::process

let writer = process.spawn:
  let message = process.receive

let sender = process.spawn:
  let pid = process.receive

  pid.send('Hello process!')


For more examples see the Inko website.


  • A UNIX system, Windows is currently not tested/supported

When working on Inko itself you'll also need:

  • Rust 1.10 or newer using a nightly build (stable Rust is not supported)
  • Cargo

The following dependencies are optional but recommended:

  • Make
  • Rustup

Installation (for developers)

The easiest way to install Inko in case you want to hack on it is to first clone the repository. Once cloned you'll need to build the VM and the compiler.

Building The VM

To build the VM run the following:

cd vm

This will install any required dependencies and build a debug build of the VM. By default this assumes you have rustup installed and a nightly toolchain installed. If this is not the case you can change things around by setting CARGO_CMD to whatever command should be used to run cargo. For example:

cd vm
CARGO_CMD='rustup run something-other-than-nightly cargo'

Building The Compiler

TODO: write this once the Inko based compiler is up and running.