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ALIRE: Ada LIbrary REpository.

A catalog of ready-to-use Ada libraries plus a command-line tool (alr) to obtain, build, and incorporate them into your own projects. It aims to fulfill a similar role to Rust's cargo or OCaml's opam.

Caveat emptor

Documentation at this time is a work in progress. Expect further efforts in this direction until this warning is removed. Check the latest information at


Available for Linux/macOS/Windows/FreeBSD.

Download the latest stable version from the Releases page. See the Getting Started guide for binary downloads.

If, instead, you want to test the latest development version, see Building from sources or, if you already have a recent alr in your system, Building with alr.

Installation and First Steps

See the Getting Started guide.

Building from sources

The build process of alr is straighforward and depends only on a recent GNAT Ada 2012 compiler. All dependencies are included as submodules. A project file (alr_env.gpr) is provided to drive the build with all necessary configuration (which is also valid for editing with GNAT Studio).

The ALIRE_OS environment variable must be set to the OS for which alr is being build, taking one of the values in freebsd, linux, macos, windows.

Follow these steps:

  1. Clone the repository: git clone --recurse-submodules
  2. Enter the cloned repository folder.
  3. Build the executable:
    • if you have Bash on your system: dev/
    • if you don't have Bash on your system: ALIRE_OS=<one of: freebsd, linux, macos, windows> gprbuild -j0 -p -P alr_env

The binary will be found at bin/alr. You can run alr version to see version and diagnostics information.

Sourcing the scripts/alr-completion.bash file will provide Bash tab autocompletion.

Building with alr

If you already have a recent enough alr binary, you can alternatively build alr by simply running alr build at the root of the repository. This command will retrieve all necessary dependencies prior to launching the build and configure the environment.

The master branch should normally be able to build itself in this fashion, as this is one of our integration tests.

Design principles

alr is tailored to userspace, in a similar way to Python's virtualenv. A project or workspace will contain all its dependencies.

Some crates benefit from using platform packages. In this case the user will be asked to authorize a sudo installation through the platform package manager.

Properties and dependencies of projects are managed through a TOML file (alire.toml, found at the root of Alire workspaces). This file exists locally for working copies of projects, and the Alire community index stores the files corresponding to its projects.

The complete build environment is automatically set up by setting the GPR_PROJECT_PATH environment variable before running gprbuild, thus freeing the user from concerns about installation paths. The user simply adds the used projects to its own project GPR file with their simple name. You can check the environment alr is using with alr printenv.

Supported platforms

Alire can be built on Linux, macOS, Windows, and FreeBSD.

Alire requires a recent Ada 2012 compiler. In practice, this currently means the latest GNAT Community or a somewhat recent GNAT FSF. Continuous integration is run against the Windows and macOS Github Actions images, and a suite of Linux docker images that includes at least Debian stable, Ubuntu LTS, CentOS, Arch and Fedora. The packaged GNAT is used when available from the distribution.

Note that platform-provided Ada libraries (such as Debian's GtkAda) require the use of the platform Ada compiler. Otherwise these libraries will be unavailable, potentially making dependent crates unavailable too.