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choosenim installs the Nim programming language from official downloads and sources, enabling you to easily switch between stable and development compilers.

The aim of this tool is two-fold:

  • Provide an easy way to install the Nim compiler and tools.
  • Manage multiple Nim installations and allow them to be selected on-demand.

Typical usage

To select the current stable release of Nim:

$ choosenim stable
  Installed component 'nim'
  Installed component 'nimble'
  Installed component 'nimgrep'
  Installed component 'nimpretty'
  Installed component 'nimsuggest'
  Installed component 'testament'
   Switched to Nim 1.0.0
$ nim -v
Nim Compiler Version 1.0.0 [Linux: amd64]

To update to the latest stable release of Nim:

$ choosenim update stable

To display which versions are currently installed:

$ choosenim show
  Selected: 1.6.6
   Channel: stable
      Path: /home/dom/.choosenim/toolchains/nim-1.6.6

          * 1.6.6

Versions can be selected via choosenim 1.6.6 or by branch/tag name via choosenim #devel (note that selecting branches is likely to require Nim to be bootstrapped which may be slow).



Download the latest Windows version from the releases page (the .zip file, for example here is v0.7.4).

Extract the zip archive and run the runme.bat script. Follow any on screen prompts and enjoy your new Nim and choosenim installation.

There is also a third-party project to provide an installer for choosenim, you can find it here (note that this isn't vetted by the Nim team so you do so at your own risk).


curl -sSf | sh
wget -qO - | sh

Optional: You can specify the initial version you would like the script to install by specifying the CHOOSENIM_CHOOSE_VERSION environment variable.

How choosenim works

Similar to the likes of rustup and pyenv, choosenim is a toolchain multiplexer. It installs and manages multiple Nim toolchains and presents them all through a single set of tools installed in ~/.nimble/bin.

The nim, nimble and other tools installed in ~/.nimble/bin are proxies that delegate to the real toolchain. choosenim then allows you to change the active toolchain by reconfiguring the behaviour of the proxies.

The toolchains themselves are installed into ~/.choosenim/toolchains. For example running nim will execute the proxy in ~/.nimble/bin/nim, which in turn will run the compiler in ~/.choosenim/toolchains/nim-1.0.0/bin/nim, assuming that 1.0.0 was selected.

How toolchains are installed

choosenim downloads and installs the official release binaries on Windows and Linux. On other platforms, the official source release is downloaded and built. This operation is only performed once when a new version is selected.

As official binaries are made available for more platforms, choosenim will install them accordingly.


Windows Linux macOS (*)
C compiler Downloaded automatically gcc/clang gcc/clang
curl N/A Any recent version (※) Any recent version

* Many macOS dependencies should already be installed. You may need to install a C compiler however. More information on dependencies is available here.

※ Some users needed to install libcurl4-gnutls-dev (see here)

Git is required when installing #HEAD or a specific commit of Nim. The unxz binary is optional but will allow choosenim to download the smallest tarballs.


> choosenim -h
choosenim: The Nim toolchain installer.

Choose a job. Choose a mortgage. Choose life. Choose Nim.

  choosenim <version/path/channel>

  choosenim 1.0.0
    Installs (if necessary) and selects version 0.16.0 of Nim.
  choosenim stable
    Installs (if necessary) Nim from the stable channel (latest stable release)
    and then selects it.
  choosenim #head
    Installs (if necessary) and selects the latest current commit of Nim.
    Warning: Your shell may need quotes around `#head`: choosenim "#head".
  choosenim ~/projects/nim
    Selects the specified Nim installation.
  choosenim update stable
    Updates the version installed on the stable release channel.
  choosenim versions [--installed]
    Lists the available versions of Nim that choosenim has access to.

    Describes the latest stable release of Nim.
    Describes the latest development (or nightly) release of Nim taken from
    the devel branch.

  update    <version/channel>    Installs the latest release of the specified
                                 version or channel.
  show                           Displays the selected version and channel.
  show      path                 Prints only the path of the current Nim version.
  update    self                 Updates choosenim itself.
  versions  [--installed]        Lists available versions of Nim, passing
                                 `--installed` only displays versions that
                                 are installed locally (no network requests).

  -h --help             Show this output.
  -y --yes              Agree to every question.
  --version             Show version.
  --verbose             Show low (and higher) priority output.
  --debug               Show debug (and higher) priority output.
  --noColor             Don't colorise output.

  --choosenimDir:<dir>  Specify the directory where toolchains should be
                        installed. Default: ~/.choosenim.
  --nimbleDir:<dir>     Specify the Nimble directory where binaries will be
                        placed. Default: ~/.nimble.
  --firstInstall        Used by install script.


Check out the analytics document for details.