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Geany - A fast and lightweight IDE


Geany is a small and lightweight integrated development environment. It was developed to provide a small and fast IDE, which has only a few dependencies from other packages. Another goal was to be as independent as possible from a special Desktop Environment like KDE or GNOME. So it is using only the GTK+ toolkit and therefore you need only the GTK+ runtime libraries to run Geany.


The basic features of Geany are:

  • syntax highlighting
  • code completion
  • auto completion of often used constructs like if, for and while
  • auto completion of XML and HTML tags
  • call tips
  • folding
  • many supported filetypes like C, Java, PHP, HTML, Python, Perl, Pascal
  • symbol lists
  • embedded terminal emulation
  • extensibility through plugins

Installation from distribution packages

Using distribution packages on Linux, BSD and similar distributions is the easiest and recommended way. This way you will also benefit from automatic Geany updates by the package manager of the distribution.

Packages are available for most distributions including Debian, Fedora, Ubuntu and many more.

Installation on Mac OS and Windows

Prebuilt binary packages for Mac OS and Windows can be found on

Installation from sources


For compiling Geany yourself, you will need the GTK3 libraries and header files. You will also need its dependency libraries and header files, such as Pango, Glib and ATK. All these files are available at

Furthermore you need, of course, a C compiler and the Make tool; a C++ compiler is also needed for the required Scintilla library included. The GNU versions of these tools are recommended.

To build the user manual you need rst2html from Docutils. A pre-built version of the manual is available in distribution tarballs and will be used as fallback if rst2html is missing. When building from Git however, that pre-built version is not included and rst2html is required by default. You can explicitly disable building the user manual using the --disable-html-docs configure flag, but this will result in not installing a local version of the user manual, and Geany will then try and open the online version instead when requested.


Building Geany from source on Mac OS and Windows is more complicated and is out of scope of this document. For more information on building instructions for these platforms, please check the wiki at

Installing from a Git clone

Using the Meson build system

N.B. Meson support is still incomplete and a work-in-progress.

Meson requires to chose a separate build directory. Either create one, or let meson do it:

meson build or mkdir build; cd build; meson ..

Either command will configure the build system. The system is probed in many ways and system-dependant build files are created. This includes location of dependencies and compiler and linker flags required for them.

To build Geany, follow with a meson compile -C build

To install Geany, follow the build with a sudo meson install -C build.

By default, meson will install Geany to /usr/local. A different prefix can be selected at the initial command or via reconfiguration:

meson --prefix /opt build or meson configure --prefix /opt build

Geany has some selectable features that may reduce the required build and runtime dependencies. See meson_optionts.txt for a full list.

To turn a feature off, use -D<feature>=false when configuring the build, for example: meson configure -Dvte=false build

Using Autotools

Install Autotools (autopoint, automake, autoconf and libtool), gettext, and the GLib development files before running any of the following commands, as well as rst2html from Docutils (see above for details). Then, run ./ and then follow the instructions for installing from a release tarball.

Installing from a release tarball

Run the the following three commands:

$ ./configure
$ make
(as root, or using sudo)
% make install

For more configuration details run ./configure --help.

If there are any errors during compilation, check your build environment and try to find the error, otherwise contact the mailing list or one of the authors.

See the manual for details (geany.txt/geany.html).


To run Geany just type:

$ geany

on a console or use the applications menu from your desktop environment. For command line options, see the manual page of Geany or run:

$ geany --help

for details. Or look into the documentation in the doc/ directory. The most important option probably is -c or --config, where you can specify an alternate configuration directory.


Geany is distributed under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 of the License, or (at your option) any later version. A copy of this license can be found in the file COPYING included with the source code of this program. The included Scintilla library (found in the subdirectory scintilla/) has its own license, which can be found in the file scintilla/License.txt included with the source code of this program.

Ideas, questions, patches and bug reports

See If you add something, or fix a bug, please create a pull request at Also see the HACKING file.