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:zap: Open Internet for everyone. Lantern is a free desktop application that delivers fast, reliable and secure access to the open Internet for users in censored regions. It uses a variety of techniques to stay unblocked, including P2P and domain fronting. Lantern relies on users in uncensored regions acting as access points to the open Internet.
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Latest commit f750e8e @fffw fffw Merge pull request #3316 from getlantern/issue3315
Cleaner approach to dual fetching closes #3315

lantern Travis CI Status Coverage Status ProjectTalk

If you're looking for Lantern binaries, you can find all of them at the following links:

If you're looking for help, please visit below user forums:

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Building Lantern


We are going to create a Docker image that will take care of compiling Lantern for Windows and Linux, in order to compile Lantern for OSX you'll need an OSX host, this is a limitation caused by Lantern depending on C code and OSX build tools for certain features.

Building the docker image

In order to build the docker image open a terminal, cd into the lantern project and execute make docker:

cd lantern
make docker

This will take a while, be patient, you only need to do this once.

Building Lantern binaries

Building for Linux

If you want to build for Linux on all supported architectures, use:

make linux

You can also build for Linux 386:

make linux-386
file lantern_linux_386
# lantern_linux_386: ELF 32-bit LSB executable, Intel 80386, version 1 (SYSV), dynamically linked (uses shared libs), not stripped

Or only for amd64:

make linux-amd64
file lantern_linux_amd64
# lantern_linux_amd64: ELF 64-bit LSB executable, x86-64, version 1 (SYSV), dynamically linked (uses shared libs), not stripped


make linux-arm
file lantern_linux_arm
# lantern_linux_arm: ELF 32-bit LSB executable, ARM, version 1 (SYSV), dynamically linked (uses shared libs), not stripped

Building for Windows

Lantern supports the 386 architecture on Windows. In order to build Lantern on Windows use:

make windows
file lantern_windows_386.exe
# lantern_windows_386.exe: PE32 executable for MS Windows (GUI) Intel 80386 32-bit

Building for OSX

Lantern supports the amd64 architecture on OSX. In order to build Lantern on OSX you'll need an OSX host. Run the following command:

make darwin
file lantern_darwin_amd64
# lantern_darwin_amd64: Mach-O 64-bit executable x86_64

Building all binaries

If you want to build all supported binaries of Lantern use the binaries task:

make binaries

Building headless version

If HEADLESS environment variable is set, the generated binaries will be headless, that is, it doesn't depend on the systray support libraries, and will not show systray or UI.


Packaging requires some special environment variables.


Lantern on OS X is packaged as the app bundle, distributed inside of a drag-and-drop dmg installer. The app bundle and dmg can be created using:

VERSION=2.0.0-beta2 make package-darwin
file Lantern.dmg
# Lantern.dmg: bzip2 compressed data, block size = 100k

make package-darwin signs the using the BNS code signing certificate in your KeyChain. The certificate and password can be obtained from too-many-secrets and must be installed to the system's key chain beforehand.

If signing fails, the script will still build the app bundle and dmg, but the app bundle won't be signed. Unsigned app bundles can be used for testing but should never be distributed to end users.

The background image for the DMG is installer-resources/darwin/dmgbackground.svg.

Packaging for Windows

Lantern on Windows is distributed as an installer built with nsis. The installer is built and signed with make package-windows.

For make package-windows to be able to sign the executable, the environment varaibles SECRETS_DIR and BNS_CERT_PASS must be set to point to the secrets directory and the password of the BNS certificate. You can set the environment variables and run the script on one line, like this:

VERSION=2.0.0-beta1 make package-windows

Packaging for Ubuntu

Lantern on Ubuntu is distributed as a .deb package. You can generate a Debian package with:

VERSION=2.0.0-beta2 make package-linux

The version string must match the Debian requirements:

This will build both 386 and amd64 packages.

Generating all packages

Use the make packages task combining all the arguments that package-linux, package-windows and package-darwin require.

VERSION=2.0.0-beta1 make packages

Creating releases

Releasing for QA

In order to release for QA, first obtain an application token from Github (GH_TOKEN) and then make sure that s3cmd is correctly configured:

s3cmd --config

Then, create all distribution packages:

[...env variables...] make packages

Finally, use release-qa to upload the packages that were just generated to both AWS S3 and the Github release page:

VERSION=2.0.0-beta5 make release-qa

Releasing Beta

If you want to release a beta you must have created a package for QA first, then use the release-beta task:

make release-beta

release-beta will promote the QA files that are currently in S3 to beta.

Releasing for production

After you're satisfied with a beta version, it will be time to promote beta packages to production and to publish the packages for auto-updates:

VERSION=2.0.0-beta5 GH_TOKEN=$GITHUB_TOKEN make release

make release expects a lantern-binaries directory at ../lantern-binaries. You can provide a different directory by passing the LANTERN_BINARIES_PATH env variable.

Other tasks

Creating the Android embeddable library

In order to build the Android ARM library that can be embedded in applications, Lantern is using gomobile. This simplifies the process notably.

Currently, as Go 1.5 is not stable, a specific git revision is used within an isolated Docker image.

To build a development library (takes shorter time):

make android-lib

To build the final version for Firetweet:

make android-lib-dist

If you pass the FIRETWEET_MAIN_DIR env variable to make android-lib, the generated bindings and library will be copied into it:

FIRETWEET_MAIN_DIR=/path/to/firetweet/src/main make android-lib

You can also override this environment variable if you want to use the Flashlight Android Tester app.

Generating assets

make genassets

If the environment variable UPDATE_DIST=true is set, make genassets also updates the resources in the dist folder.

An annotated tag can be added like this:

git tag -a v1.0.0 -m"Tagged 1.0.0"
git push --tags

Use make create-tag as a shortcut for creating and uploading tags:

VERSION='2.0.0-beta5' make create-tag

If you want to both create a package and upload a tag, run the create-tag task right after the packages task:

[...env variables...] make packages create-tag

Updating Icons

The icons used for the system tray are stored in src/github/getlantern/lantern/icons. To apply changes to the icons, make your updates in the icons folder and then run make update-icons.

Continuous Integration with Travis CI

Continuous builds are run on Travis CI. These builds use the .travis.yml configuration. The unit tests require an envvars.bash to be populated with credentials for cloudflare. The original envvars.bash is available here. An encrypted version is checked in as envvars.bash.enc, which was encrypted per the instructions here.

Documentation for developers


Please, go to README-dev for an in-depth explanation of the Lantern internals and cloud services.

Contributing changes

Lantern is a gost project that provides repeatable builds and consolidated pull requests for lantern.

Go code in Lantern must pass several tests:

You can find a generic git-hook file, which can be used as a pre-push (or pre-commit) hook to automatically ensure these tests are passed before committing any code. Only Go packages in src/ will be tested, and only those that have changes in them.

Install by copying it into the local .git/hooks/ directory, with the pre-push file name if you want to run it before pushing. Alternatively, you can name it pre-commit to run it before each commit..

Important notice

If you must commit without running the hooks, you can run git with the --no-verify flag.

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