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Build and install Julia versions for jlenv. DEPRECATED with next jlenv version.
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This project was forked from ruby-build, and modified for julia.

julia-build is a command-line utility that makes it easy to install virtually any version of Julia, from source.

It is available as a plugin for jlenv that provides the jlenv install command, or as a standalone program.


Manages gcc versions using update-alternatives/alternatives:

  1. Debian/Ubuntu package: dpkg
  2. RHEL/CentOS/Fedora package: chkconfig
# As an jlenv plugin
$ mkdir -p "$(jlenv root)"/plugins
$ git clone "$(jlenv root)"/plugins/julia-build

# As a standalone program
$ git clone
$ PREFIX=/usr/local ./julia-build/


# As an jlenv plugin
$ cd "$(jlenv root)"/plugins/julia-build && git pull


Basic Usage

# As an jlenv plugin
$ jlenv install --list                 # lists all available versions of Julia
$ jlenv install v0.6.0                  # installs Julia v0.6.0 to ~/.jlenv/versions

# As a standalone program
$ julia-build --definitions             # lists all available versions of Julia
$ julia-build 0.6.0 ~/local/julia-v0.6.0  # installs Julia v0.6.0 to ~/local/julia-0.6.0

julia-build does not check for system dependencies before downloading and attempting to compile the Julia source. Please ensure that all required libraries are available on your system.

Advanced Usage

Custom Build Definitions

If you wish to develop and install a version of Julia that is not yet supported by julia-build, you may specify the path to a custom “build definition file” in place of a Julia version number.

Use the default build definitions as a template for your custom definitions.

Custom Build Configuration

The build process may be configured through the following environment variables:

Variable Function
TMPDIR Where temporary files are stored.
JULIA_BUILD_BUILD_PATH Where sources are downloaded and built. (Default: a timestamped subdirectory of TMPDIR)
JULIA_BUILD_CACHE_PATH Where to cache downloaded package files. (Default: ~/.jlenv/cache if invoked as jlenv plugin)
JULIA_BUILD_MIRROR_URL Custom mirror URL root.
JULIA_BUILD_SKIP_MIRROR Always download from official sources, not mirrors. (Default: unset)
JULIA_BUILD_ROOT Custom build definition directory. (Default: share/julia-build)
JULIA_BUILD_DEFINITIONS Additional paths to search for build definitions. (Colon-separated list)
CC Path to the C compiler.
JULIA_CFLAGS Additional CFLAGS options (e.g., to override -O3).
CONFIGURE_OPTS Additional ./configure options.
MAKE Custom make command (e.g., gmake).
MAKE_OPTS / MAKEOPTS Additional make options.
MAKE_INSTALL_OPTS Additional make install options.
JULIA_CONFIGURE_OPTS Additional ./configure options (applies only to Julia source).
JULIA_MAKE_OPTS Additional make options (applies only to Julia source).
JULIA_MAKE_INSTALL_OPTS Additional make install options (applies only to Julia source).

Applying Patches

Both jlenv install and julia-build support the --patch (-p) flag to apply a patch to the Julia source code before building. Patches are read from STDIN:

# applying a single patch
$ jlenv install --patch 1.0.3-p429 < /path/to/julia.patch

# applying a patch from HTTP
$ jlenv install --patch 1.0.3-p429 < <(curl -sSL

# applying multiple patches
$ cat fix1.patch fix2.patch | jlenv install --patch 1.0.3-p429

Checksum Verification

If you have the shasum, openssl, or sha256sum tool installed, julia-build will automatically verify the SHA2 checksum of each downloaded package before installing it.

Checksums are optional and specified as anchors on the package URL in each definition. (All bundled definitions include checksums.)

Keeping the build directory after installation

Both julia-build and jlenv install accept the -k or --keep flag, which tells julia-build to keep the downloaded source after installation. This can be useful if you need to use gdb and memprof with Julia.

Source code will be kept in a parallel directory tree ~/.jlenv/sources when using --keep with the jlenv install command. You should specify the location of the source code with the JULIA_BUILD_BUILD_PATH environment variable when using --keep with julia-build.

Getting Help

Please see Julia-Build wiki for solutions to common problems.

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