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Install instructions

To install and run Urbit please follow the instructions at urbit.org/docs/using/install. Packages and source tarballs are available there. You'll be on the live network in a few minutes.

If you're doing development on Urbit, keep reading.

Build instructions

Build Status

External dependencies

vere, the Urbit virtual machine, depends on the following:

Most of these dependencies are unfortunate; we aim to drastically shrink the list in upcoming versions. vere proper makes use of GMP, OpenSSL, libcurl, and libsigsegv. The multiple build tools are a result of bundled libraries, slated for future unbundling or removal wherever possible.


Urbit uses Meson build system.

Some libraries which are not found in major distributions:

  • ed25519
  • http-parser legacy version 0.1.0
  • murmur3
  • softfloat3
  • urbit-scrypt
  • commonmark legacy version 0.12.0

are included as git submodules. To build urbit from source, perform the following steps:

Configuration & compilation

(For instructions for legacy meson, also see below)

  1. Install all required dependencies.
  2. Run ./scripts/bootstrap
  3. Run ./scripts/build
  4. The executable should appear in ./build directory.

Using meson & ninja

To configure project, enter the build directory and enter meson configure. Without any arguments this command will display available options. For example, to compile debug build of urbit, use meson configure -Dbuildtype=debug. To set the prefix for installation use meson configure -Dprefix=/usr, and so on.

Configuration & compilation for legacy meson

The syntax for legacy meson (Version 0.29) is a bit different.

  1. Manually create build directory and invoke meson as meson . ./build
  2. If you want to set options, this is done in one step. Use meson -D [options] . ./build to prepare customized build.

Once the project is configured, use ninja to build it. To install it into the default prefix, use ninja install. If you want to specify custom DESTDIR, use DESTDIR=... ninja install.

Building the Debian Package

To build a .deb file for installation on Debian platforms, perform the following steps:

  • Run sudo apt install devscripts to install the debuild utility.
  • Update the debian/changelog to reflect the changes in this release.
  • If necessary, update the year of the copyright in debian/copyright.
  • Clean any build artifacts: Run make clean and delete the bin directory, if it exists.
  • Run tar -xcvf ../urbit-x.y.z.orig.tar.gz . from the top-level folder in the repo. This command will create an archive in the directory above the current directory, which will be used in packaging.
  • Run debuild -us -uc, also from the top-level folder in the repo. This creates a .deb file in the folder above the current directory.

The resulting .deb file should now exist in the folder above the current directory. To test that the .deb file works properly, you can perform the following steps:

  • Uninstall urbit: sudo apt remove urbit.
  • Run sudo dpkg -i ../urbit-x.y.z_amd64.deb to install the new version.
  • Boot up a ship using the urbit command.


If you have any questions, problems, patches, or proposals for patches, please feel free to get in touch in whatever way is most convenient: