Installing Inko

  1. Officially supported platforms
  2. Installing using ienv (recommended)
    1. Requirements
    2. Installing ienv
    3. Installing Inko using ienv
  3. Installing from Git

Inko is currently still in the early stages of development. Unfortunately, this means that the installation procedure is a bit more complicated than we would like it to be, depending on your platform.

Officially supported platforms

Inko supports any Unix-like platform, such as Linux, Mac OS, or BSD.

Inko also supports Windows, but this requires the use of a Unix like compatibility layer such as MSYS2 or Linux for Windows. Currently we only provide official support for MSYS2 environments.

ienv is the official version manager of Inko. Using ienv you can easily install, remove, and use different versions of Inko during development.


Ienv currently only supports Unix platforms, and requires the following software:

  • Bash 4.0 or newer
  • Curl
  • Grep
  • (GNU) coreutils
  • (GNU) findutils
  • Make 4.0 or newer
  • Rust 1.28 or newer
  • Ruby 2.3 or newer (for the compiler)
  • autoconf
  • automake
  • texinfo
  • clang
  • libtool

Installing ienv

To use ienv, we must first install it. The easiest way to install ienv is to clone its Git repository:

git clone ~/.local/share/ienv

Now you need to add the ienv executable to your PATH for your shell of choice. For Bash you would add the following to ~/.bashrc:

export PATH="${PATH}:$HOME/.local/share/ienv/bin"

For Fish, add the following to ~/.config/fish/

set -x PATH $PATH $HOME/.local/share/ienv/bin

Installing Inko using ienv

Once installed, you can install versions of Inko as follows:

ienv install 0.2.0

This would install version 0.2.0 of Inko.

ienv will not automatically set a version to use for you, instead you need to do so manually. This can be done by running the following

ienv default 0.2.0

This will set 0.2.0 as the default version.

Whenever possible, ienv will use precompiled packages. This removes the need for having to compile the virtual machine, which in turn makes the installation procedure easier and faster. If no precompiled package is available, ienv will install Inko from source instead.

You can list installed versions by running the list command:

ienv list

Known versions (= the ones you can install) can be displayed using the known command:

ienv known

For more information and the available commands, run ienv --help, or refer to ienv's README.

Installing from Git

Installing from source has the same requirements as installing from source using ienv. Assuming these requirements are met, first we need to clone the Git repository:

git clone

We can then install everything by running the following:

sudo make install

This will try to install Inko in a variety of directories relative to /usr. If you don't like this, you can change the prefix as follows:

make install PREFIX=~/.local

This will then install Inko in ~/.local. The IVM executable will then be located in ~/.local/bin/ivm, and the runtime and compiler will be in ~/.local/lib/inko.

When installing from source, you need to manually tell the inko or inkoc executable where the runtime (the core plus standard library) is located. The easiest way of doing this is by setting INKOC_HOME to the directory containing the runtime. For example, if Inko is installed in ~/.local/share/inko you would use this variable as follows:

INKOC_HOME=~/.local/share/inko/lib/inko inko program_here.inko

To persist this variable you can add it to your shell's configuration file such as ~/.bashrc for Bash, and ~/.config/fish/ for Fish.