Using ienv

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Installation
  3. Usage
    1. Install a version
    2. Change the default version
    3. remove a version
    4. List all installed versions
    5. List all known versions
    6. Cleaning up temporary data
    7. Running commands using ienv
    8. Updating ienv
  4. Directory overrides
  5. Configuration
  6. Directories and files


ienv is Inko's official version manager, written in Bash.


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

Now that ienv is installed, we can install Inko.


Install a version

To install a version of Inko, run the install command:

ienv install latest

This will install the latest version. You can also install specific versions:

ienv install 0.6.0

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

Change the default version

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 latest

This will set the latest version installed as the default version. If you want to use a specific version instead, run the following:

ienv default 0.6.0

This will set 0.6.0 as the default version.

remove a version

To remove a version:

ienv remove 0.6.0

You can also remove the latest version easily:

ienv remove latest

List all installed versions

To list all installed versions:

ienv list

List all known versions

To list all available versions:

ienv known

Cleaning up temporary data

To remove any temporary data (e.g. the manifest and any downloaded packages):

ienv clean

Running commands using ienv

Running an Inko command using a specific version:

ienv run 0.6.0 -- ivm --version

If you have configured a default version using ienv default, then you can leave out the version when using the run command:

ienv run -- ivm --version

Updating ienv

Updating ienv itself:

cd ~/.local/share/ienv
git pull origin master

If you installed ienv in a different location, make sure to change the path used above to your ienv installation path.

More information about ienv can be obtained by running ienv --help.

Directory overrides

ienv can automatically use a directory specific version of Inko. To specify a directory specific version, create a file called inko-version and add the desired version to it. For example:

echo '0.6.0' > inko-version

You can then use the run command as follows to use the directory override:

ienv run -- ivm --version

ienv only supports directory for the current working directory, it will not examine any parent directories.


ienv can be configured using various environment variables. These variables are best set in a configuration file for your shell, such as ~/.bashrc or ~/.config/fish/


The base URL of the mirror to use for downloading packages. Defaults to

Directories and files

ienv adheres to the XDG base directory specification. Specifically, it uses the following directories and files:

  • $XDG_DATA_HOME/ienv/installed: the directory containing installed versions.
  • $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/ienv: the directory containing various configuration files.
  • $XDG_CACHE_HOME/ienv: the directory containing temporary files, such as downloaded archives and a local copy of the package manifest.
  • $XDG_CONFIG_HOME/ienv/inko-version: a simple text file containing the default version to use.