Install Open Dylan

The current version for unix is Open Dylan 2024.1, for Windows 2023.1.

Unix Platforms

Download binaries from GitHub

Note that Unix versions only have a command-line compiler and not the full IDE that is available on Windows, although there is some integration with VS Code and Emacs.

All required dependencies (llvm, libgc, libunwind) are included; just unpack the tarball and add the bin directory to your PATH:

$ export PATH=/path/to/opendylan/bin:$PATH

You may wish to sudo apt install lldb-15, for debugging.


Open Dylan for Windows is currently a 32-bit application that runs under the WOW64 x86 emulator on Windows 10 64-bit machines.

Download binaries from GitHub

For installation, double-click on the installer, and follow instructions. You need to have either the PellesC linker or the linker of VC++ 6.0, 7.0 or the current .NET platform SDK installed. PellesC 8.00 is the best option. (Note that PellesC 9.00 does not work.)

Your environment variables must be set such that the external build system (linker, resource compiler, etc.) can be found. For example, for Pelles C set these environment variables in the System control panel (assuming installation in C:\Program Files\PellesC):

INCLUDE=C:\Program Files\PellesC\include;C:\Program Files\PellesC\include\win
LIB=C:\Program Files\PellesC\lib;C:\Program Files\PellesC\lib\win
PATH=C:\Program Files\PellesC\bin;...more...

You may instead start a Pelles C interactive shell and run C:\Program Files\Open Dylan\bin\win32-environment.exe, but this won’t help if you want to run Open Dylan via the Start menu.

Installing Older Versions

Older builds can be found on GitHub or in the download directories.

For the 2020.1 or newer releases just untar the downloaded file and add the bin directory to your PATH. Optionally, sudo apt install lldb for debugging.

For 2019.1 and earlier releases:

  • All Unix platforms must have the Boehm GC and libunwind installed. For example, apt-get install libgc-dev libunwind-dev on Ubuntu.

  • The README file inside the tarball describes installation and basic usage. The easiest way is extracting the tarball in /opt.

  • The Linux and FreeBSD platforms should have gcc installed, in order to allow linking.

  • On Arch Linux you may use the following recipe instead:

    git clone
    cd opendylan
    makepkg -si
  • On macOS you may use this recipe instead:

    brew tap dylan-lang/dylan
    brew install opendylan       # or brew upgrade opendylan