Building and Installing Oils

Oils is a new Unix shell. This file describes how to configure, build, and install it from source code.

Quick Start

If you haven't already done so, extract the tarball:

tar -x --gz < oil-for-unix-0.22.0.tar.gz
cd oils-for-unix-0.22.0

This is the traditional way to install it:

./configure      # completes very quickly
_build/   # 30-60 seconds
sudo ./install

You'll end up with an oils-for-unix binary and two symlinks:

  osh -> oils-for-unix
  ysh -> oils-for-unix

This structure is similar to the busybox tool.

Smoke Test

OSH behaves like a POSIX shell:

$ osh -c 'echo hi'

The -n flag parses and prints a syntax tree for the 'configure' script:

osh -n configure

YSH is a legacy-free shell, with structured data:

$ ysh -c 'echo hi'

$ ysh -c 'json write ({x: 42})'
  "x": 42

More Documentation

Every release has a home page with links:

System Requirements

Oils is designed to have very few dependencies. You need:


Build deps on Debian-like distros, including Ubuntu:

sudo apt-get install build-essential libreadline-dev

Alpine Linux:

apk add libc-dev gcc readline-dev

Oils has been tested on several Linux distros and OS X. It aims to run on any POSIX system. If it doesn't, file a bug here:

Non-root Install

You can run the binary in-place, e.g.

$ _bin/cxx-opt-sh/osh -c 'echo hi'

Or you can install into ~/bin, with the man page at ~/.local/share/man/man1/osh.1:

./configure --prefix ~ --datarootdir ~/.local/share

This doesn't require root access, but it requires:

NOTE: Out-of-tree builds are NOT currently supported, so you have to be in the oils-for-unix-0.22.0 directory.

Build Options

Show options with:

./configure --help 

Common flags:

--readline  # the location


Generated on Fri, 31 May 2024 01:26:56 -0400