Installing the Solidity Compiler


Solidity versions follow semantic versioning and in addition to releases, nightly development builds are also made available. The nightly builds are not guaranteed to be working and despite best efforts they might contain undocumented and/or broken changes. We recommend using the latest release. Package installers below will use the latest release.


Docker images of Solidity builds are available using the solc image from the ethereum organisation. Use the stable tag for the latest released version, and nightly for potentially unstable changes in the develop branch.

The Docker image runs the compiler executable, so you can pass all compiler arguments to it. For example, the command below pulls the stable version of the solc image (if you do not have it already), and runs it in a new container, passing the --help argument.

docker run ethereum/solc:stable --help

You can also specify release build versions in the tag, for example, for the 0.5.4 release.

docker run ethereum/solc:0.5.4 --help

To use the Docker image to compile Solidity files on the host machine mount a local folder for input and output, and specify the contract to compile. For example.

docker run -v /local/path:/sources ethereum/solc:stable -o /sources/output --abi --bin /sources/Contract.sol

You can also use the standard JSON interface (which is recommended when using the compiler with tooling). When using this interface it is not necessary to mount any directories.

docker run ethereum/solc:stable --standard-json < input.json > output.json

Binary Packages

Binary packages of Solidity are available at solidity/releases.

We also have PPAs for Ubuntu, you can get the latest stable version using the following commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ethereum/ethereum
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install solc

The nightly version can be installed using these commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ethereum/ethereum
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ethereum/ethereum-dev
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install solc

We are also releasing a snap package, which is installable in all the supported Linux distros. To install the latest stable version of solc:

sudo snap install solc

If you want to help testing the latest development version of Solidity with the most recent changes, please use the following:

sudo snap install solc --edge


The solc snap uses strict confinement. This is the most secure mode for snap packages but it comes with limitations, like accessing only the files in your /home and /media directories. For more information, go to Demystifying Snap Confinement.

Arch Linux also has packages, albeit limited to the latest development version:

pacman -S solidity

We distribute the Solidity compiler through Homebrew as a build-from-source version. Pre-built bottles are currently not supported.

brew update
brew upgrade
brew tap ethereum/ethereum
brew install solidity

To install the most recent 0.4.x / 0.5.x version of Solidity you can also use brew install solidity@4 and brew install solidity@5, respectively.

If you need a specific version of Solidity you can install a Homebrew formula directly from Github.

View solidity.rb commits on Github.

Follow the history links until you have a raw file link of a specific commit of solidity.rb.

Install it using brew:

brew unlink solidity
# eg. Install 0.4.8
brew install

Gentoo Linux also provides a solidity package that can be installed using emerge:

emerge dev-lang/solidity

Building from Source

Prerequisites - All Operating Systems

The following are dependencies for all builds of Solidity:

Software Notes
CMake (version 3.9+) Cross-platform build file generator.
Boost (version 1.65+) C++ libraries.
Git Command-line tool for retrieving source code.
z3 (version 4.6+, Optional) For use with SMT checker.
cvc4 (Optional) For use with SMT checker.


Solidity versions prior to 0.5.10 can fail to correctly link against Boost versions 1.70+. A possible workaround is to temporarily rename <Boost install path>/lib/cmake/Boost-1.70.0 prior to running the cmake command to configure solidity.

Starting from 0.5.10 linking against Boost 1.70+ should work without manual intervention.

Minimum compiler versions

The following C++ compilers and their minimum versions can build the Solidity codebase:

Prerequisites - macOS

For macOS builds, ensure that you have the latest version of Xcode installed. This contains the Clang C++ compiler, the Xcode IDE and other Apple development tools which are required for building C++ applications on OS X. If you are installing Xcode for the first time, or have just installed a new version then you will need to agree to the license before you can do command-line builds:

sudo xcodebuild -license accept

Our OS X build script uses the Homebrew package manager for installing external dependencies. Here’s how to uninstall Homebrew, if you ever want to start again from scratch.

Prerequisites - Windows

You need to install the following dependencies for Windows builds of Solidity:

Software Notes
Visual Studio 2017 Build Tools C++ compiler
Visual Studio 2017 (Optional) C++ compiler and dev environment.

If you already have one IDE and only need the compiler and libraries, you could install Visual Studio 2017 Build Tools.

Visual Studio 2017 provides both IDE and necessary compiler and libraries. So if you have not got an IDE and prefer to develop solidity, Visual Studio 2017 may be a choice for you to get everything setup easily.

Here is the list of components that should be installed in Visual Studio 2017 Build Tools or Visual Studio 2017:

  • Visual Studio C++ core features
  • VC++ 2017 v141 toolset (x86,x64)
  • Windows Universal CRT SDK
  • Windows 8.1 SDK
  • C++/CLI support

Dependencies Helper Script

We have a helper script which you can use to install all required external dependencies on macOS, Windows and on numerous Linux distros.


Or, on Windows:


Clone the Repository

To clone the source code, execute the following command:

git clone --recursive
cd solidity

If you want to help developing Solidity, you should fork Solidity and add your personal fork as a second remote:

git remote add personal[username]/solidity.git

Command-Line Build

Be sure to install External Dependencies (see above) before build.

Solidity project uses CMake to configure the build. You might want to install ccache to speed up repeated builds. CMake will pick it up automatically. Building Solidity is quite similar on Linux, macOS and other Unices:

mkdir build
cd build
cmake .. && make

or even easier on Linux and macOS, you can run:

#note: this will install binaries solc and soltest at usr/local/bin


BSD builds should work, but are untested by the Solidity team.

And for Windows:

mkdir build
cd build
cmake -G "Visual Studio 15 2017 Win64" ..

This latter set of instructions should result in the creation of solidity.sln in that build directory. Double-clicking on that file should result in Visual Studio firing up. We suggest building Release configuration, but all others work.

Alternatively, you can build for Windows on the command-line, like so:

cmake --build . --config Release

CMake options

If you are interested what CMake options are available run cmake .. -LH.

SMT Solvers

Solidity can be built against SMT solvers and will do so by default if they are found in the system. Each solver can be disabled by a cmake option.

Note: In some cases, this can also be a potential workaround for build failures.

Inside the build folder you can disable them, since they are enabled by default:

# disables only Z3 SMT Solver.
cmake .. -DUSE_Z3=OFF

# disables only CVC4 SMT Solver.
cmake .. -DUSE_CVC4=OFF

# disables both Z3 and CVC4
cmake .. -DUSE_CVC4=OFF -DUSE_Z3=OFF

The version string in detail

The Solidity version string contains four parts:

  • the version number
  • pre-release tag, usually set to develop.YYYY.MM.DD or nightly.YYYY.MM.DD
  • commit in the format of commit.GITHASH
  • platform, which has an arbitrary number of items, containing details about the platform and compiler

If there are local modifications, the commit will be postfixed with .mod.

These parts are combined as required by Semver, where the Solidity pre-release tag equals to the Semver pre-release and the Solidity commit and platform combined make up the Semver build metadata.

A release example: 0.4.8+commit.60cc1668.Emscripten.clang.

A pre-release example: 0.4.9-nightly.2017.1.17+commit.6ecb4aa3.Emscripten.clang

Important information about versioning

After a release is made, the patch version level is bumped, because we assume that only patch level changes follow. When changes are merged, the version should be bumped according to semver and the severity of the change. Finally, a release is always made with the version of the current nightly build, but without the prerelease specifier.


  1. the 0.4.0 release is made
  2. nightly build has a version of 0.4.1 from now on
  3. non-breaking changes are introduced - no change in version
  4. a breaking change is introduced - version is bumped to 0.5.0
  5. the 0.5.0 release is made

This behaviour works well with the version pragma.