Getting Started

Installing from Source

Prerequisites

Idris 2 is implemented in Idris 2 itself, so to bootstrap it you can build from generated Scheme sources. To do this, you need either Chez Scheme (default, and currently preferred since it is the fastest) or Racket. You can get one of these from:

Both are also available from MacPorts/Homebrew and all major Linux distributions.

Note: If you install Chez Scheme from source files, building it locally, make sure you run ./configure --threads to build multithreading support in.

Downloading and Installing

You can download the Idris 2 source from the Idris web site or get the latest development version from idris-lang/Idris2 on Github. This includes the Idris 2 source code and the Scheme code generated from that. Once you have unpacked the source, you can install it as follows:

make bootstrap SCHEME=chez

Where chez is the executable name of the Chez Scheme compiler. This will vary from system to system, but is often one of scheme, chezscheme, or chezscheme9.5. If you are building via Racket, you can install it as follows:

make bootstrap-racket

Once you’ve successfully bootstrapped with any of the above commands, you can install with the command make install. This will, by default, install into ${HOME}/.idris2. You can change this by editing the options in config.mk. For example, to install into /usr/local, you can edit the PREFIX as follows:

PREFIX ?= /usr/local

Installing from a Package Manager

Installing Using Homebrew

If you are Homebrew user you can install Idris 2 together with all the requirements by running following command:

brew install idris2

Checking Installation

To check that installation has succeeded, and to write your first Idris program, create a file called hello.idr containing the following text:

module Main

main : IO ()
main = putStrLn "Hello world"

If you are familiar with Haskell, it should be fairly clear what the program is doing and how it works, but if not, we will explain the details later. You can compile the program to an executable by entering idris2 hello.idr -o hello at the shell prompt. This will, by default, create an executable called hello, which invokes a generated and compiled Chez Schem program, in the destination directory build/exec which you can run:

$ idris2 hello.idr -o hello
$ ./build/exec/hello
Hello world

Please note that the dollar sign $ indicates the shell prompt! Some useful options to the Idris command are:

  • -o prog to compile to an executable called prog.
  • --check type check the file and its dependencies without starting the interactive environment.
  • --package pkg add package as dependency, e.g. --package contrib to make use of the contrib package.
  • --help display usage summary and command line options.

You can find out more about compiling to executables in Section Compiling to Executables.

The Interactive Environment

Entering idris2 at the shell prompt starts up the interactive environment. You should see something like the following:

$ idris2
     ____    __     _         ___
    /  _/___/ /____(_)____   |__ \
    / // __  / ___/ / ___/   __/ /     Version 0.2.0
  _/ // /_/ / /  / (__  )   / __/      https://www.idris-lang.org
 /___/\__,_/_/  /_/____/   /____/      Type :? for help

Welcome to Idris 2.  Enjoy yourself!
Main>

This gives a ghci style interface which allows evaluation of, as well as type checking of, expressions; theorem proving, compilation; editing; and various other operations. The command :? gives a list of supported commands. Below, we see an example run in which hello.idr is loaded, the type of main is checked and then the program is compiled to the executable file hello, available in the destination directory build/exec/. Type checking a file, if successful, creates a bytecode version of the file (in this case build/ttc/hello.ttc) to speed up loading in future. The bytecode is regenerated if the source file changes.

$ idris hello.idr
     ____    __     _         ___
    /  _/___/ /____(_)____   |__ \
    / // __  / ___/ / ___/   __/ /     Version 0.2.0
  _/ // /_/ / /  / (__  )   / __/      https://www.idris-lang.org
 /___/\__,_/_/  /_/____/   /____/      Type :? for help

Welcome to Idris 2.  Enjoy yourself!
Main> :t main
Main.main : IO ()
Main> :c hello main
File build/exec/hello written
Main> :q
Bye for now!