How to get Tezos

In this How To we explain how to get up-to-date binaries to run Tezos for each network. You can either use the docker images or install via opam, which is easier, or build from sources like developers do.

Docker images

For every change committed in the Gitlab repository, docker images are automatically generated and published on DockerHub. This provides a convenient way to run an always up-to-date tezos-node. The script (formally known as is provided to help download the right image for each network and run a simple node. Its only requirement is a working installation of Docker and docker compose on a machine with architecture x86_64. Although we only officially support Linux, the script has been tested with success in the past on windows/mac/linux.

The same script can be used to run Mainnet, Carthagenet or Zeronet, it suffices to rename it as it downloads a different image based on its name. For example, to run Carthagenet test network with the latest release:

wget -O
chmod +x

Alternatively, to run Mainnet:

wget -O
chmod +x

In the following we assume you are running Carthagenet test network. You are now one step away from a working node:

./ start

This will download the right docker image for your chosen network, launch 3 docker containers running the node, the baker and the endorser. Keep in mind that when a tezos node is launched, it needs to connect to new peers and synchronize the chain. This can be lengthy on the first launch considering the chain takes up several gigabytes of data. See how to use Tezos for more details.

Every call to will check for updates of the node and will fail if your node is not up-to-date. For updating the node, simply run:

./ restart

If you prefer to temporarily disable automatic updates, you just have to set an environment variable:


See ./ --help for more information about the script. In particular see ./ client --help or the online manual for more information about the client. Every command to the tezos-client can be equivalently executed using ./ client. Similarly, tezos-admin-client can be executed using ./ admin-client.

Build from sources


Currently Tezos is being developed for Linux x86_64, mostly for Debian/Ubuntu and Archlinux.

The following OSes are also reported to work:

  • macOS/x86_64

  • Linux/aarch64 (64 bits) (Raspberry Pi3, etc.)

A Windows port is feasible and might be developed in the future.

Additionally, the master branch requires the Rust compiler, version 1.39.0, and the Cargo package manager to be installed. You can use rustup to install both. Note that rustup can update your .profile to update your PATH environment variable, but this does not take effect until you restart your desktop environment or window manager, so you may have to manually update it for your current session:

rustup toolchain install 1.39.0
rustup default 1.39.0
source $HOME/.cargo/env

Install OPAM

To compile Tezos, you need the OPAM package manager, at least version 2.0 that you can get by following the install instructions.

After the first install of OPAM, use opam init --bare to set it up while avoiding to compile an OCaml compiler now as this will be done in the next step.

Install via OPAM

The latest release is available (as soon as possible after the release) directly as OPAM packages.


Every file related to OPAM is (by default) in $HOME/.opam which means that, first, OPAM installs are user specific and, second, you can get rid of everything by removing this directory (+ updating your rc files ($HOME/.bashrc, $HOME/.profile, $HOME/.zshrc, $HOME/.emacs, …) if you asked/allowed OPAM to add some lines in them).

The binaries need a specific version of the OCaml compiler (currently 4.09.1). To get an environment with it do:

opam switch create for_tezos 4.09.1
eval $(opam env)


The command eval $(opam env) sets up required environment variables. OPAM will suggest to add it in your rc file. If, at any point, you get an error like tezos-something: command not found, first thing to try is to (re)run eval $(opam env --switch 4.09.1) to see if it fixes the problem.

In order to get the system dependencies of the binaries, do:

opam install depext
opam depext tezos

Now, install all the binaries by:

opam install tezos

You can be more specific and only opam install tezos-node, opam install tezos-endorser-006-PsCARTHA, … In that case, it is enough to install the system dependencies of this package only by running opam depext tezos-node for example instead of opam depext tezos.


Note that opam install tezos-client and opam install tezos-signer are “minimal” and do not install the support for Ledger Nano devices. To enable it, run opam install ledgerwallet-tezos in addition of installing the binaries. (The macro meta-package tezos installs ledgerwallet-tezos.)

Updating via opam

Installation by opam is especially convenient for updating to newer versions. Once some libraries/binaries are installed and new versions released, you can update by:

opam update
opam depext
opam upgrade

It is recommended to also run the command opam remove -a in order to remove the dependencies installed automatically and not needed anymore. Beware to not uninstall too much though.

Identified situations where it will be more tricky are

  • When the OCaml compiler version requirement changes. In this case, be explicit about the “upgrade” and do opam upgrade --unlock-base ocaml.$new_version tezos.

  • When there are Rust dependencies involved. The way to go is still unclear.

Set up the development environment

TL;DR: From a fresh Debian Buster x86_64, you typically want to do:

sudo apt install -y rsync git m4 build-essential patch unzip wget pkg-config libgmp-dev libev-dev libhidapi-dev libffi-dev opam jq
git clone
cd tezos
git checkout latest-release
opam init --bare
make build-deps
eval $(opam env)
export PATH=~/tezos:$PATH
source ./src/bin_client/

Get the sources

Tezos git repository is hosted at GitLab. All development happens here. Do not use our GitHub mirror which we don’t use anymore and only mirrors what happens on GitLab.

Checkout the latest-release branch to use the latest release. Alternatively, you can checkout a specific version from its tag.

Install Tezos dependencies

Install the OCaml compiler and the libraries which Tezos depends on:

make build-deps

Alternatively, if you want to be able to install extra packages (development packages such as merlin), you may use the following command instead:

make build-dev-deps

This command creates a local opam switch (_opam folder at the ro of the repository) where the right version of OCaml and OCaml tezos dependencies are compiled and installed (this takes a while but it’s only done once).


  • Be sure to eval $(opam env) when you cd into the repository in order to be sure to load this local environment.

  • OPAM is meant to handle correctly the OCaml libraries but it is not always able to handle all external C libraries we depend on. On most system, it is able to suggest a call to the system package manager but it currently does not handle version check.

  • In last resort, removing the _opam folder (as part of a git clean -dxf for example) allows to restart in fresh environment.


Once the dependencies are done we can update opam’s environment to refer to the new switch and compile the project:

eval $(opam env)

Lastly you can also add Tezos binaries to your PATH variable, activate bash autocompletion and after reading the Disclaimer a few hundred times you are allowed to disable it with TEZOS_CLIENT_UNSAFE_DISABLE_DISCLAIMER=Y.