The Linux version and macOS version of Zero Install share the same source code but the installation works slightly differently.


The easiest way of installing Zero Install and its requirements is by using a package manager, to handle building both it and the dependencies for you.

You can download a package for macOS here.

From source

Install the Developer Tools, if needed:

$ xcode-select --install

Install homebrew using git, if needed:

$ git clone
$ export PATH=$PWD/homebrew/bin:$PWD/homebrew/sbin:$PATH

Install build dependencies:

$ brew install pkg-config
$ brew install gettext

Install GnuPG (used by 0install to check the digital signatures):

$ brew install gnupg
$ brew install gnupg2

Optionally, install gtk+ (2.12 or later needed for GUI).:

$ brew install gtk+
$ brew install gtk-engines            # for the "Clearlooks" theme

Fix homebrew shortcomings:

  # the gettext-tools are not linked with homebrew:
$ export PATH="`brew --prefix gettext`/bin:$PATH"
  # the libpng library is not found by homebrew:
$ export PKG_CONFIG_PATH="`brew --prefix libpng`/lib/pkgconfig:$PKG_CONFIG_PATH"

Use the Clearlooks theme:

$ export GTK2_RC_FILES="`brew --prefix`/share/themes/Clearlooks/gtk-2.0/gtkrc"
$ export GTK_PATH="`brew --prefix`/lib/lib/gtk-2.0"

Install OCaml and OPAM:

$ brew install ocaml
$ brew install opam                   # OS X Mavericks or later
$ brew install opam --without-aspcud  # OS X Mountain Lion or lower

Initialize the OPAM root, if needed:

$ export OPAMROOT=$PWD/opamroot
$ opam init

Install OPAM packages:

$ eval `opam config env`
$ opam install yojson xmlm ounit react lwt extlib ocurl sha
  # optional, for GUI
$ opam install lablgtk

Finally, install 0install itself.

$ git clone
$ cd 0install
$ make && make install_home
$ export PATH=$HOME/bin:$PATH