Install Holochain

System Requirements


  • 4GB+ RAM (16GB+ recommended)
  • 4+ CPU (6+ CPU recommended)
  • 30GB+ available disk space
  • Internet connection

Pre-Installed Software:

Mac / Linux Environment Setup

We use Nix toolkit to manage the installation of our dev tools. Install the Nix package manager with this command:

curl | sh

You might need to run this command to get the environment setup:

. ~/.nix-profile/etc/profile.d/

Check that it installed correctly:

nix-shell --version

You should see something like:

nix-shell (Nix) 2.3.1

If you’d like to know more about NixOS and why we use it, you can find information on Nix here.

Install Holochain Tools

Now that you have installed Nix, you can run a development shell that contains all the prerequisites, including the correct Rust version and the Holochain tools. This shell won’t interfere with your current Rust installation. Run this command: #S:MODE=enter


The first time you run this command it will take some time to download and build, but it will be much faster the next time.

When it’s complete, you will see a new prompt starting with:


Test that Holochain is working by running:

Run in nix-shell

hc --version

You should see some thing like:

hc 0.0.41-alpha4

Run in nix-shell

holochain --version

You should see:

holochain 0.0.41-alpha4


With nix-shell, you don’t need to worry about updating or uninstalling; when you enter the nix-shell, everything is the latest release and is then cleaned up when you exit.


In most cases you can run your editor as normal. However, if you are using an integrated developer environment or IDE that needs to communicate with the Holochain dependencies then you should launch it from inside the nix-shell.

To do this just open your editor while you are in the nix-shell like:

Run in nix-shell


Next Steps

  1. Read through the Holochain Core Concepts.
  2. Start the Hello Holo Tutorial
  3. Create a New App
  4. Learn more about Holochain development in the Guidebook.
  5. Learn more about Rust in Holochain API Reference Documentation,, and the Rust book.
  6. Learn more about Nix as a dev dependency and why we’re using it in the Holonix documentation.

Was this helpful?