Install The Holochain Developer Tools

This guide will get you set up with the latest Holochain RSM developer environment on macOS, Linux, and Windows. Right now Holochain RSM is alpha quality and things are moving fast. Expect our APIs and SDKs to change and even break your app if you’re keeping up with the latest changes. If you like tinkering, read our advanced guide.

Hardware Requirements

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


Pre-Installed Software

Install the Nix Package Manager

We use the Nix toolkit to manage the installation of our dev tools, so you can get to work without fighting compiler and package compatibility issues. Install the Nix package manager with this command:

macOS 10.15 Catalina and later

sh <(curl -L --darwin-use-unencrypted-nix-store-volume

macOS 10.14 Mojave and earlier

sh <(curl -L

After installing Nix, log out of your user account and log in again. Or, to save effort, run this command to get your terminal to recognize the newly installed commands:

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

Check that it installed correctly:

nix-shell --version

You should see something like:

nix-shell (Nix) 2.3.9

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

Installing the Holochain dev tools

Now that you have installed Nix, you can install and run a development shell that contains all the prerequisites, including the correct Rust and Node.js versions and the Holochain tools. This shell won’t interfere with your current system configuration.

Use this one-liner to install Holonix:


It’ll take a long time, because it needs to compile the Holochain binaries. (Don’t worry; we’re working on making it faster.) Once this is finished, you’ll be in the Holonix shell with all the developer tools at your disposal. You will see a new bash prompt that looks like:


Test that you have Holochain by running:

holochain --version

You should see something like this:

holochain 0.0.100

Once you exit the shell you’ll be back to your usual system shell, with all Holochain-specific bits cleaned up.

Using the Holochain dev tools

You can re-enter the Holonix shell with the same command you used to install it:


It will always keep you up to date with the newest stable version of Holochain and the dev tools. If you need to work offline, read the advanced installation guide.

Going further

Read through our advanced installation guide for tips and tricks on making your development environment easier to work with.

Next Steps

  1. Read through the Holochain Core Concepts.
  2. Build your development skills in the Holochain Gym (community-created).
  3. Learn more about Rust in the Rust book.
  4. Take a look at the developer documentation.
  5. Start building your own DNAs.
  6. Join the discussion at the developers’ forum.