Building Redox

Congrats on making it this far! Now you will build Redox. This process is for x86-64 machines (Intel/AMD). There are also similar processes for i686 and AArch64/Arm64.

The build process fetches files from the Redox Gitlab server. From time to time, errors may occur which may result in you being asked to provide a username and password during the build process. If this happens, first check for typos in the git URL. If that doesn't solve the problem and you don't have a Redox GitLab login, try again later, and if it continues to happen, you can let us know through chat.

(Don't forget to read this page to know our build system organization and how it works)

Supported Unix-like Distributions and Podman Build

The following Unix-like systems are supported:

  • Pop_OS!
  • Ubuntu
  • Debian
  • Fedora
  • Arch Linux
  • OpenSUSE
  • Gentoo (basic support)
  • FreeBSD
  • MacOSX (almost complete)
  • Nix (under develoopment)
  • Solus (basic support, not maintained)

If you have a weird/hard to fix problem, read the Podman Build page.

Preparing the Build

Bootstrap Prerequisites And Fetch Sources

If you're on a supported Linux distribution, you can just run the build system bootstrap script, which does the build preparation for you. First, ensure that you have the program curl installed:

(This command is for Pop!_OS, Ubuntu or Debian, adjust for your system)

which curl || sudo apt-get install curl

Then run the following commands:

mkdir -p ~/tryredox
cd ~/tryredox
curl -sf -o
time bash -e

You will be asked to confirm some steps. Answer with y or 1.

To know what the script does, read this section.

Note that curl -sf operates silently, so if there are errors, you may get an empty or incorrect version of Check for typos in the command and try again. If you continue to have problems, join the chat and let us know.

Please be patient, this can take 5 minutes to an hour depending on the hardware and network you're running it on. Once it's done, update your PATH environment variable in the current shell with:

source ~/.cargo/env

Setting Configuration Values

The build system uses several configuration files, which contain settings that you may wish to change. These are detailed in the Configuration Settings page. By default, the build system cross-compile to the x86_64 CPU architecture, using the desktop configuration (at config/x86_64/desktop.toml). Set the desired ARCH and CONFIG_FILE in .config. There is also a shell script that will allow you to choose the architecture and filesystem contents easily, although it is only a temporary change.

Compiling Redox

Now we have:

  • Downloaded the sources
  • Tweaked the settings to our liking
  • Probably added our recipe to the filesystem

We are ready to build the Redox operating system image. Skip ahead to Configuration Settings if you want to build for a different CPU architecture or with different filesystem contents.

Build all system components and programs

To build all the components, and the packages to be included in the filesystem.

cd ~/tryredox/redox
time make all

This will make the target build/x86_64/desktop/hardrive.img, which you can run with a virtual machine.

Give it a while. Redox is big. Read this section to know what the make all command does.

Note that the filesystem parts are merged using the FUSE. install libfuse. If you have problems with the final image of Redox, verify if libfuse is installed and you are able to use it. is a shell script that allows you to easily specify the CPU architecture you are building for, and the filesystem contents. When you are doing Redox development, you should set them in .config (see Configuration Settings). But if you are just trying things out, use to run make for you. e.g.:

  • ./ -a i686 -c server live - Run make for an i686 (32-bits Intel/AMD) CPU architecture, using the server configuration, config/i686/server.toml. The resulting image is build/i686/server/livedisk.iso, which can be used for installation from a USB.

  • ./ -f config/aarch64/desktop.toml qemu - Run make for an ARM64 (AArch64) CPU architecture, using the desktop configuration, config/aarch64/desktop.toml. The resulting image is build/aarch64/desktop/harddrive.img, which is then run in the emulator QEMU.

If you use, it's recommended that you do so consistently, as make will not be aware of which version of the system you previously built with Details of and other settings are described in Configuration Settings.

Run in a virtual machine

You can immediately run your image build/x86_64/desktop/harddrive.img in a virtual machine with the following command:

make qemu

Note that if you built the system using to change the CPU architecture or filesystem contents, you should also use it to run the virtual machine.

./ -a i686 -c server qemu

will build build/i686/server/harddrive.img (if it does not exist) and run it in the QEMU emulator.

The emulator will display the Redox GUI (Orbital). See Using the emulation for general instructions and Trying out Redox for things to try.

Run without a GUI

To run the virtual machine without a GUI, use:

make qemu vga=no

If you want to capture the terminal output, read this section.

If you have problems running the virtual machine, you can try make qemu kvm=no or make qemu iommu=no to turn off various virtualization features. These can also be used as arguments to

QEMU Tap For Network Testing

Expose Redox to other computers within a LAN. Configure QEMU with a "TAP" which will allow other computers to test Redox client/server/networking capabilities.

Join the chat if this is something you are interested in pursuing.

Building A Redox Bootable Image

Read this section.


If you intend on contributing to Redox or its subprojects, please read the document, so you understand how our build system works and setup your repository fork appropriately. You can use ./ -d in the redox folder to install the prerequisite packages if you have already done a git clone of the sources.

If you encounter any bugs, errors, obstructions, or other annoying things, please join the chat or report the issue to the Redox repository or a proper repository for the component. Thanks!