Building Redox

Congrats on making it this far! Now we gotta build Redox. This process is for x86_64 machines. 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.

Supported Distros and Podman Build

This build process for the current release (0.8.0) is for Pop!_OS/Ubuntu/Debian. The recommended build environment for other distros is our Podman Build. Please follow those instructions instead. There is partial support for non-Debian distros in, but it is not maintained.

Preparing the Build

Bootstrap Prerequisites And Fetch Sources

If you're on a supported Linux distro, you can just run the 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 various installations. Answer in the affirmative (y or 1 as appropriate). The above does the following:

  • installs the program curl if it is not already installed
  • creates a parent folder called tryredox. Within that folder, it will create another folder called redox where all the sources will reside.
  • installs the pre-requisite packages using your operating system's package manager(Pop!_OS/Ubuntu/Debian apt, Redhat/Centos/Fedora dnf, Arch Linux pacman).
  • clones the Redox code from GitLab and checks out a redox-team tagged version of the different subprojects intended for the community to test and submit success/bug reports for.

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 completes, update your path in the current shell with:

source ~/.cargo/env

Setting Config Values

The build system uses several configuration files, which contain settings that you may wish to change. These are detailed in Configuration Files. By default, the system builds for an x86_64 architecture, using the desktop configuration (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 The Entire Redox Project

Now we have:

  • fetched the sources
  • tweaked the settings to our liking
  • possibly added our very own source/binary package to the filesystem

We are ready to build the entire Redox Operating System Image. Skip ahead to if you want to build for a different architecture or with different filesystem contents.

Build all the components and packages

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 an emulator.

Give it a while. Redox is big. This will do the following:

  • fetch some sources for the core tools from the Redox source servers, then build them. As it progressively cooks each package, it fetches the package's sources and builds it.
  • create a few empty files holding different parts of the final image filesystem.
  • using the newly built core tools, build the non-core packages into one of those filesystem parts.
  • fill the remaining filesystem parts appropriately with stuff built by the core tools to help boot Redox.
  • merge the different filesystem parts into a final Redox Operating System image ready-to-run in an emulator.

Note that the filesystem parts are merged using the FUSE. installs libfuse. If you have problems with the final assembly of Redox, check that libfuse is installed and you are able to use it. is a shell script that allows you to easily specify the 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 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 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 an emulator

You can immediately run your image build/x86_64/desktop/harddrive.img in an emulator with the following command:

make qemu

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

./ -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. See Using the emulation for general instructions and Trying out Redox for things to try.

Run with no GUI

To run the emulation with no GUI, use:

make qemu vga=no

If you want to capture the terminal output, use:

tee ~/my_log.txt
make qemu vga=no

Running with no GUI is the recommended method of capturing console and debug output from the system or from your text-only program. The script command creates a new shell, capturing all input and output from the text console to the log file with the given name. Remember to type exit after the emulation terminates, in order to properly flush the output to the log file and terminate script's shell.

If you have problems running the emulation, 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

Running The Redox Console With A 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 Redox chat if this is something you are interested in pursuing.

Building Redox Live CD/USB Image

For a livedisk or installable image, use:

cd ~/tryredox/redox
time make live

This will make the target build/x86_64/desktop/livedisk.iso, which can be copied to a USB drive or CD for booting or installation. See Creating a bootable USB drive or CD for instructions on creating a USB drive and booting from it.


If you intend on contributing to Redox or its subprojects, please read Creating a Proper Pull Request so you understand our use of forks and set up your repository 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 Redox chat or report the issue to the Redox repository. Thanks!