Getting Started

Note for Apple Silicon users
Zig has experimental support for code signing. You will be able to use Zig with your M1 Mac, but the only way at the moment to get Zig for arm64 macOS is to compile it yourself. Make sure to check the Building from source section.

Tagged release or nightly build?

Zig has not yet reached v1.0 and the current release cycle is tied to new releases of LLVM, which have a ~6 months cadence. In practical terms, Zig releases tend to be far apart and eventually become stale given the current speed of development.

It’s fine to evaluate Zig using a tagged version, but if you decide that you like Zig and want to dive deeper, we encourage you to upgrade to a nightly build, mainly because that way it will be easier for you to get help: most of the community and sites like ziglearn.org track the master branch for the reasons stated above.

The good news is that it’s very easy to switch from one Zig version to another, or even have multiple versions present on the system at the same time: Zig releases are self-contained archives that can be placed anywhere in your system.

Installing Zig

Direct download

This is the most straight-forward way of obtaining Zig: grab a Zig bundle for your platform from the Downloads page, extract it in a directory and add it to your PATH to be able to call zig from any location.

Setting up PATH on Windows

To setup your path on Windows run one of the following snippets of code in a Powershell instance. Choose if you want to apply this change on a system-wide level (requires running Powershell with admin privileges) or just for your user, and make sure to change the snippet to point at the location where your copy of Zig lies. The ; before C: is not a typo.

System wide (admin Powershell):

[Environment]::SetEnvironmentVariable(
   "Path",
   [Environment]::GetEnvironmentVariable("Path", "Machine") + ";C:\your-path\zig-windows-x86_64-your-version",
   "Machine"
)

User level (Powershell):

[Environment]::SetEnvironmentVariable(
   "Path",
   [Environment]::GetEnvironmentVariable("Path", "User") + ";C:\your-path\zig-windows-x86_64-your-version",
   "User"
)

After you’re done, restart your Powershell instance.

Setting up PATH on Linux, macOS, BSD

Add the location of your zig binary to your PATH environment variable.

This is generally done by adding an export line to your shell startup script (.profile, .zshrc, …)

export PATH=$PATH:~/path/to/zig

After you’re done, either source your startup file or restart your shell.

Package managers

Windows

Zig is available on Chocolatey.

choco install zig

macOS

Homebrew
NOTE: Homebrew doesn’t have a bottle for Apple Silicon yet. If you have a M1 Mac, you must build Zig from source.

Latest tagged release:

brew install zig

Latest build from Git master branch:

brew install zig --HEAD

MacPorts

port install zig

Linux

Zig is also present in many package managers for Linux. Here you can find an updated list but keep in mind that some packages might bundle outdated versions of Zig.

Building from source

Here you can find more information on how to build Zig from source for Linux, macOS and Windows.

Syntax Highlighters and LSP

All major text editors have syntax highlight support for Zig. Some bundle it, some others require installing a plugin.

If you’re interested in a deeper integration between Zig and your editor, checkout zigtools/zls.

If you’re interested in what else is available, checkout the Tools section.

Run Hello World

If you completed the installation process correctly, you should now be able to invoke the Zig compiler from your shell.
Let’s test this by creating your first Zig program!

Navigate to your projects directory and run:

mkdir hello-world
cd hello-world
zig init-exe

This should output:

info: Created build.zig
info: Created src/main.zig
info: Next, try `zig build --help` or `zig build run`

Running zig build run should then compile the executable and run it, ultimately resulting in:

info: All your codebase are belong to us.

Congratulations, you have a working Zig installation!

Next steps

Check out other resources present in the Learn section, make sure to find the Documentation for your version of Zig (note: nightly builds should use master docs) and consider giving ziglearn.org a read.

Zig is a young project and unfortunately we don’t have yet the capacity to produce extensive documentation and learning materials for everything, so you should consider joining one of the existing Zig communities to get help when you get stuck, as well as checking out initiatives like Zig SHOWTIME.

Finally, if you enjoy Zig and want to help speed up the development, consider donating to the Zig Software Foundation .