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Extensive Install Guide

Install from PyPI

Simply run:

pip install zef  

You may have to replace pip with pip3 in some distributions.

Native Windows installs are currently not supported, although it is possible to install Zef in a WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux) environment. We are aiming to include native Windows support soon.

Install from Latest Development Version


Compiling from source requires the following system libraries:

  • OpenSSL and headers

and the following build-time python libraries:

  • pybind11
  • cogapp
  • pyfunctional

If you want to compile from the latest of a branch from the GitHub repo, then you have two choices:

  1. Use a system-installed libzef. This is currently not possible.
  2. Use a bundled lizef. In order to do this you should make an sdist package yourself. This is because of the way that pip and friends find files to copy. Hence:
git clone  
cd zef/python
python sdist
pip install dist/zef-<version>.tar.gz

For Developers

A convenience script exists in the repo root:

which compiles both libzef and the python bindings, along with including a symlink to the library in the source repo. Adding the <repo_root>/python path to PYTHONPATH will then allow import zef to find the package.

You may need to manually include all of the python requirements for Zef by running:

pip install -r python/requirements.txt  

Possible Errors when Compiling from source

CMake Error: CMake was unable to find a build program corresponding to "Unix Makefiles".  CMAKE_MAKE_PROGRAM is not set.  You probably need to select a different build tool.  
CMake Error: CMAKE_C_COMPILER not set, after EnableLanguage
CMake Error: CMAKE_CXX_COMPILER not set, after EnableLanguage
-- Configuring incomplete, errors occurred!


sudo apt install build-essential

-- The C compiler identification is GNU 11.3.0  
-- The CXX compiler identification is GNU 11.3.0
-- Detecting C compiler ABI info
-- Detecting C compiler ABI info - done
-- Check for working C compiler: /usr/bin/cc - skipped
-- Detecting C compile features
-- Detecting C compile features - done
-- Detecting CXX compiler ABI info
-- Detecting CXX compiler ABI info - done
-- Check for working CXX compiler: /usr/bin/c++ - skipped
-- Detecting CXX compile features
-- Detecting CXX compile features - done
CMake Error at /home/js-work/code/venv/lib/python3.11/site-packages/cmake/data/share/cmake-3.25/Modules/FindPackageHandleStandardArgs.cmake:230 (message):
Could NOT find Python3 (missing: Python3_INCLUDE_DIRS Development.Module)
(found version "3.11.2")
Call Stack (most recent call first):
/home/js-work/code/venv/lib/python3.11/site-packages/cmake/data/share/cmake-3.25/Modules/FindPackageHandleStandardArgs.cmake:600 (_FPHSA_FAILURE_MESSAGE)
/home/js-work/code/venv/lib/python3.11/site-packages/cmake/data/share/cmake-3.25/Modules/FindPython/Support.cmake:3245 (find_package_handle_standard_args)
/home/js-work/code/venv/lib/python3.11/site-packages/cmake/data/share/cmake-3.25/Modules/FindPython3.cmake:490 (include)
CMakeLists.txt:23 (find_package)


sudo apt install python3.{x}-dev

CMake Error at /home/js-work/code/zef/core/external/external.cmake:202 (message):  
Couldn't find openssl via cmake, pkg-config or find_library
Call Stack (most recent call first):
/home/js-work/code/zef/core/CMakeLists.txt:55 (include)


sudo apt-get install libssl-dev