Chapel Prerequisites

Chapel is designed to be portable to a variety of systems and only requires software that is common on UNIX systems.

The following are prerequisites and assumptions about your environment for using Chapel:

  • You are using an environment that supports standard UNIX commands such as: cd, mkdir, rm, echo

  • You have a Bourne shell available at /bin/sh, ‘env’ available at /usr/bin/env, and that ‘env’ can locate python3 or python on your system.

  • You have Python 2.7 or newer.

  • You have access to gmake or a GNU-compatible version of make.

  • You have access to standard C and C++14 compilers. The C++14 support is required for building the compiler itself. For GCC specifically, GCC 5 or newer is required for C++14 support. Note that C11 support, while not required, will enable faster atomic operations.

  • The LLVM backend is now the default and it is easiest to use it with a system-wide installation of LLVM. Only LLVM 11/12 are currently supported. If a system-wide installation of LLVM 11/12 is not available, you can use the bundled LLVM or disable LLVM support (see CHPL_LLVM). Please note that building the bundled LLVM requires cmake version 3.13.4 or later.

In addition, several optional components have additional requirements:

  • Python 3.7 or newer is required if you want to use chpldoc, c2chapel, or Chapel’s test system. These additionally require python3-devel or the equivalent package; python3 and pip3 commands; and the venv Python package.

  • cmake 3.13.4 or later is required to build the bundled LLVM or to build the complete documentation

  • doxygen is required to build the complete documentation

  • m4 is required for building the bundled GMP

  • git is required for Mason, chapel’s package manager

  • pkg-config is required for the mason system subcommands


We have used the following commands to install the above prerequisites:

  • CentOS, Fedora:

    sudo dnf install gcc gcc-c++ m4 perl python3 python3-devel bash make gawk git cmake llvm-devel clang clang-devel
  • Debian, Ubuntu:

    sudo apt-get install gcc g++ m4 perl python3 python3-pip python3-venv python3-dev bash make mawk git pkg-config cmake llvm-12-dev llvm-12 llvm-12-tools clang-12 libclang-12-dev libclang-cpp12-dev libedit-dev
  • FreeBSD:

    sudo pkg install gcc m4 perl5 python3 bash gmake gawk git pkgconf cmake llvm12