Build with system-installed LLVM

How to build TinyGo with a system-installed version of LLVM.

⚠️ Halt! This is the system installed LLVM guide! Please check the following table and make sure you don’t need the manual LLVM install guide instead!

You need to build LLVM manually in the following cases
You would like to use it for the ESP8266 or ESP32 chips
You are using Windows.
Your Linux distribution (if you use Linux) does not ship the right LLVM version.

System installed LLVM instructions

Installing LLVM

See troubleshooting if running into issues during the instructions.

Using a system-installed version of LLVM depends on your system, of course.

Debian or Ubuntu

For Debian or Ubuntu you can install LLVM by adding a new apt repository. For more information about this method, see Before copying the command below, please replace xxxxx with your distribution’s codename.

Distro Version Codename
Ubuntu 18.04 bionic
Ubuntu 20.04 focal
Ubuntu 20.10 groovy
Ubuntu 21.04 hirsute
Ubuntu 22.04 jammy
Debian 10 buster
Debian 11 bullseye
Debian sid unstable
echo 'deb llvm-toolchain-xxxxx-17 main' | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/llvm.list

After adding the apt repository for your distribution you may install the LLVM toolchain packages:

wget -O - | sudo apt-key add -
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install clang-17 llvm-17-dev lld-17 libclang-17-dev


For MacOS, you can install LLVM through Homebrew. The Clang/LLVM version from Apple is not supported by TinyGo.

brew install llvm


For Fedora users you can install LLVM from the repository. Note that the version of LLVM varies by Fedora version, for example Fedora 37 has LLVM 15.

sudo dnf install llvm-devel lld-libs lld

Build TinyGo

After LLVM has been installed, installing TinyGo should be as easy as running the following command from within the cloned tinygo repository (see instructions on how to clone):

go install

You should now have a working TinyGo installation! What’s left now is to complete the additional requirements

Below is an example of running tinygo version and example output to check that TinyGo was installed correctly (copy only what’s in front of the $ sign to your terminal!):

$ tinygo version
tinygo version 0.32.0-dev-d4189fec linux/amd64 (using go version go1.22 and LLVM version 18.1.2)

If not see the troubleshooting section.


go install command inner workings

The go install command will build the tinygo executable and store it to your currently set $GOBIN directory. A couple environment variables must be set for TinyGo to work after running this:

  • Your go environment variable GOBIN points to where executables are installed with the go install command. An empty GOBIN variable will default to $HOME/go/bin path on Linux and MacOS (same as ~/go/bin with bash). You can check Go’s environment variables with go env. go env GOBIN will print only GOBIN’s value.

  • Your $PATH environment variable should contain the GOBIN directory so that you can run tinygo from the command line! A reliable way to achieve this can be found at the Go install page. For linux it consists of adding the line below to the bottom of your /etc/profile file (before the exit 0):

    export PATH=$PATH:$HOME/go/bin

Debian LLVM repository manual addition

If sudo apt-get install clang-xx llvm-xx-dev lld-xx libclang-xx-dev does not work, where xx is the LLVM version required by the TinyGo branch you are building i.e: 17, please try manually adding the repository. Run the following command and try the steps above again.

wget -O - | sudo apt-key add -

GCC errors

If you are getting an gcc or g++ not found error you most likely do not have a working C++ build environment. You’ll need the build-essential package on Debian or sudo dnf install make automake gcc gcc-c++ for Fedora based systems.

If you are getting a build error like this, LLVM is not installed as expected:

../../../go/pkg/mod/ fatal error: 'llvm-c/Analysis.h' file not found
#include "llvm-c/Analysis.h" // If you are getting an error here you need to build or install LLVM, see
1 error generated.

This can often be fixed by specifying the LLVM version as a build tag, for example -tags=llvm14 if you have LLVM 14 instead of LLVM 16.

Additional notes

Note that you should not use make when you want to build using a system-installed LLVM, just use the Go toolchain.

Last modified June 18, 2024: all: update for release 0.32 (3e84af2)