Note: LilyPond is a text-based music engraver; it is more similar to a programming language than a graphical score editing program. Before downloading LilyPond, please read about our Text input.

Generic Packages or Distribution-Specific Packages?

Many distributions include LilyPond in their normal package system. These versions are easier to install and uninstall than the generic packages, but they may be older. If you wish to use our generic packages, please uninstall the official version from your system using the normal package manager for your distribution. See your distribution’s documentation about how to use their package manager.

Generic Packages



In the shell, type:

sh lilypond-2.16.2-OS-TYPE.sh


In the shell, type:



In the shell, type:

sh lilypond-2.16.2-OS-TYPE.sh --help

Distribution-specific Packages

Please use your distribution’s package manager to install or upgrade to these versions.

Compiling a file

Note: These instructions assume that you are familiar with command-line programs. If you are using any of the programs described in Easier editing, please consult the documentation for those programs if you have any problems compiling a file.

Step 1. Create your ‘.ly’ file

Create a text file called ‘test.ly’ and enter:

\version "2.16.2"
  c' e' g' e'

Step 2. Compile (with command-line)

To process ‘test.ly’, type the following at the command prompt:

lilypond test.ly

You will see something resembling:

GNU LilyPond 2.16.2
Processing `test.ly'
Interpreting music...
Preprocessing graphical objects...
Solving 1 page-breaking chunks...[1: 1 pages]
Drawing systems...
Layout output to `test.ps'...
Converting to `./test.pdf'...
Success: compilation successfully completed

Step 3. View output

You may view or print the resulting ‘test.pdf’.


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