4.1 Overview of compiling

Compiling LilyPond from source is an involved process, and is only recommended for developers and packagers. Typical program users are instead encouraged to obtain the program from a package manager (on Unix) or by downloading a precompiled binary configured for a specific operating system. Pre-compiled binaries are available on the Download page.

Compiling LilyPond from source is necessary if you want to build, install, or test your own version of the program.

A successful compile can also be used to generate and install the documentation, incorporating any changes you may have made. However, a successful compile is not a requirement for generating the documentation. The documentation can be built using a Git repository in conjunction with a locally installed copy of the program. For more information, see Building documentation without compiling.

Attempts to compile LilyPond natively on Windows have been unsuccessful, though a workaround is available (see LilyDev).

LilyPond Contributor’s Guide v2.25.17 (development-branch).