Compiling from source

Penumbra is written in Rust. To build it, you will need a recent stable version of Rust, as well as a few OS-level dependencies. We don’t support building on Windows. If you need to use Windows, consider using WSL instead.

Installing the Rust toolchain

This requires that you install a recent (>= 1.75) stable version of the Rust compiler, installation instructions for which you can find here. Don’t forget to reload your shell so that cargo is available in your $PATH!

You can verify the rust compiler version by running rustc --version which should indicate version 1.75 or later. The project uses a rust-toolchain.toml file, which will ensure that your version of rust stays current enough to build the project from source.

Installing build prerequisites


You may need to install some additional packages in order to build pcli, depending on your distribution. For a bare-bones Ubuntu installation, you can run:

sudo apt-get install build-essential pkg-config libssl-dev clang git-lfs

For a minimal Fedora/CentOS/RHEL image, you can run:

sudo dnf install openssl-devel clang git cargo rustfmt git-lfs


You may need to install the command-line developer tools if you have never done so:

xcode-select --install

You’ll also need to install Git LFS, which you can do via Homebrew:

brew install git-lfs

Making sure that git-lfs is installed

Running git lfs install will make sure that git-lfs is correctly installed on your machine.

Cloning the repository

Once you have installed the above packages, you can clone the repository:

git clone

To build the versions of pcli, pd, etc. compatible with the current testnet, navigate to the penumbra/ folder, fetch the latest from the repository, and check out the latest tag for the current testnet:

cd penumbra && git fetch && git checkout v0.77.3

If you want to build the most recent version compatible with the “preview” environment, then run git checkout main instead.

Building the binaries

Then, build all the project binaries using cargo:

cargo build --release

Linking Against RocksDB (Optional)

Development builds can avoid the cost of recompiling RocksDB for storage libraries in the Cargo workspace. This manifests as a librocksdb-sys(build) message when building or testing crates in the monorepo.

Building librocksdb.a from source

First, clone the rocksdb repository:

# Clone the repository, and enter that directory.
git clone && cd rocksdb

# Checkout the version of rocksdb used in `librocksdb-sys`.
git checkout 6a43615

# Add an environment variable pointing to this repository:

# Compile the static `librocksdb.a` library to link against:
make static_lib

Building libsnappy.a from source

next, clone the snappy repository and follow the instructions to build it:

# Clone the repository, and enter that directory.
git clone && cd snappy

# Checkout the version of snappy used in `librocksdb-sys`.
git checkout 2b63814

# Initialize the submodules.
git submodule update --init

# Build snappy using cmake.
mkdir build
cd build && cmake .. && make

# Add an environment variable pointing to the build/ directory.

Building Penumbra

Once you’ve built rocksdb and set the environment variable, the librocksdb-sys crate will search in that directory for the compiled librocksdb.a static library when it is rebuilt.