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This aims to provide a comprehensive listing of all platforms where Chicken is available in pre-packaged form (whether as a distribution package or a binary).

To see on which platforms CHICKEN is supported, see portability.

In order to enable software written using CHICKEN to be effectively distributed, it is important that CHICKEN (or at least the CHICKEN libraries) be included in as many of the various packaging systems as possible, so that it can always be relied on as an available dependency.


Debian Linux

CHICKEN 3.2.7 is officially included in the Debian Lenny distribution. Newer CHICKEN versions are available via unofficial packages, please see Debian packages.

Ubuntu Linux

Ubuntu packages are being hosted by Eric Nichols at Ubuntu-NLP. i386 and amd64 are both supported for gutsy, hardy, and intrepid. They can be installed as follows:

1) Add Ubuntu NLP to your /etc/apt/sources.list file:

   # Ubuntu-NLP <>
   deb <distro> scheme
   deb-src <distro> scheme

where <distro> is one of the following: gutsy, hardy, intrepid

2) Add the repository's public key to your keyring for package verication:

   wget -O- | sudo apt-key add -

3) Refresh the apt sources:

   $ sudo apt-get update

4) Install chicken-bin;

   $ sudo apt-get install chicken-bin
   Reading package lists... Done
   Building dependency tree
   Reading state information... Done
   The following extra packages will be installed:
    libchicken-dev libchicken3 libpcre3-dev libpcrecpp0
   The following NEW packages will be installed:
    chicken-bin libchicken-dev libchicken3 libpcre3-dev libpcrecpp0
   0 upgraded, 5 newly installed, 0 to remove and 1 not upgraded.
   Need to get 5691kB/6046kB of archives.
   After this operation, 22.3MB of additional disk space will be used.
   Do you want to continue [Y/n]? y

5) Enjoy the latest chicken under Ubuntu

   $ csi
   (c)2008 The Chicken Team
   (c)2000-2007 Felix L. Winkelmann
   Version 3.4.0 - linux-unix-gnu-x86-64   [ 64bit manyargs dload ptables
   applyhook ]
   SVN rev. 11987  compiled 2009-02-27 on thyme (Linux)

Gentoo Linux

Gentoo users can install chicken the normal way:

 emerge -auv chicken

This will download, compile and install the latest version of CHICKEN (if it is not already installed).

CHICKEN's Portage ebuild is maintained by Marijn Schouten.

Embedded Linux


This package consists of the runtime library plus interpreter. The version of Chicken is 2.733.

ipkg install

Package maintained by john moore.

Mac OS X


If you're using MacPorts, installation is very simple. Open the Terminal application and type the following:

 sudo port install chicken

This will download, compile and install the latest CHICKEN version.

The MacPorts package is maintained by Arto Bendiken.

Installing the readline egg

You can install the readline egg to get history and tab-completion in csi. See Using the interpreter.

However, you may get errors when compiling the egg. This is because Apple doesn't ship GNU readline with OS X. However, there is an easy fix:

 port install readline

Fixing libchicken.dylib

When using certain extensions (posix is one example), you may come across the following error:

 "dlopen(libchicken.dylib, 9): image not found"

The easiest way to fix this is to add an alias to libchicken.dylib to /usr/local/lib, like so:

 sudo ln -s /opt/local/lib/libchicken.dylib /usr/local/lib/

Another solution is to set the DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variable to the location of libchicken.dylib. However, this will mess up some other programs, as they will look for their libraries in /opt/local/lib as well. One solution is to set up aliases for csi and csc in your bash profile. Add the following two lines to ~/.profile:

 alias csi='DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH=/opt/local/lib csi'
 alias csc='DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH=/opt/local/lib csc'

This will set DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH for csi and csc, but not for other commands.


Fink users can type the following command in a Terminal:

 fink install chicken

This will download, compile and install the latest CHICKEN version.



For NetBSD, you can use the lang/chicken package from pkgsrc to install the latest stable release.


For OpenBSD, you can use the lang/chicken package by running the following command as root:

$ pkg_add chicken

DragonFly BSD

For DragonFly BSD, you can use the lang/chicken package from pkgsrc to install the latest stable release.


Chicken 3.4.0 is available as a Cygwin package:


Version 3.3.0 packages for SPARC/Solaris 8-10 and x86/Solaris 10 can be found at Installation instructions are available on the main page of that site.

Other platforms/cross-platform support


For many systems, you can use pkgsrc. This is a cross-platform packaging system, which works most modern Unix-like operating systems and even on Windows (using Interix/Services for Unix or Cygwin). See this table for the full list of supported platforms.