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Platform packages

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.


Arch Linux

 pacman -S chicken

Debian Linux

For a complete Chicken install on Debian, you need to

# aptitude install chicken-bin libchicken-dev libchicken6

Debian page for the CHICKEN source package.

Ubuntu 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


meta-chicken is layer for OpenEmbedded which can be used to cross-compile Chicken and eggs.


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

ipkg install

Package maintained by john moore.

Maemo 5

Instructions for getting Chicken (4.4) and many eggs from a handy optified deb repository are at:

Package maintained by Andrei Barbu.

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.


If you're using Homebrew you can install the formula chicken:

   brew install chicken



For FreeBSD, you can use the lang/chicken port to install the latest stable release.


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 has been added to the official ports repository and can be installed with the following command:

 haikuporter -i chicken

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.

Microsoft Windows

Installer for Windows, includes the IUP and Canvas Draw eggs preinstalled