Developer installation

Note this is for the compiler developers of the Taichi programming language. End users should use the pip packages instead of building from source. To build with NVIDIA GPU support, CUDA 10.0+ is needed. This installation guide works for Ubuntu 16.04+ and OS X 10.14+. For precise build instructions on Windows, please check out appveyor.yml, which does basically the same thing as the following instructions. We use MSBUILD.exe to build the generated project. Please note that Windows could have multiple instances of MSBUILD.exe shipped with different products. Please make sure you add the path for MSBUILD.exe within your MSVS directory and make it a higher priority (for instance than the one shipped with .NET).

Note that on Linux/OS X, clang is the only supported compiler for compiling the Taichi compiler. On Windows only MSVC supported.

Installing Dependencies

  • Make sure you are using Python 3.6/3.7/3.8

  • Install Python dependencies:

    python3 -m pip install --user setuptools astpretty astor pybind11 Pillow
    python3 -m pip install --user pytest pytest-rerunfailures pytest-xdist yapf
    python3 -m pip install --user numpy GitPython coverage colorama autograd
  • Make sure you have clang with version >= 7

    • On Windows: Download clang-8 via this link. Make sure you add the bin folder containing clang.exe to the PATH environment variable.

    • On OS X: you don’t need to do anything.

    • On Ubuntu, execute sudo apt install libtinfo-dev clang-8.

    • On other Linux distributions, please build clang 8.0.1 from source:

      tar xvJf cfe-8.0.1.src.tar.xz
      cd cfe-8.0.1.src
      mkdir build
      cd build
      cmake ..
      make -j 8
      sudo make install
  • Make sure you have LLVM 8.0.1/10.0.0. Note that Taichi uses a customized LLVM so the pre-built binaries from the LLVM official website or other sources probably doesn’t work. Here we provide LLVM 8.0.1 binaries customized for Taichi, which may or may not work depending on your system environment: Linux, OS X, Windows.

    If the downloaded LLVM does not work, please build from source:

    • On Linux or OS X:

      tar xvJf llvm-8.0.1.src.tar.xz
      cd llvm-8.0.1.src
      # For LLVM 10.0.0:
      #     wget
      #     tar xvJf llvm-10.0.0.src.tar.xz
      #     cd llvm-10.0.0.src
      mkdir build
      cd build
      # If you are building on NVIDIA Jetson TX2, use -DLLVM_TARGETS_TO_BUILD="ARM;NVPTX"
      make -j 8
      sudo make install
      # Check your LLVM installation
      llvm-config --version # You should get 8.0.1 or 10.0.0
    • On Windows:

      # LLVM 8.0.1 + MSVC 2017
      # LLVM 10.0.0 + MSVC 2019
      • Then open LLVM.sln and use Visual Studio 2017+ to build.
      • Please make sure you are using the Release configuration. After building the INSTALL project (under folder CMakePredefinedTargets in the Solution Explorer window).
      • If you use MSVC 2019, make sure you use C++17 for the INSTALL project.
      • After the build is complete, find your LLVM binaries and headers in build/installed.

      Please add build/installed/bin to PATH. Later, when you build Taichi using CMake, set LLVM_DIR to build/installed/lib/cmake/llvm.

  • On Windows, if you use the pre-built LLVM for Taichi, please add $LLVM_FOLDER/bin to PATH. Later, when you build Taichi using CMake, set LLVM_DIR to $LLVM_FOLDER/lib/cmake/llvm.

Setting up CUDA (optional)

If you don’t have CUDA, go to this website and download the installer.

  • To check if CUDA is installed, run nvcc --version or cat /usr/local/cuda/version.txt.
  • On Ubuntu we recommend choosing deb (local) as Installer Type.
  • On Arch Linux, you can easily install CUDA via pacman -S cuda without downloading the installer manually.

Setting up Taichi for development

  • Clone the taichi repo recursively, and build:

    git clone --depth=1 --branch=master
    cd taichi
    git submodule update --init --recursive --depth=1
    mkdir build
    cd build
    cmake ..
    # if you do not set clang as the default compiler
    # use the line below:
    #   cmake .. -DCMAKE_CXX_COMPILER=clang-8
    # Alternatively, if you would like to set clang as the default compiler
    # On Unix CMake honors environment variables $CC and $CXX upon deciding which C and C++ compilers to use
    # if you are building with CUDA 10.0, use the line below:
    #   cmake .. -DCUDA_VERSION=10.0 -DTI_WITH_CUDA:BOOL=True
    make -j 8
  • Add the following script to your ~/.bashrc:

    export TAICHI_REPO_DIR=/home/XXX/taichi  # Path to your taichi repository
    export PATH=$TAICHI_REPO_DIR/bin/:$PATH
    # export PATH=/opt/llvm/bin:$PATH # Uncomment if your llvm-8 or clang-8 is in /opt
  • Execute source ~/.bashrc to reload shell config.

  • Execute python3 -m taichi test to run all the tests. It may take up to 5 minutes to run all tests.

  • Check out examples for runnable examples. Run them with python3.


  • Run with debug mode to see if there’s any illegal memory access
  • Disable compiler optimizations to quickly confirm that the issue is not cause by optimization