- Pre-built binaries
- Linux, macOS, Windows and OpenBSD packaging status
- Building from source
To install Helix, follow the instructions specific to your operating system. Note that:
To get the latest nightly version of Helix, you need to build from source.
To take full advantage of Helix, install the language servers for your preferred programming languages. See the wiki for instructions.
Download pre-built binaries from the
GitHub Releases page. Add the binary to your system's
$PATH to use it from the command
The following third party repositories are available:
PPA for Helix:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:maveonair/helix-editor
sudo apt update
sudo apt install helix
COPR repository for Helix:
sudo dnf copr enable varlad/helix
sudo dnf install helix
Releases are available in the
sudo pacman -S helix
Additionally, a helix-git package is available in the AUR, which builds the master branch.
Helix is available in nixpkgs through the
the unstable channel usually carries the latest release.
Helix is also available as a flake in the project
nix develop to spin up a reproducible development shell. Outputs are
cached for each push to master using Cachix. The
flake is configured to automatically make use of this cache assuming the user
accepts the new settings on first use.
If you are using a version of Nix without flakes enabled,
install Cachix CLI and use
cachix use helix to configure Nix to use cached outputs when possible.
Helix is available on Flathub:
flatpak install flathub com.helix_editor.Helix
flatpak run com.helix_editor.Helix
Helix is available on Snapcraft and can be installed with:
snap install --classic helix
This will install Helix as both
/snap/bin/hx, so make sure
/snap/bin is in your
chmod +x helix-*.AppImage # change permission for executable mode
./helix-*.AppImage # run helix
brew install helix
Windows Package Manager winget command-line tool is by default available on Windows 11 and modern versions of Windows 10 as a part of the App Installer. You can get App Installer from the Microsoft Store. If it's already installed, make sure it is updated with the latest version.
winget install Helix.Helix
scoop install helix
choco install helix
For 64-bit Windows 8.1 or above:
pacman -S mingw-w64-ucrt-x86_64-helix
Clone the Helix GitHub repository into a directory of your choice. The
examples in this documentation assume installation into either
Linux and macOS, or
%userprofile%\src\ on Windows.
- The Rust toolchain
- The Git version control system
- A C++14 compatible compiler to build the tree-sitter grammars, for example GCC or Clang
If you are using the
musl-libc standard library instead of
glibc the following environment variable must be set during the build to ensure tree-sitter grammars can be loaded correctly:
Clone the repository:
git clone https://github.com/helix-editor/helix cd helix
Compile from source:
cargo install --path helix-term --locked
This command will create the
hxexecutable and construct the tree-sitter grammars in the local
💡 Tree-sitter grammars can be fetched and compiled if not pre-packaged. Fetch grammars with
hx --grammar fetchand compile them with
hx --grammar build. This will install them in the
runtimedirectory within the user's helix config directory (more details below).
The runtime directory is one below the Helix source, so either set a
HELIX_RUNTIME environment variable to point to that directory and add it to
~/.bashrc or equivalent:
Or, create a symbolic link:
ln -Ts $PWD/runtime ~/.config/helix/runtime
If the above command fails to create a symbolic link because the file exists either move
~/.config/helix/runtime to a new location or delete it, then run the symlink command above again.
Either set the
HELIX_RUNTIME environment variable to point to the runtime files using the Windows setting (search for
Edit environment variables for your account) or use the
setx command in
setx HELIX_RUNTIME "%userprofile%\source\repos\helix\runtime"
%userprofile%resolves to your user directory like
Or, create a symlink in
%appdata%\helix\ that links to the source code directory:
New-Item -ItemType Junction -Target "runtime" -Path "$Env:AppData\helix\runtime"
mklink /D runtime "%userprofile%\src\helix\runtime"
💡 On Windows, creating a symbolic link may require running PowerShell or Cmd as an administrator.
When Helix finds multiple runtime directories it will search through them for files in the following order:
runtime/sibling directory to
$CARGO_MANIFEST_DIRdirectory (this is intended for developing and testing helix only).
runtime/subdirectory of OS-dependent helix user config directory.
- Distribution-specific fallback directory (set at compile time—not run time—
runtime/subdirectory of path to Helix executable.
This order also sets the priority for selecting which file will be used if multiple runtime directories have files with the same name.
If you are making a package of Helix for end users, to provide a good out of
the box experience, you should set the
variable at build time (before invoking
cargo build) to a directory which
will store the final runtime files after installation. For example, say you want
to package the runtime into
/usr/lib/helix/runtime. The rough steps a build
script could follow are:
cargo build --profile opt --locked --path helix-term
cp -r runtime $BUILD_DIR/usr/lib/helix/
cp target/opt/hx $BUILD_DIR/usr/bin/hx
This way the resulting
hx binary will always look for its runtime directory in
/usr/lib/helix/runtime if the user has no custom runtime in
To make sure everything is set up as expected you should run the Helix health check:
For more information on the health check results refer to Health check.
If your desktop environment supports the
XDG desktop menu
you can configure Helix to show up in the application menu by copying the
.desktop and icon files to their correct folders:
cp contrib/Helix.desktop ~/.local/share/applications
cp contrib/helix.png ~/.icons # or ~/.local/share/icons
To use another terminal than the system default, you can modify the
file. For example, to use
sed -i "s|Exec=hx %F|Exec=kitty hx %F|g" ~/.local/share/applications/Helix.desktop
sed -i "s|Terminal=true|Terminal=false|g" ~/.local/share/applications/Helix.desktop