Installing from sources

Install Matita from the sources is hard, you have been warned!

Getting the source code

You can get the Matita source code in two ways:

  1. go to the download page and get the latest released source tarball;

  2. get the development sources from our SVN repository. You will need the components/ and matita/ directories from the trunk/helm/software/ directory, plus the configure and Makefile* stuff from the same directory.

    In this case you will need to run autoconf before proceding with the building instructions below.


In order to build Matita from sources you will need some tools and libraries. They are listed below.

Note for Debian (and derivatives) users

If you are running a Debian GNU/Linux distribution, or any of its derivative like Ubuntu, you can use APT to install all the required tools and libraries since they are all part of the Debian archive.

apt-get install ocaml ocaml-findlib libgdome2-ocaml-dev liblablgtk2-ocaml-dev liblablgtkmathview-ocaml-dev liblablgtksourceview-ocaml-dev libsqlite3-ocaml-dev libocamlnet-ocaml-dev libzip-ocaml-dev libhttp-ocaml-dev ocaml-ulex08 libexpat-ocaml-dev libmysql-ocaml-dev camlp5

An official debian package is going to be added to the archive too.

Required tools and libraries


the Objective Caml compiler, version 3.09 or above


OCaml package manager, version 1.1.1 or above

OCaml Expat

OCaml bindings for the expat library


OCaml bindings for the Gdome 2 library


OCaml library to write HTTP daemons (and clients)


OCaml bindings for the GTK+ library , version 2.6.0 or above

GtkMathView , LablGtkMathView

GTK+ widget to render MathML documents and its OCaml bindings

GtkSourceView , LablGtkSourceView

extension for the GTK+ text widget (adding the typical features of source code editors) and its OCaml bindings


SQL database and OCaml bindings for its client-side library

The SQL database itself is not strictly needed to run Matita, but the client libraries are.

Sqlite , OCaml Sqlite3

Sqlite database and OCaml bindings


collection of OCaml libraries to deal with application-level Internet protocols and conventions


Unicode lexer generator for OCaml


OCaml library to access .gz files

(optional) MySQL setup

To fully exploit Matita indexing and search capabilities on a huge metadata set you may need a working MySQL database. Detalied instructions on how to do it can be found in the MySQL documentation. Here you can find a quick howto.

In order to create a database you need administrator permissions on your MySQL installation, usually the root account has them. Once you have the permissions, a new database can be created executing mysqladmin create matita (matita is the default database name, you can change it using the db.user key of the configuration file).

Then you need to grant the necessary access permissions to the database user of Matita, typing echo "grant all privileges on matita.* to helm;" | mysql matita should do the trick (helm is the default user name used by Matita to access the database, you can change it using the db.user key of the configuration file).


This way you create a database named matita on which anyone claiming to be the helm user can do everything (like adding dummy data or destroying the contained one). It is strongly suggested to apply more fine grained permissions, how to do it is out of the scope of this manual.

Compiling and installing

Once you get the source code the installations steps should be quite familiar.

First of all you need to configure the build process executing ./configure. This will check that all needed tools and library are installed and prepare the sources for compilation and installation.

Quite a few (optional) arguments may be passed to the configure command line to change build time parameters. They are listed below, together with their default values:

configure command line arguments


(Default: /usr/local/matita) Runtime base directory where all Matita stuff (executables, configuration files, standard library, ...) will be installed


(Default: localhost) Default SQL server hostname. Will be used while building the standard library during the installation and to create the default Matita configuration. May be changed later in configuration file.


(Default: disabled) Enable debugging code. Not for the casual user.

Then you will manage the build and install process using make as usual. Below are reported the targets you have to invoke in sequence to build and install:

make targets


builds components needed by Matita and Matita itself (in bytecode or native code depending on the availability of the OCaml native code compiler)


installs Matita related tools, standard library and the needed runtime stuff in the proper places on the filesystem.

As a part of the installation process the Matita standard library will be compiled, thus testing that the just built matitac compiler works properly.

For this step you will need a working SQL database (for indexing the standard library while you are compiling it). See Database setup for instructions on how to set it up.