Building Renode from source

This document provides detailed information on how to prepare the build environment, and then build and test Renode itself.


Core prerequisites

The following instructions have been tested on Ubuntu 20.04, however there should not be any major issues preventing you from using other (especially Debian-based) distributions as well.

First, install the mono-complete package as per the installation instructions for various Linux distributions which can be found on the Mono project website.

First, install the .NET SDK package as per the installation instructions, which can be found on the official .NET site. This can as well be installed with the default package manager, using: sudo apt install dotnet-sdk-6.0.

To install the remaining dependencies, use:

sudo apt update
sudo apt install git automake autoconf libtool g++ coreutils policykit-1 \
              libgtk2.0-dev uml-utilities gtk-sharp2 python3 python3-pip

On macOS, the Mono package can be obtained by using a download link on the Mono project website.

To install the remaining prerequisites, use:

brew install binutils gnu-sed coreutils dialog
xcode-select --install


This requires homebrew to be installed in your system.

Building Renode on Windows is based on Cygwin and requires you to properly set up the system environment.


  1. Download Cygwin installer.

  2. Install it with an additional module: openssh.


  1. Download and install git as a native application. You can get it from the official website. You can use either a regular installation or a portable version.

  2. Ensure the installation directory (C:\Program Files\Git by default) is in the system PATH variable. The installer offers to install a subset of git tools in PATH, this is the recommended option.


Prior to cloning the repository on Windows, git has to be configured appropriately:

git config --global core.autocrlf false
git config --global core.symlinks true

Python 3

  1. Download and install native Windows Python 3 framework from the Python website.


Do not use the module provided by Cygwin. If you have Cygwin’s version of Python already installed, make sure that the native’s version location is included at the beginning of Cygwin’s PATH variable.

  1. Add location of the binaries (C:\Program Files (x86)\Python38-32 for a 32-bit version of Python 3.8 by default) to the system PATH variable.

C build tools

  1. Download MinGW-w64 8.1.0 with the x86_64 architecture, win32 threads and sjlj exception handling from the download site.

  2. Extract the downloaded package and add its mingw64\bin directory (for example C:\mingw-w64\x86_64-8.1.0-release-win32-sjlj-rt_v6-rev0\mingw64\bin) to the system PATH variable.

C# build tools

  1. Download VS Build Tools 2019.

  2. Run the installer, select the Visual Studio Build Tools 2019 product and click Install or Modify.

  3. Switch to the Individual components pane and select:

    • .NET Framework 4.6.2 targeting pack in section .NET,

    • NuGet targets and build tasks in section Code tools.

  4. Add the location of the binaries (C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio\2019\BuildTools\MSBuild\Current\Bin\amd64 by default) to the system PATH variable.

See the official .NET site for instructions on how to install .NET SDK.

Downloading the source code

Renode’s source code is available on GitHub:

git clone
cd renode

Submodules will be automatically initialized and downloaded during the build process, so you do not need to do it at this point.

Additional prerequisites (for Robot framework testing)

If you followed the instructions above, Python should be installed in your system. Install the pip package manager and some additional modules to enable writing and running test cases with the Robot framework:

python3 -m pip install -r tests/requirements.txt

Building Renode


On Windows, the building process described in this section can only be executed in a Cygwin shell.


When building Renode with .NET, remember to use --net switch (./ --net).

To build Renode, run:


There are some optional flags you can use:

-c          clean instead of building
-d          build in debug configuration
-v          verbose mode
-p          build binary packages (requires some additional dependencies)
--net       build with dotnet

You can also build Renode.sln from your IDE (like MonoDevelop or Visual Studio), but the script has to be run at least once.

Creating packages

The build script can create native packages only, i.e., you must run it on Windows to create an .msi installer package, on Linux for .deb, .rpm and .pkg.tar.xz packages or on macOS for the .dmg image.

There is also a separate procedure to create Conda packages, described in a dedicated README.


Depending on the system, there may be some prerequisites for building Renode packages.


sudo apt-get install ruby ruby-dev rpm 'bsdtar|libarchive-tools'
sudo gem install fpm

No additional prerequisites for macOS.


On Windows 10, it is important to enable .NET 3.5 in the system before installing the WiX Toolset.

The packaging process described in this section can only be executed in a Cygwin shell.

  1. Download and install the WiX Toolset installer (version at least 3.11).

  2. Add the zip package to Cygwin.


To build binary packages, run:

./ -p

The packages will have a version assigned to them, defined by the contents of the tools/version file.

You can also build nightly packages with:

./ -pn

This will append a date and a commit SHA to the output files.

Location of packages

After completing successfully, the script will print the location of the files created:




Last update: 2024-05-24