Note: these instructions refer to an older release of Frama-C; for the latest stable release, click here

Installing Frama-C Iron (released on 2023-02-15)

Installing Frama-C via opam

opam is the OCaml package manager. Every Frama-C release is made available via an opam package.

First you need to install opam, then you may install Frama-C using opam.

Installing opam

Several Linux distributions already include an opam package.

macOS has opam through Homebrew.

Windows users can install opam via WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux).

If your system does not have an opam package >= 2, you can use the provided opam binaries available at:

Installing Frama-C from opam repository

The Frama-C package in opam is called frama-c, which includes both the command-line frama-c executable and the graphical interface frama-c-gui.

frama-c has some non-OCaml dependencies, such as Gtk and GMP. On most systems, opam’s depext mechanism can take care of installing these external dependencies. As of version 2.1.0, depext is directly included in opam, so that the following command should install everything, at least if your OS is supported by depext (and you have administrative rights):

opam install frama-c

For older opam versions, you have to install it separately and call it explicitly with the following commands, before installing Frama-C as above. Again, installing the external dependencies requires administrative rights.

# install Frama-C's dependencies with pre-2.1.0 opam
opam install depext
opam depext frama-c

If there are errors due to missing external dependencies, opam may emit a message indicating which packages to install. If this is not sufficient, there may be missing dependencies in opam’s depext tool. In this case, you may create a Gitlab issue indicating your distribution and error message.

Configuring provers for Frama-C/WP

Frama-C/WP uses the Why3 platform to run external provers for proving ACSL annotations. The Why3 platform and the Alt-Ergo prover are automatically installed via opam when installing Frama-C.

Other recommended, efficient provers are CVC4 and Z3. They can be used as replacement or combined with Alt-Ergo. Actually, you can use any prover supported by Why3 in combination with Frama-C/WP.

Most provers are available on all platforms. After their installation, Why3 must be configured to make them available for Frama-C/WP:

why3 config detect

Reference configuration

See file for a set of packages that is known to work with Frama-C+dev.

Installing Custom Versions of Frama-C

If you have a non-standard version of Frama-C available (with proprietary extensions, custom plugins, etc.), you can use opam to install Frama-C’s dependencies and compile your own sources directly:

# optional: remove the standard frama-c package if it was installed
opam remove --force frama-c

# install Frama-C's dependencies
opam install depext # only for opam < 2.1.0
opam depext frama-c # only for opam < 2.1.0
opam install --deps-only frama-c [--with-test]

# install custom version of frama-c
opam pin add --kind=path frama-c <dir>

where <dir> is the root of your unpacked Frama-C archive. See opam pin for more details. The option --with-test is optional and is necessary only if you want to be able to execute the tests available in the frama-c repository.

If your extensions require other libraries than the ones already used by Frama-C, they must of course be installed as well.

Installing Frama-C on Windows via WSL

Frama-C is developed on Linux, but it can be installed on Windows using the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL).

Note: if you have WSL2 (Windows 11), you can run the graphical interface directly, thanks to WSLg. If you are using WSL 1, you need to install an X server for Windows, such as VcXsrv (see section “Running the Frama-C GUI on WSL”).

Prerequisites: WSL + a Linux distribution

To enable WSL on Windows, you may follow these instructions (we tested with Ubuntu 20.04 LTS; other distributions/versions should also work, but the instructions below may require some modifications).


  • older builds of Windows 10 and systems without access to the Microsoft Store may have no compatible Linux packages.
  • in WSL 1, Frama-C/WP cannot use Why3 because of some missing features in WSL support, thus using WSL 2 is highly recommended.

Installing opam and Frama-C on WSL

To install opam, some packages are required. The following commands can be run to update the system and install those packages:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade
sudo apt install make m4 gcc opam gnome-icon-theme

Then opam can be set up using these commands:

opam init --disable-sandboxing --shell-setup
eval $(opam env)
opam install -y depext

You can force a particular Ocaml version during opam init by using the option -c <version> if needed. For instance, you can try installing the OCaml version mentioned in the reference configuration.

Now, to install Frama-C, run the following commands, which will use apt to install the dependencies of the opam packages and then install them:

opam depext --install -y lablgtk3 lablgtk3-sourceview3
opam depext --install -y frama-c

Running the Frama-C GUI on WSL

If you have WSL2: a known issue with Frama-C 24.0 (Chromium), lablgtk3 and Wayland require prefixing the command running the Frama-C GUI with GDK_BACKEND=x11, as in:

GDK_BACKEND=x11 frama-c-gui <options>

If you have WSL 1: WSL 1 does not support graphical user interfaces directly. If you want to run Frama-C’s GUI, you need to install an X server, such as VcXsrv or Cygwin/X. We present below how to install VcXsrv.

First, install VcXsrv from:

The default installation settings should work.

Now run VcXsrv from the Windows menu (it is named XLaunch), the firewall must authorize both “Public” and “Private” domains. On the first configuration screen, select “Multiple Windows”. On the second:

  • keep “Start no client” selected,
  • keep “Native opengl” selected,
  • select “Disable access control”.

Now specific settings must be provided in WSL. you can put the export commands in your ~/.bashrc file, so this is done automatically when starting WSL.


The Xserver is ready. From WSL, run:

export DISPLAY=:0
export DISPLAY=$(cat /etc/resolv.conf | grep nameserver | awk '{print $2; exit;}'):0.0

Installing Frama-C on macOS

opam works perfectly on macOS via Homebrew. We highly recommend to rely on it for the installation of Frama-C.

  1. Install required general macOS tools for OCaml:

    brew install autoconf pkg-config opam

    Do not forget to opam init and eval `opam config env` for a proper opam installation (if not already done before).

  2. Set up a compatible OCaml version (replace <version> with the version indicated in the ‘recommended working configuration’ section):

    opam switch create <version>
  3. Install required dependencies for Frama-C:

    brew install gmp gtk+ gtksourceview libgnomecanvas

    The graphical libraries require additional manual configuration of your bash profile. Consult this issue on opam for details. A known working configuration is:

    export PKG_CONFIG_PATH=/usr/local/opt/libffi/lib/pkgconfig:/usr/local/opt/libxml2/lib/pkgconfig:/usr/local/lib/pkgconfig
  4. Install recommended dependencies for Frama-C:

    brew install graphviz
  5. Install Frama-C:

    opam install frama-c

Installing Frama-C via your Linux distribution (Debian/Ubuntu/Fedora)

NOTE: Distribution packages are updated later than opam packages, so if you want access to the most recent versions of Frama-C, opam is currently the recommended approach.

Also note that it is not recommended to mix OCaml packages installed by your distribution with packages installed via opam. When using opam, we recommend uninstalling all ocaml-* packages from your distribution, and then installing, exclusively via opam, an OCaml compiler and all the OCaml packages you need. This ensures that only those versions will be in the PATH.

The advantage of using distribution packages is that dependencies are almost always handled by the distribution’s package manager. The disadvantage is that, if you need some optional OCaml package that has not been packaged in your distribution (e.g. landmarks, which is distributed via opam), it may be very hard to install it, since mixing opam and non-opam packages often fails (and is strongly discouraged).

Debian/Ubuntu: apt-get install frama-c

Fedora: dnf install frama-c

Arch Linux: pikaur -S frama-c

Compiling from source

Note: These instructions are no longer required in the vast majority of cases. They are kept here mostly for historical reference.

Quick Start

  1. Install opam and use it to get all of Frama-C’s dependencies (including some external ones):

     opam install depext # only for opam < 2.1.0
     opam depext frama-c # only for opam < 2.1.0
     opam install --deps-only frama-c

    If not using opam, you will need to install the Frama-C dependencies by yourself. The opam file in the Frama-C .tar.gz lists the required dependencies (e.g. ocamlfind, ocamlgraph, zarith, etc.). A few of these dependencies are optional, only required for the graphical interface: lablgtk, conf-gnomecanvas and conf-gtksourceview (or the equivalent Gtk+3 packages).

  2. On Linux-like distributions:

     ./make RELEASE=yes && make install

    See section Installation below for options.

  3. On Windows+Cygwin:

     ./make RELEASE=yes && make install
  4. The binary frama-c (and frama-c-gui if you have lablgtk2) is now installed.

Full Compilation Guide

Frama-C Requirements

See the opam file, section depends, for compatible OCaml versions and required dependencies (except for those related to lablgtk, which are required for the GUI but otherwise optional).

To install the required dependencies, you can use opam v2.1 or higher to do the following (assuming you are in frama-c root source folder):

  1. opam switch create frama-c ocaml-base-compiler.4.13.1 to create a compatible opam switch
  2. opam pin . -n to pin to the latest development version
  3. opam install --deps-only will fetch and build all relevant dependencies


There are basically two compilation modes: development and release.

Typing make builds in development mode, this is a shortcut for:

dune build @install

Typing make RELEASE=yes builds in release mode, this is a shortcut for:

dune build @install --release --promote-install-files=false

For more precise build configuration, use directly the dune command.


Basic tests can be executed using:

make run-ptests
make default-tests

Beware! If the tests fail due to JSON output, it is likely because of the Yojson package version. Make sure that your opam dependencies have been installed with the option --with-test (see Installing Custom Versions of Frama-C).


Type make install (depending on the installation directory, this may require superuser privileges. The installation directory is chosen through the variable PREFIX). This is a shortcut for:

dune install

The Makefile (and dune) supports the DESTDIR variable, that can be used to configure the location of the installation.

API Documentation

For plugin developers, the API documentation of the Frama-C kernel and distributed plugins is available in the _build/default/_doc/_html directory after running:

make doc


dune build @doc


Type make uninstall to remove Frama-C and all the installed plugins. (Depending on the installation directory, this may require superuser privileges.)

Testing the Installation

This step is optional.

Download some test files:

export PREFIX_URL=""
wget -P test ${PREFIX_URL}/CruiseControl.c
wget -P test ${PREFIX_URL}/CruiseControl_const.c
wget -P test ${PREFIX_URL}/CruiseControl.h
wget -P test ${PREFIX_URL}/CruiseControl_extern.h
wget -P test ${PREFIX_URL}/scade_types.h
wget -P test ${PREFIX_URL}/config_types.h
wget -P test ${PREFIX_URL}/definitions.h

Then test your installation by running:

frama-c -eva test/CruiseControl*.c
# or (if frama-c-gui is available)
frama-c-gui -eva test/CruiseControl*.c

Available resources

Once Frama-C is installed, the following resources should be installed and available:

Executables: (in /INSTALL_DIR/bin)

  • frama-c
  • frama-c-gui if available
  • frama-c-config lightweight wrapper used to display configuration paths
  • frama-c-hdrck header checking tool for Frama-C
  • frama-c-ptests testing tool for Frama-c
  • frama-c-wtests testing tool for Frama-c
  • frama-c-script utilities related to analysis parametrization

Shared files: (in /INSTALL_DIR/share/frama-c and subdirectories)

  • some .h and .c files used as preludes by Frama-C
  • some Makefiles used to compile dynamic plugins
  • some .rc files used to configure Frama-C
  • some image files used by the Frama-C GUI
  • some files for Frama-C/plug-in development (autocomplete scripts, Emacs settings, scripts for running Eva, …)
  • an annotated C standard library (with ACSL annotations) in libc
  • plugin-specific files (in directories wp, e-acsl, etc.)

Object files: (in /INSTALL_DIR/lib/frama-c)

  • object files used to compile dynamic plugins

Plugin files: (in /INSTALL_DIR/lib/frama-c/plugins)

  • object files of available dynamic plugins

Man files: (in /INSTALL_DIR/share/man/man1)

  • man files for frama-c (and frama-c-gui if available)

Installing Additional Frama-C Plugins

Plugins may be released independently of Frama-C.

The standard way for installing them should be:

dune build @install && dune install

Plugins may have their own custom installation procedures. Consult their specific documentation for details.