🧮 How to install solc in Linux and compile smart contracts

Learn how to compile Solidity smart contracts easily

To install the latest version, the best option is to compile directly from the official Github repository:


There are two requirements prior to build solc, we need to install cmake and the development libraries of Boost:

# apt-get install cmake libboost-all-dev

After that, we can clone the solidity repository, as shown below:

$ git clone --recursive https://github.com/ethereum/solidity.git
$ cd solidity/
$ git submodule update --init --recursive

Finally, we can run a script to compile and run all tests automatically:

$ sudo ./scripts/build.sh 
-- Found Boost headers in 
-- Found Boost::filesystem at 
-- Found Boost::unit_test_framework at 
-- Found Boost::program_options at 
-- Found Boost::system at 
-- Module support is disabled.
-- Version: 8.0.1
-- Build type: Release
-- Required features: cxx_variadic_templates
-- Performing Test fmacro-prefix-map=/home/user/solidity=/solidity
-- Performing Test fmacro-prefix-map=/home/user/solidity=/solidity - Success

-- Configuring solidity 0.8.14
--                  CMake Version                            3.18.4
-- CMAKE_BUILD_TYPE Build type                               Release
-- TARGET_PLATFORM  Target platform                          Linux
--------------------------------------------------------------- features
-- COVERAGE         Coverage support                         OFF
------------------------------------------------------------- components
-- TESTS            Build tests                              ON
------------------------------------------------------------------ flags
-- OSSFUZZ                                                   OFF

-- Could NOT find Z3 (missing: Z3_LIBRARY Z3_INCLUDE_DIR) 
No SMT solver found (or it has been forcefully disabled). Optional SMT checking will not be available.  
Please install Z3 or CVC4 or remove the option disabling them (USE_Z3, USE_CVC4).
-- Configuring done
-- Generating done
-- Build files have been written to: /home/user/solidity/build
[  2%] Built target range-v3-project
[  4%] Built target jsoncpp-project
[  4%] Built target fmt
[  5%] Built target evmc_loader
[  5%] Built target solidity_BuildInfo.h
[  8%] Built target solutil
[ 11%] Built target langutil
[ 12%] Built target smtutil
[ 16%] Built target evmasm
[ 37%] Built target yul
[ 38%] Built target strictasm_opt_ossfuzz
Scanning dependencies of target solidity
[ 39%] Built target strictasm_assembly_ossfuzz
[ 39%] Building CXX object libsolidity/CMakeFiles/solidity.dir/interface/Version.cpp.o
[ 39%] Linking CXX static library libsolidity.a
[ 57%] Built target solidity
[ 57%] Built target libsolc
[ 60%] Built target phaser
Scanning dependencies of target solcli
[ 60%] Linking CXX executable solidity-upgrade
[ 60%] Building CXX object solc/CMakeFiles/solcli.dir/CommandLineInterface.cpp.o
[ 62%] Built target solidity-upgrade
[ 63%] Built target yulInterpreter
[ 63%] Linking CXX executable yulopti
[ 63%] Built target yulopti
[ 63%] Linking CXX executable solfuzzer
[ 64%] Built target solfuzzer
[ 65%] Linking CXX executable yulrun
[ 65%] Built target yulrun
[ 65%] Built target strictasm_diff_ossfuzz
[ 65%] Built target const_opt_ossfuzz
[ 66%] Built target solc_mutator_ossfuzz
[ 67%] Built target solc_ossfuzz
[ 67%] Linking CXX executable yul-phaser
[ 68%] Built target yul-phaser
[ 68%] Linking CXX executable isoltest
[ 76%] Built target isoltest
[ 76%] Linking CXX static library libsolcli.a
[ 76%] Built target solcli
[ 76%] Linking CXX executable solc
[ 76%] Linking CXX executable soltest
[ 76%] Built target solc
[100%] Built target soltest
Installing ...
[  0%] Built target solidity_BuildInfo.h
[  2%] Built target range-v3-project
[  4%] Built target jsoncpp-project
[  4%] Built target fmt
[  7%] Built target solutil
[ 10%] Built target langutil
[ 11%] Built target smtutil
[ 15%] Built target evmasm
[ 36%] Built target yul
[ 54%] Built target solidity
[ 54%] Built target libsolc
[ 57%] Built target phaser
[ 58%] Built target yul-phaser
[ 60%] Built target solidity-upgrade
[ 60%] Built target solcli
[ 60%] Built target solc
[ 61%] Built target evmc_loader
[ 62%] Built target yulInterpreter
[ 86%] Built target soltest
[ 94%] Built target isoltest
[ 94%] Built target yulopti
[ 95%] Built target solfuzzer
[ 96%] Built target yulrun
[ 97%] Built target strictasm_opt_ossfuzz
[ 97%] Built target strictasm_diff_ossfuzz
[ 98%] Built target strictasm_assembly_ossfuzz
[ 98%] Built target const_opt_ossfuzz
[ 99%] Built target solc_mutator_ossfuzz
[100%] Built target solc_ossfuzz
Install the project...
-- Install configuration: "Release"
-- Installing: /usr/local/bin/solidity-upgrade
-- Installing: /usr/local/bin/yul-phaser
-- Installing: /usr/local/bin/solc

It seems it was successfully compiled and installed. Let’s verify:

$ solc --version
solc, the solidity compiler commandline interface
Version: 0.8.14-develop.2022.3.21+commit.430ecb6e.Linux.g++

To understand better what parameters we can pass to solc, we can try with --help flag:

$ solc --help
solc, the Solidity commandline compiler.

This program comes with ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY. This is free software, and you
are welcome to redistribute it under certain conditions. See 'solc --license'
for details.

Usage: solc [options] [input_file...]
Compiles the given Solidity input files (or the standard input if none given or
"-" is used as a file name) and outputs the components specified in the options
at standard output or in files in the output directory, if specified.
Imports are automatically read from the filesystem, but it is also possible to
remap paths using the context:prefix=path syntax.
solc --bin -o /tmp/solcoutput dapp-bin=/usr/local/lib/dapp-bin contract.sol

General Information:
  --help               Show help message and exit.
  --version            Show version and exit.
  --license            Show licensing information and exit.
  --input-file arg     input file

Input Options:
  --base-path path     Use the given path as the root of the source tree 
                       instead of the root of the filesystem.
  --include-path path  Make an additional source directory available to the 
                       default import callback. Use this option if you want to 
                       import contracts whose location is not fixed in relation
                       to your main source tree, e.g. third-party libraries 
                       installed using a package manager. Can be used multiple 
                       times. Can only be used if base path has a non-empty 
  --allow-paths path(s)
                       Allow a given path for imports. A list of paths can be 
                       supplied by separating them with a comma.
  --ignore-missing     Ignore missing files.
  --error-recovery     Enables additional parser error recovery.

Output Options:
  -o [ --output-dir ] path
                       If given, creates one file per component and 
                       contract/file at the specified directory.
  --overwrite          Overwrite existing files (used together with -o).
  --evm-version version (=london)
                       Select desired EVM version. Either homestead, 
                       tangerineWhistle, spuriousDragon, byzantium, 
                       constantinople, petersburg, istanbul, berlin or london.
                       Deprecated synonym of --via-ir.
  --via-ir             Turn on compilation mode via the IR.
  --revert-strings debug,default,strip,verboseDebug
                       Strip revert (and require) reason strings or add 
                       additional debugging information.
  --debug-info arg (=ast-id,location,snippet)
                       Debug info components to be included in the produced EVM
                       assembly and Yul code. Value can be all, none or a 
                       comma-separated list containing one or more of the 
                       following components: ast-id, location, snippet.
  --stop-after stage   Stop execution after the given compiler stage. Valid 
                       options: "parsing".

Alternative Input Modes:
  --standard-json      Switch to Standard JSON input / output mode, ignoring 
                       all options. It reads from standard input, if no input 
                       file was given, otherwise it reads from the provided 
                       input file. The result will be written to standard 
  --link               Switch to linker mode, ignoring all options apart from 
                       --libraries and modify binaries in place.
  --assemble           Switch to assembly mode, ignoring all options except 
                       --machine, --yul-dialect, --optimize and 
                       --yul-optimizations and assumes input is assembly.
  --yul                Switch to Yul mode, ignoring all options except 
                       --machine, --yul-dialect, --optimize and 
                       --yul-optimizations and assumes input is Yul.
  --strict-assembly    Switch to strict assembly mode, ignoring all options 
                       except --machine, --yul-dialect, --optimize and 
                       --yul-optimizations and assumes input is strict 
  --import-ast         Import ASTs to be compiled, assumes input holds the AST 
                       in compact JSON format. Supported Inputs is the output 
                       of the --standard-json or the one produced by 
                       --combined-json ast
  --lsp                Switch to language server mode ("LSP"). Allows the 
                       compiler to be used as an analysis backend for your 
                       favourite IDE.

Assembly Mode Options:
  --machine evm,ewasm  Target machine in assembly or Yul mode.
  --yul-dialect evm,ewasm
                       Input dialect to use in assembly or yul mode.

Linker Mode Options:
  --libraries libs     Direct string or file containing library addresses. 
                       Syntax: <libraryName>=<address> [, or whitespace] ...
                       Address is interpreted as a hex string prefixed by 0x.

Output Formatting:
  --pretty-json        Output JSON in pretty format.
  --json-indent N (=2) Indent pretty-printed JSON with N spaces. Enables 
                       '--pretty-json' automatically.
  --color              Force colored output.
  --no-color           Explicitly disable colored output, disabling terminal 
  --error-codes        Output error codes.

Output Components:
  --ast-compact-json   AST of all source files in a compact JSON format.
  --asm                EVM assembly of the contracts.
  --asm-json           EVM assembly of the contracts in JSON format.
  --opcodes            Opcodes of the contracts.
  --bin                Binary of the contracts in hex.
  --bin-runtime        Binary of the runtime part of the contracts in hex.
  --abi                ABI specification of the contracts.
  --ir                 Intermediate Representation (IR) of all contracts.
  --ir-optimized       Optimized intermediate Representation (IR) of all 
  --ewasm              Ewasm text representation of all contracts 
  --ewasm-ir           Intermediate representation (IR) converted to a form 
                       that can be translated directly into Ewasm text 
                       representation (EXPERIMENTAL).
  --hashes             Function signature hashes of the contracts.
  --userdoc            Natspec user documentation of all contracts.
  --devdoc             Natspec developer documentation of all contracts.
  --metadata           Combined Metadata JSON whose Swarm hash is stored 
  --storage-layout     Slots, offsets and types of the contract's state 

Extra Output:
  --gas                Print an estimate of the maximal gas usage for each 
  --combined-json abi,asm,ast,bin,bin-runtime,devdoc,function-debug,function-debug-runtime,generated-sources,generated-sources-runtime,hashes,metadata,opcodes,srcmap,srcmap-runtime,storage-layout,userdoc
                       Output a single json document containing the specified 

Metadata Options:
  --metadata-hash ipfs,none,swarm
                       Choose hash method for the bytecode metadata or disable 
  --metadata-literal   Store referenced sources as literal data in the metadata

Optimizer Options:
  --optimize           Enable bytecode optimizer.
  --optimize-runs n (=200)
                       The number of runs specifies roughly how often each 
                       opcode of the deployed code will be executed across the 
                       lifetime of the contract. Lower values will optimize 
                       more for initial deployment cost, higher values will 
                       optimize more for high-frequency usage.
  --optimize-yul       Legacy option, ignored. Use the general --optimize to 
                       enable Yul optimizer.
  --no-optimize-yul    Disable Yul optimizer in Solidity.
  --yul-optimizations steps
                       Forces yul optimizer to use the specified sequence of 
                       optimization steps instead of the built-in one.

Model Checker Options:
  --model-checker-contracts default,<source>:<contract> (=default)
                       Select which contracts should be analyzed using the form
                       <source>:<contract>.Multiple pairs <source>:<contract> 
                       can be selected at the same time, separated by a comma 
                       and no spaces.
                       Encode division and modulo operations with their precise
                       operators instead of multiplication with slack 
  --model-checker-engine all,bmc,chc,none (=none)
                       Select model checker engine.
  --model-checker-invariants default,all,contract,reentrancy (=default)
                       Select whether to report inferred contract inductive 
                       invariants. Multiple types of invariants can be selected
                       at the same time, separated by a comma and no spaces. By
                       default no invariants are reported.
                       Show all unproved targets separately.
  --model-checker-solvers all,cvc4,z3,smtlib2 (=all)
                       Select model checker solvers.
  --model-checker-targets default,all,constantCondition,underflow,overflow,divByZero,balance,assert,popEmptyArray,outOfBounds (=default)
                       Select model checker verification targets. Multiple 
                       targets can be selected at the same time, separated by a
                       comma and no spaces. By default all targets except 
                       underflow and overflow are selected.
  --model-checker-timeout ms
                       Set model checker timeout per query in milliseconds. The
                       default is a deterministic resource limit. A timeout of 
                       0 means no resource/time restrictions for any query.

Useful parameters to import third party contracts (i.e. OpenZeppelin):

  • --allow-paths XXXX and --include-path XXXX

To compile the contract and get the binary code:

solc --bin contract.sol

To compile the contract and get the EVM assembly:

solc --asm contract.sol
solc --asm-json contract.sol

How to compile with imports:

solc --bin --base-path . --include-path ../node_modules -o contract.dir contract.sol

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