Dependency manager for the Crystal
0.18.0 Latest release released



Dependency manager for the Crystal language.


Crystal applications and libraries are expected to have a shard.yml file at their root looking like this:

name: shards
version: 0.1.0

    github: datanoise/
    branch: master

    version: ~> 0.3.1

license: MIT

When libraries are installed from Git repositories, the repository is expected to have version tags following a semver-like format, prefixed with a v. Examples: v1.2.3, v2.0.0-rc1 or v2017.04.1.

Please see the SPEC for more details about the shard.yml format.


Shards is usually distributed with Crystal itself (e.g. Homebrew and Debian packages). Alternatively, a shards package may be available for your system.

You can download a source tarball from the same page (or clone the repository) then run make release=1and copy bin/shards into your PATH. For example /usr/local/bin.

You are now ready to create a shard.yml for your projects (see details in SPEC). You can type shards init to have an example shard.yml file created for your project.

Run shards install to install your dependencies, which will lock your dependencies into a shard.lock file. You should check both shard.yml and shard.lock into version control, so further shards install will always install locked versions, achieving reproducible installations across computers.

Run shards --help to list other commands with their options.

Happy Hacking!



These requirements are only necessary for compiling Shards.

  • Crystal

    Please refer to for instructions for your operating system.

  • molinillo

    The shard molinillo needs to be in the Crystal path. It is available at You can install it either with a pre-existing shards binary (running shards install) or just check out the repository at lib/crystal-molinillo (make lib).

  • libyaml

    On Debian/Ubuntu Linux you may install the libyaml-dev package.

    On Mac OS X you may install it using homebrew with brew install libyaml then make sure to have /usr/local/lib in your LIBRARY_PATH environment variable (eg: export LIBRARY_PATH="/usr/local/lib:$LIBRARY_PATH"). Please adjust the path per your Homebrew installation.

  • asciidoctor

    Needed for building manpages.

Getting started

It is strongly recommended to use make for building shards and developing it. The Makefile contains recipes for compiling and testing. Building with make also ensures the source dependency molinillo is installed. You don't need to take care of this yourself.

Run make bin/shards to build the binary.

  • release=1 for a release build (applies optimizations)
  • static=1 for static linking (only works with musl-libc)
  • debug=1 for full symbolic debug info

Run make install to install the binary. Target path can be adjusted with PREFIX (default: PREFIX=/usr/bin).

Run make test to run the test suites:

  • make test_unit runs unit tests (./spec/unit)
  • make test_integration runs integration tests (./spec/integration) on bin/shards

Run make docs to build the manpages.


Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0. See LICENSE for details.

  github: crystal-lang/shards
  version: ~> 0.18.0
License Apache-2.0
Crystal >= 0.35.0, < 2.0.0


Dependencies 1

  • molinillo
    {'github' => 'crystal-lang/crystal-molinillo'}

Development Dependencies 0

Dependents 1

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