Programming language: Crystal
License: GNU General Public License v3.0 or later
Tags: Package Management    
Latest version: v0.17.1

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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/openssl.cr
    branch: master

    git: https://github.com/ysbaddaden/minitest.cr.git
    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](docs/shard.yml.adoc) 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](docs/shard.yml.adoc)). 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 https://crystal-lang.org/install/ for instructions for your operating system.

  • molinillo

The shard molinillo needs to be in the Crystal path. It is available at https://github.com/crystal-lang/crystal-molinillo 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.

Needed for building manpages.

Getting started

It is strongly recommended to use make for building shards and developing it. The [Makefile](./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](./LICENSE) for details.

*Note that all licence references and agreements mentioned in the shards README section above are relevant to that project's source code only.