Installing Bazel on Ubuntu

Supported Ubuntu Linux platforms:

  • 18.04 (LTS)
  • 16.04 (LTS)

Install Bazel on Ubuntu using one of the following methods:

Bazel comes with two completion scripts. After installing Bazel, you can:

Installing using binary installer

The binary installers are on Bazel’s GitHub releases page.

The installer contains the Bazel binary. Some additional libraries must also be installed for Bazel to work.

Step 1: Install required packages

First, install the prerequisites: pkg-config, zip, g++, zlib1g-dev, unzip, and python3.

sudo apt-get install pkg-config zip g++ zlib1g-dev unzip python3

Step 2: Download Bazel

Next, download the Bazel binary installer named bazel-<version> from the Bazel releases page on GitHub.

Step 3: Run the installer

Run the Bazel installer as follows:

chmod +x bazel-<version>
./bazel-<version> --user

The --user flag installs Bazel to the $HOME/bin directory on your system and sets the .bazelrc path to $HOME/.bazelrc. Use the --help command to see additional installation options.

Step 4: Set up your environment

If you ran the Bazel installer with the --user flag as above, the Bazel executable is installed in your $HOME/bin directory. It’s a good idea to add this directory to your default paths, as follows:

export PATH="$PATH:$HOME/bin"

You can also add this command to your ~/.bashrc file.

Using Bazel's APT repository

Step 1: Install the JDK (optional)

If you want to build Java code using Bazel, install a JDK:

# Ubuntu 16.04 (LTS) uses OpenJDK 8 by default:
sudo apt-get install openjdk-8-jdk

# Ubuntu 18.04 (LTS) uses OpenJDK 11 by default:
sudo apt-get install openjdk-11-jdk

Step 2: Add Bazel distribution URI as a package source

Note: This is a one-time setup step.

echo "deb [arch=amd64] stable jdk1.8" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/bazel.list
curl | sudo apt-key add -

If you want to install the testing version of Bazel, replace stable with testing.

Step 3: Install and update Bazel

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install bazel

Once installed, you can upgrade to a newer version of Bazel with the following command:

sudo apt-get install --only-upgrade bazel