Installing Bazel on macOS

This page describes how to install Bazel on macOS and set up your environment.

You can install Bazel on macOS using one of the following methods:

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

Installing using the binary installer

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

The installer contains the Bazel binary.1 Some additional libraries must also be installed for Bazel to work.

Step 1: Install Xcode command line tools

If you don’t intend to use ios_* rules, it is sufficient to install the Xcode command line tools package by using xcode-select:

xcode-select --install

Otherwise, for ios_* rule support, you must have Xcode 6.1 or later with iOS SDK 8.1 installed on your system.

Download Xcode from the App Store or the Apple Developer site.

Once Xcode is installed, accept the license agreement for all users with the following command:

sudo xcodebuild -license accept

Step 2: Download the Bazel installer

Next, download the Bazel binary installer named bazel-<version>-installer-darwin-x86_64.sh from the Bazel releases page on GitHub.

Note: on macOS Catalina, due to Apple’s new app notarization requirements, you will need to download the installer from the terminal using curl:

# Example installing version `3.2.0`. Replace the version below as appropriate.
export BAZEL_VERSION=3.2.0
curl -fLO "https://github.com/bazelbuild/bazel/releases/download/${BAZEL_VERSION}/bazel-${BAZEL_VERSION}-installer-darwin-x86_64.sh"

This is a temporary workaround until we fix notarization in our macOS release workflow (#9304).

Step 3: Run the installer

Run the Bazel installer as follows:

chmod +x "bazel-${BAZEL_VERSION}-installer-darwin-x86_64.sh"
./bazel-${BAZEL_VERSION}-installer-darwin-x86_64.sh --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.

If you are on macOS Catalina and get an error that “bazel-real” cannot be opened because the developer cannot be verified, you will need to re-download the installer from the terminal using curl as a workaround; see Step 2 above.

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, ~/.zshrc, or ~/.profile file.

All set! You can confirm Bazel is installed successfully by running the following command:

bazel --version

To update to a newer release of Bazel, download and install the desired version.

Installing using Homebrew

Step 1: Install Homebrew on macOS

Install Homebrew (a one-time step):

/bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL \
https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install.sh)"

Step 2: Install Bazel via Homebrew

Install the Bazel package via Homebrew as follows:

$ brew install bazel

All set! You can confirm Bazel is installed successfully by running the following command:

$ bazel --version

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

$ brew upgrade bazel