Compiling from Source

Instead of downloading the binaries from the Cuneiform Download page, you can download the Cuneiform source code and compile the binaries yourself.


This guide is written assuming you are running a Ubuntu 15.10 or higher. The instructions may work identically on other Debian-based Linux distributions and should apply with only minor modifications to Unix-based operating systems like Suse, CentOS, Fedora, or Mac OS.


Compiling the source code requires no root access.


To compile Cuneiform from its source you need to install the following packages:

  • git
  • erlang
  • make
  • rlwrap

To do so, enter in a command line terminal:

sudo apt-get install git erlang make rlwrap

Make sure that you are running an Erlang emulater version 7.0 (OTP 18.0) or higher. You can check your Erlang version by entering:

erl -version

Additionally an installation of Rebar 3.0 is necessary. Download and compile Rebar 3.0 by entering:

git clone
cd rebar3

To install Rebar 3.0 on your system enter:

sudo cp rebar3 /usr/local/bin

Download and Compile

First, clone the Cuneiform source code repository from GitHub:

git clone

After entering the repository’s directory compile the source code using Rebar 3.0:

cd cuneiform

The compiled binaries are now located in the directory _build/default/bin. To install Cuneiform permanently on the system enter:

make install