Pkg is the standard package manager for Julia 1.0 and newer. Unlike traditional package managers, which install and manage a single global set of packages, Pkg is designed around “environments”: independent sets of packages that can be local to an individual project or shared and selected by name. The exact set of packages and versions in an environment is captured in a manifest file which can be checked into a project repository and tracked in version control, significantly improving reproducibility of projects. If you’ve ever tried to run code you haven’t used in a while only to find that you can’t get anything to work because you’ve updated or uninstalled some of the packages your project was using, you’ll understand the motivation for this approach. In Pkg, since each project maintains its own independent set of package versions, you’ll never have this problem again. Moreover, if you check out a project on a new system, you can simply materialize the environment described by its manifest file and immediately be up and running with a known-good set of dependencies.

Since environments are managed and updated independently from each other, “dependency hell” is significantly alleviated in Pkg. If you want to use the latest and greatest version of some package in a new project but you’re stuck on an older version in a different project, that’s no problem – since they have separate environments they can just use different versions, which are both installed at the same time in different locations on your system. The location of each package version is canonical, so when environments use the same versions of packages, they can share installations, avoiding unnecessary duplication of the package. Old package versions that are no longer used by any environments are periodically “garbage collected” by the package manager.

Pkg’s approach to local environments may be familiar to people who have used Python’s virtualenv or Ruby’s bundler. In Julia, instead of hacking the language’s code loading mechanisms to support environments, we have the benefit that Julia natively understands them. In addition, Julia environments are “stackable”: you can overlay one environment with another and thereby have access to additional packages outside of the primary environment. This makes it easy to work on a project, which provides the primary environment, while still having access to all your usual dev tools like profilers, debuggers, and so on, just by having an environment including these dev tools later in the load path.

Last but not least, Pkg is designed to support federated package registries. This means that it allows multiple registries managed by different parties to interact seamlessly. In particular, this includes private registries which can live behind corporate firewalls. You can install and update your own packages from a private registry with exactly the same tools and workflows that you use to install and manage official Julia packages. If you urgently need to apply a hotfix for a public package that’s critical to your company’s product, you can tag a private version of it in your company’s internal registry and get a fix to your developers and ops teams quickly and easily without having to wait for an upstream patch to be accepted and published. Once an official fix is published, however, you can just upgrade your dependencies and you'll be back on an official release again.


Project: a source tree with a standard layout, including a src directory for the main body of Julia code, a test directory for testing the project, docs for documentation files, and optionally a deps directory for a build script and its outputs. A project will typically also have a project file and may optionally have a manifest file:

Package: a project which provides reusable functionality that can be used by other Julia projects via import X or using X. A package should have a project file with a uuid entry giving its package UUID. This UUID is used to identify the package in projects that depend on it.


For legacy reasons it is possible to load a package without a project file or UUID from the REPL or the top-level of a script. It is not possible, however, to load a package without a project file or UUID from a project with them. Once you've loaded from a project file, everything needs a project file and UUID.

Application: a project which provides standalone functionality not intended to be reused by other Julia projects. For example a web application or a commmand-line utility, or simulation/analytics code accompanying a scientific paper. An application may have a UUID but does not need one. An application may also provide global configuration options for packages it depends on. Packages, on the other hand, may not provide global configuration since that could conflict with the configuration of the main application.


Projects vs. Packages vs. Applications:

  1. Project is an umbrella term: packages and applications are kinds of projects.
  2. Packages should have UUIDs, applications can have a UUIDs but don't need them.
  3. Applications can provide global configuration, whereas packages cannot.

Library (future work): a compiled binary dependency (not written in Julia) packaged to be used by a Julia project. These are currently typically built in- place by a deps/build.jl script in a project’s source tree, but in the future we plan to make libraries first-class entities directly installed and upgraded by the package manager.

Environment: the combination of the top-level name map provided by a project file combined with the dependency graph and map from packages to their entry points provided by a manifest file. For more detail see the manual section on code loading.

Registry: a source tree with a standard layout recording metadata about a registered set of packages, the tagged versions of them which are available, and which versions of packages are compatible or incompatible with each other. A registry is indexed by package name and UUID, and has a directory for each registered package providing the following metadata about it:

For each registered version of a package, the following information is provided:

Dependencies and compatibility are stored in a compressed but human-readable format using ranges of package versions.

Depot: a directory on a system where various package-related resources live, including:

Load path: a stack of environments where package identities, their dependencies, and entry-points are searched for. The load path is controlled in Julia by the LOAD_PATH global variable which is populated at startup based on the value of the JULIA_LOAD_PATH environment variable. The first entry is your primary environment, often the current project, while later entries provide additional packages one may want to use from the REPL or top-level scripts.

Depot path: a stack of depot locations where the package manager, as well as Julia's code loading mechanisms, look for registries, installed packages, named environments, repo clones, cached compiled package images, and configuration files. The depot path is controlled by the Julia DEPOT_PATH global variable which is populated at startup based on the value of the JULIA_DEPOT_PATH environment variable. The first entry is the “user depot” and should be writable by and owned by the current user. The user depot is where: registries are cloned, new package versions are installed, named environments are created and updated, package repos are cloned, newly compiled package image files are saved, log files are written, development packages are checked out by default, and global configuration data is saved. Later entries in the depot path are treated as read-only and are appropriate for registries, packages, etc. installed and managed by system administrators.

Getting Started

The Pkg REPL-mode is entered from the Julia REPL using the key ].

(v0.7) pkg>

The part inside the parenthesis of the prompt shows the name of the current project. Since we haven't created our own project yet, we are in the default project, located at ~/.julia/environments/v0.7 (or whatever version of Julia you happen to run).

To return to the julia> prompt, either press backspace when the input line is empty or press Ctrl+C. Help is available by calling pkg> help. If you are in an environment that does not have access to a REPL you can still use the REPL mode commands using the string macro pkg available after using Pkg. The command pkg"cmd" would be equivalent to executing cmd in the REPL mode.

The documentation here describes using Pkg from the REPL mode. Documentation of using the Pkg API (by calling Pkg. functions) is in progress of being written.

Adding packages

There are two ways of adding packages, either using the add command or the dev command. The most frequently used one is add and its usage is described first.

Adding registered packages

In the Pkg REPL packages can be added with the add command followed by the name of the package, for example:

(v0.7) pkg> add Example
   Cloning default registries into /Users/kristoffer/.julia/registries
   Cloning registry General from ""
  Updating registry at `~/.julia/registries/General`
  Updating git-repo ``
 Resolving package versions...
  Updating `~/.julia/environments/v0.7/Project.toml`
  [7876af07] + Example v0.5.1
  Updating `~/.julia/environments/v0.7/Manifest.toml`
  [7876af07] + Example v0.5.1
  [8dfed614] + Test

Here we added the package Example to the current project. In this example, we are using a fresh Julia installation, and this is our first time adding a package using Pkg. By default, Pkg clones Julia's General registry, and uses this registry to look up packages requested for inclusion in the current environment. The status update shows a short form of the package UUID to the left, then the package name, and the version. Since standard libraries (e.g. Test) are shipped with Julia, they do not have a version. The project status contains the packages you have added yourself, in this case, Example:

(v0.7) pkg> st
    Status `Project.toml`
  [7876af07] Example v0.5.1

The manifest status, in addition, includes the dependencies of explicitly added packages.

(v0.7) pkg> st --manifest
    Status `Manifest.toml`
  [7876af07] Example v0.5.1
  [8dfed614] Test

It is possible to add multiple packages in one command as pkg> add A B C.

After a package is added to the project, it can be loaded in Julia:

julia> using Example

julia> Example.hello("User")
"Hello, User"

A specific version can be installed by appending a version after a @ symbol, e.g. @v0.4, to the package name:

(v0.7) pkg> add Example@0.4
 Resolving package versions...
  Updating `~/.julia/environments/v0.7/Project.toml`
  [7876af07] + Example v0.4.1
  Updating `~/.julia/environments/v0.7/Manifest.toml`
  [7876af07] + Example v0.4.1

If the master branch (or a certain commit SHA) of Example has a hotfix that has not yet included in a registered version, we can explicitly track a branch (or commit) by appending #branch (or #commit) to the package name:

(v0.7) pkg> add Example#master
  Updating git-repo ``
 Resolving package versions...
  Updating `~/.julia/environments/v0.7/Project.toml`
  [7876af07] ~ Example v0.5.1 ⇒ v0.5.1+ #master (
  Updating `~/.julia/environments/v0.7/Manifest.toml`
  [7876af07] ~ Example v0.5.1 ⇒ v0.5.1+ #master (

The status output now shows that we are tracking the master branch of Example. When updating packages, we will pull updates from that branch.

To go back to tracking the registry version of Example, the command free is used:

(v0.7) pkg> free Example
 Resolving package versions...
  Updating `~/.julia/environments/v0.7/Project.toml`
  [7876af07] ~ Example v0.5.1+ #master ( ⇒ v0.5.1
  Updating `~/.julia/environments/v0.7/Manifest.toml`
  [7876af07] ~ Example v0.5.1+ #master ) ⇒ v0.5.1

Adding unregistered packages

If a package is not in a registry, it can still be added by instead of the package name giving the URL to the repository to add.

(v0.7) pkg> add
  Updating git-repo ``
 Resolving package versions...
Downloaded MacroTools ─ v0.4.1
  Updating `~/.julia/environments/v0.7/Project.toml`
  [e6797606] + ImportMacros v0.0.0 # (
  Updating `~/.julia/environments/v0.7/Manifest.toml`
  [e6797606] + ImportMacros v0.0.0 # (
  [1914dd2f] + MacroTools v0.4.1

The dependencies of the unregistered package (here MacroTools) got installed. For unregistered packages we could have given a branch (or commit SHA) to track using #, just like for registered packages.

Adding a local package

Instead of giving a URL of a git repo to add we could instead have given a local path to a git repo. This works similarly to adding a URL. The local repository will be tracked (at some branch) and updates from that local repo are pulled when packages are updated. Note that changes to files in the local package repository will not immediately be reflected when loading that package. The changes would have to be committed and the packages updated in order to pull in the changes.

Developing packages

By only using add your Manifest will always have a "reproducible state", in other words, as long as the repositories and registries used are still accessible it is possible to retrieve the exact state of all the dependencies in the project. This has the advantage that you can send your project (Project.toml and Manifest.toml) to someone else and they can "instantiate" that project in the same state as you had it locally. However, when you are developing a package, it is more convenient to load packages at their current state at some path. For this reason, the dev command exists.

Let's try to dev a registered package:

(v0.7) pkg> dev Example
  Updating git-repo ``
 Resolving package versions...
  Updating `~/.julia/environments/v0.7/Project.toml`
  [7876af07] + Example v0.5.1+ [`~/.julia/dev/Example`]
  Updating `~/.julia/environments/v0.7/Manifest.toml`
  [7876af07] + Example v0.5.1+ [`~/.julia/dev/Example`]

The dev command fetches a full clone of the package to ~/.julia/dev/ (the path can be changed by setting the environment variable JULIA_PKG_DEVDIR). When importing Example julia will now import it from ~/.julia/dev/Example and whatever local changes have been made to the files in that path are consequently reflected in the code loaded. When we used add we said that we tracked the package repository, we here say that we track the path itself. Note that the package manager will never touch any of the files at a tracked path. It is therefore up to you to pull updates, change branches etc. If we try to dev a package at some branch that already exists at ~/.julia/dev/ the package manager we will simply use the existing path. For example:

(v0.7) pkg> dev Example
  Updating git-repo ``
[ Info: Path `/Users/kristoffer/.julia/dev/Example` exists and looks like the correct package, using existing path instead of cloning

Note the info message saying that it is using the existing path. As a general rule, the package manager will never touch files that are tracking a path.

If dev is used on a local path, that path to that package is recorded and used when loading that package. The path will be recorded relative to the project file, unless it is given as an absolute path.

To stop tracking a path and use the registered version again, use free

(v0.7) pkg> free Example
 Resolving package versions...
  Updating `~/.julia/environments/v0.7/Project.toml`
  [7876af07] ↓ Example v0.5.1+ [`~/.julia/dev/Example`] ⇒ v0.5.1
  Updating `~/.julia/environments/v0.7/Manifest.toml`
  [7876af07] ↓ Example v0.5.1+ [`~/.julia/dev/Example`] ⇒ v0.5.1

It should be pointed out that by using dev your project is now inherently stateful. Its state depends on the current content of the files at the path and the manifest cannot be "instantiated" by someone else without knowing the exact content of all the packages that are tracking a path.

Note that if you add a dependency to a package that tracks a local path, the Manifest (which contains the whole dependency graph) will become out of sync with the actual dependency graph. This means that the package will not be able to load that dependency since it is not recorded in the Manifest. To update sync the Manifest, use the REPL command resolve.

Removing packages

Packages can be removed from the current project by using pkg> rm Package. This will only remove packages that exist in the project, to remove a package that only exists as a dependency use pkg> rm --manifest DepPackage. Note that this will remove all packages that depends on DepPackage.

Updating packages

When new versions of packages the project is using are released, it is a good idea to update. Simply calling up will try to update all the dependencies of the project to the latest compatible version. Sometimes this is not what you want. You can specify a subset of the dependencies to upgrade by giving them as arguments to up, e.g:

(v0.7) pkg> up Example

The version of all other packages direct dependencies will stay the same. If you only want to update the minor version of packages, to reduce the risk that your project breaks, you can give the --minor flag, e.g:

(v0.7) pkg> up --minor Example

Packages that track a repository are not updated when a minor upgrade is done. Packages that track a path are never touched by the package manager.

Pinning a package

A pinned package will never be updated. A package can be pinned using pin as for example

(v0.7) pkg> pin Example
 Resolving package versions...
  Updating `~/.julia/environments/v0.7/Project.toml`
  [7876af07] ~ Example v0.5.1 ⇒ v0.5.1 ⚲
  Updating `~/.julia/environments/v0.7/Manifest.toml`
  [7876af07] ~ Example v0.5.1 ⇒ v0.5.1 ⚲

Note the pin symbol showing that the package is pinned. Removing the pin is done using free

(v0.7) pkg> free Example
  Updating `~/.julia/environments/v0.7/Project.toml`
  [7876af07] ~ Example v0.5.1 ⚲ ⇒ v0.5.1
  Updating `~/.julia/environments/v0.7/Manifest.toml`
  [7876af07] ~ Example v0.5.1 ⚲ ⇒ v0.5.1

Testing packages

The tests for a package can be run using testcommand:

(v0.7) pkg> test Example
   Testing Example
   Testing Example tests passed

Building packages

The build step of a package is automatically run when a package is first installed. The output of the build process is directed to a file. To explicitly run the build step for a package the build command is used:

(v0.7) pkg> build MbedTLS
  Building MbedTLS → `~/.julia/packages/MbedTLS/h1Vu/deps/build.log`

shell> cat ~/.julia/packages/MbedTLS/h1Vu/deps/build.log
┌ Warning: `wait(t::Task)` is deprecated, use `fetch(t)` instead.
│   caller = macro expansion at OutputCollector.jl:63 [inlined]
└ @ Core OutputCollector.jl:63
[ Info: using prebuilt binaries

Creating your own projects

So far we have added packages to the default project at ~/.julia/environments/v0.7, it is, however, easy to create other, independent, projects. It should be pointed out if two projects uses the same package at the same version, the content of this package is not duplicated. In order to create a new project, create a directory for it and then activate that directory to make it the "active project" which package operations manipulate:

shell> mkdir MyProject

shell> cd MyProject

(v0.7) pkg> activate .

(MyProject) pkg> st
    Status `Project.toml`

Note that the REPL prompt changed when the new project is activated. Since this is a newly created project, the status command show it contains no packages, and in fact, it has no project or manifest file until we add a package to it:

shell> ls -l
total 0

(MyProject) pkg> add Example
  Updating registry at `~/.julia/registries/General`
  Updating git-repo ``
 Resolving package versions...
  Updating `Project.toml`
  [7876af07] + Example v0.5.1
  Updating `Manifest.toml`
  [7876af07] + Example v0.5.1
  [8dfed614] + Test

shell> ls -l
total 8
-rw-r--r-- 1 stefan staff 207 Jul  3 16:35 Manifest.toml
-rw-r--r-- 1 stefan staff  56 Jul  3 16:35 Project.toml

shell> cat Project.toml
Example = "7876af07-990d-54b4-ab0e-23690620f79a"

shell> cat Manifest.toml
deps = ["Test"]
git-tree-sha1 = "8eb7b4d4ca487caade9ba3e85932e28ce6d6e1f8"
uuid = "7876af07-990d-54b4-ab0e-23690620f79a"
version = "0.5.1"

uuid = "8dfed614-e22c-5e08-85e1-65c5234f0b40"

This new environment is completely separate from the one we used earlier.

Garbage collecting old, unused packages

As packages are updated and projects are deleted, installed packages that were once used will inevitably become old and not used from any existing project. Pkg keeps a log of all projects used so it can go through the log and see exactly which projects still exist and what packages those projects used. The rest can be deleted. This is done with the gc command:

(v0.7) pkg> gc
    Active manifests at:
   Deleted /Users/kristoffer/.julia/packages/BenchmarkTools/1cAj: 146.302 KiB
   Deleted /Users/kristoffer/.julia/packages/Cassette/BXVB: 795.557 KiB
   Deleted /Users/kristoffer/.julia/packages/WeakRefStrings/YrK6: 27.328 KiB
   Deleted 36 package installations: 113.205 MiB

Note that only packages in ~/.julia/packages are deleted.

Creating your own packages

A package is a project with a name, uuid and version entry in the Project.toml file src/PackageName.jl file that defines the module PackageName. This file is executed when the package is loaded.

Generating files for a package

To generate files for a new package, use pkg> generate.

(v0.7) pkg> generate HelloWorld

This creates a new project HelloWorld with the following files (visualized with the external tree command):

shell> cd HelloWorld

shell> tree .
├── Project.toml
└── src
    └── HelloWorld.jl

1 directory, 2 files

The Project.toml file contains the name of the package, its unique UUID, its version, the author and eventual dependencies:

name = "HelloWorld"
uuid = "b4cd1eb8-1e24-11e8-3319-93036a3eb9f3"
version = "0.1.0"
author = ["Some One <>"]


The content of src/HelloWorld.jl is:

module HelloWorld

greet() = print("Hello World!")

end # module

We can now activate the project and load the package:

pkg> activate .

julia> import HelloWorld

julia> HelloWorld.greet()
Hello World!

Adding dependencies to the project

Let’s say we want to use the standard library package Random and the registered package JSON in our project. We simply add these packages (note how the prompt now shows the name of the newly generated project, since we are inside the HelloWorld project directory):

(HelloWorld) pkg> add Random JSON
 Resolving package versions...
  Updating "~/Documents/HelloWorld/Project.toml"
 [682c06a0] + JSON v0.17.1
 [9a3f8284] + Random
  Updating "~/Documents/HelloWorld/Manifest.toml"
 [34da2185] + Compat v0.57.0
 [682c06a0] + JSON v0.17.1
 [4d1e1d77] + Nullables v0.0.4

Both Random and JSON got added to the project’s Project.toml file, and the resulting dependencies got added to the Manifest.toml file. The resolver has installed each package with the highest possible version, while still respecting the compatibility that each package enforce on its dependencies.

We can now use both Random and JSON in our project. Changing src/HelloWorld.jl to

module HelloWorld

import Random
import JSON

greet() = print("Hello World!")
greet_alien() = print("Hello ", Random.randstring(8))

end # module

and reloading the package, the new greet_alien function that uses Random can be used:

julia> HelloWorld.greet_alien()
Hello aT157rHV

Adding a build step to the package.

The build step is executed the first time a package is installed or when explicitly invoked with build. A package is built by executing the file deps/build.jl.

shell> cat deps/build.log
I am being built...

(HelloWorld) pkg> build
  Building HelloWorld → `deps/build.log`
 Resolving package versions...

shell> cat deps/build.log
I am being built...

If the build step fails, the output of the build step is printed to the console

shell> cat deps/build.jl

(HelloWorld) pkg> build
  Building HelloWorld → `deps/build.log`
 Resolving package versions...
┌ Error: Error building `HelloWorld`:
│ ERROR: LoadError: Ooops
│ Stacktrace:
│  [1] error(::String) at ./error.jl:33
│  [2] top-level scope at none:0
│  [3] include at ./boot.jl:317 [inlined]
│  [4] include_relative(::Module, ::String) at ./loading.jl:1071
│  [5] include(::Module, ::String) at ./sysimg.jl:29
│  [6] include(::String) at ./client.jl:393
│  [7] top-level scope at none:0
│ in expression starting at /Users/kristoffer/.julia/dev/Pkg/HelloWorld/deps/build.jl:1
└ @ Pkg.Operations Operations.jl:938

Adding tests to the package

When a package is tested the file test/runtests.jl is executed.

shell> cat test/runtests.jl
(HelloWorld) pkg> test
   Testing HelloWorld
 Resolving package versions...
   Testing HelloWorld tests passed

Test-specific dependencies

Sometimes one might want to use some packages only at testing time but not enforce a dependency on them when the package is used. This is possible by adding dependencies to [extras] and a test target in [targets] to the Project file. Here we add the Test standard library as a test-only dependency by adding the following to the Project file:

Test = "8dfed614-e22c-5e08-85e1-65c5234f0b40"

test = ["Test"]

We can now use Test in the test script and we can see that it gets installed on testing:

shell> cat test/runtests.jl
using Test
@test 1 == 1

(HelloWorld) pkg> test
   Testing HelloWorld
 Resolving package versions...
  Updating `/var/folders/64/76tk_g152sg6c6t0b4nkn1vw0000gn/T/tmpPzUPPw/Project.toml`
  [d8327f2a] + HelloWorld v0.1.0 [`~/.julia/dev/Pkg/HelloWorld`]
  [8dfed614] + Test
  Updating `/var/folders/64/76tk_g152sg6c6t0b4nkn1vw0000gn/T/tmpPzUPPw/Manifest.toml`
  [d8327f2a] + HelloWorld v0.1.0 [`~/.julia/dev/Pkg/HelloWorld`]
   Testing HelloWorld tests passed```


Compatibility refers to the ability to restrict what version of the dependencies that your project is compatible with. If the compatibility for a dependency is not given, the project is assumed to be compatible with all versions of that dependency.

Compatibility for a dependency is entered in the Project.toml file as for example:

Example = "0.4.3"

After a compatibility entry is put into the project file, up can be used to apply it.

The format of the version specifier is described in detail below.


There is currently no way to give compatibility from the Pkg REPL mode so for now, one has to manually edit the project file.

Version specifier format

Similar to other package managers, the Julia package manager respects semantic versioning (semver). As an example, a version specifier is given as e.g. 1.2.3 is therefore assumed to be compatible with the versions [1.2.3 - 2.0.0) where ) is a non-inclusive upper bound. More specifically, a version specifier is either given as a caret specifier, e.g. ^1.2.3 or a tilde specifier ~1.2.3. Caret specifiers are the default and hence 1.2.3 == ^1.2.3. The difference between a caret and tilde is described in the next section. The intersection of multiple version specifiers can be formed by comma separating indiviual version specifiers.

Caret specifiers

A caret specifier allows upgrade that would be compatible according to semver. An updated dependency is considered compatible if the new version does not modify the left-most non zero digit in the version specifier.

Some examples are shown below.

^1.2.3 = [1.2.3, 2.0.0)
^1.2 = [1.2.0, 2.0.0)
^1 =  [1.0.0, 2.0.0)
^0.2.3 = [0.2.3, 0.3.0)
^0.0.3 = [0.0.3, 0.0.4)
^0.0 = [0.0.0, 0.1.0)
^0 = [0.0.0, 1.0.0)

While the semver specification says that all versions with a major version of 0 are incompatible with each other, we have made that choice that a version given as 0.a.b is considered compatible with 0.a.c if a != 0 and c >= b.

Tilde specifiers

A tilde specifier provides more limited upgrade possibilities. With a tilde, only the last specified digit is allowed to increment by one. This gives the following example.

~1.2.3 = [1.2.3, 1.2.4)
~1.2 = [1.2.0, 1.3.0)
~1 = [1.0.0, 2.0.0)

Inequality specifiers

Inequalities can also be used to specify version ranges:

>= 1.2.3 = [1.2.3,  ∞)
≥ 1.2.3 = [1.2.3,  ∞)
= 1.2.3 = [1.2.3, 1.2.3]
< 1.2.3 = [0.0.0, 1.2.2]

Precompiling a project

The REPL command precompile can be used to precompile all the dependencies in the project. You can for example do

(HelloWorld) pkg> update; precompile

to update the dependencies and then precompile them.

Preview mode

If you just want to see the effects of running a command, but not change your state you can preview a command. For example:

(HelloWorld) pkg> preview add Plots


(HelloWorld) pkg> preview up

will show you the effects of adding Plots, or doing a full upgrade, respectively, would have on your project. However, nothing would be installed and your Project.toml and Manifest.toml are untouched.

Using someone else's project

Simply clone their project using e.g. git clone, cd to the project directory and call

(v0.7) pkg> activate .

(SomeProject) pkg> instantiate

If the project contains a manifest, this will install the packages in the same state that is given by that manifest. Otherwise, it will resolve the latest versions of the dependencies compatible with the project.


This section describes the "API mode" of interacting with Pkg.jl which is recommended for non-interactive usage, in i.e. scripts. In the REPL mode packages (with associated version, UUID, URL etc) are parsed from strings, for example, "Package#master","Package@v0.1", "". It is possible to use strings as arguments for simple commands in the API mode (like Pkg.add(["PackageA", "PackageB"]), more complicated commands, that e.g. specify URLs or version range, uses a more structured format over strings. This is done by creating an instance of a PackageSpec which are passed in to functions.

PackageSpec(name::String, [uuid::UUID, version::VersionNumber])
PackageSpec(; name, url, path, rev, version, mode, level)

A PackageSpec is a representation of a package with various metadata. This includes:

  • The name of the package.
  • The package unique uuid.
  • A version (for example when adding a package. When upgrading, can also be an instance of

the enum UpgradeLevel

  • A url and an optional git revision. rev could be a branch name or a git commit SHA.
  • A local path path. This is equivalent to using the url argument but can be more descriptive.
  • A mode, which is an instance of the enum PackageMode which can be either PKGMODE_PROJECT or

PKGMODE_MANIFEST, defaults to PKGMODE_PROJECT. Used in e.g. Pkg.rm.

Most functions in Pkg take a Vector of PackageSpec and do the operation on all the packages in the vector.

Below is a comparison between the REPL version and the PackageSpec version:

Package@0.2PackageSpec(name="Package", version="0.2")
Package=a67d...PackageSpec(name="Package", uuid="a67d..."
Package#masterPackageSpec(name="Package", rev="master")
local/path#featurePackageSpec(path="local/path"; rev="feature)
--manifest PackagePackageSpec(name="Package", mode=PKGSPEC_MANIFEST)
--major PackagePackageSpec(name="Package", version=PKGLEVEL_MAJOR)

An enum with the instances


Determines if operations should be made on a project or manifest level. Used as an argument to PackageSpec or as an argument to Pkg.rm.


An enum with the instances


Determines how much a package is allowed to be updated. Used as an argument to PackageSpec or as an argument to Pkg.update.

Pkg.add(pkg::Union{String, Vector{String})
Pkg.add(pkg::Union{PackageSpec, Vector{PackageSpec}})

Add a package to the current project. This package will be available using the import and using keywords in the Julia REPL and if the current project is a package, also inside that package.


Pkg.add("Example") # Add a package from registry
Pkg.add(PackageSpec(name="Example", version="0.3")) # Specify version
Pkg.add(PackageSpec(url="", rev="master")) # From url
Pkg.add(PackageSpec(url="/remote/mycompany/juliapackages/OurPackage"))` # From path (has to be a gitrepo)

See also PackageSpec.

Pkg.develop(pkg::Union{String, Vector{String})
Pkg.develop(pkgs::Union{Packagespec, Vector{Packagespec}})

Make a package available for development by tracking it by path. If pkg is given with only a name or by a URL the packages will be downloaded to the location by the environment variable JULIA_PKG_DEVDIR with .julia/dev as the default.

If pkg is given as a local path, the package at that path will be tracked.


# By name

# By url
Pkg.develop(PackageSpec(url="", rev="master"))

# By path (also uses url keyword to PackageSpec)

See also PackageSpec

Pkg.activate([s::String]; shared::Bool=false)

Activate the environment at s. The active environment is the environment that is modified by executing package commands. The logic for what path is activated is as follows:

  • If shared is true, the first existing environment named s from the depots in the depot stack will be activated. If no such environment exists yet, activate it in the first depot.
  • If s is a path that exist, that environment will be activated.
  • If s is a package name in the current project activate that is tracking a path, activate the environment at that path.
  • If s is a non-existing path, activate that path.

If no argument is given to activate, activate the home project, which is the one specified by either --project command line when starting julia, or JULIA_PROJECT environment variable.


Pkg.rm(pkg::Union{String, Vector{String})
Pkg.rm(pkg::Union{PackageSpec, Vector{PackageSpec}})

Remove a package from the current project. If the mode of pkg is PKGMODE_MANIFEST also remove it from the manifest including all recursive dependencies of pkg.

See also PackageSpec, PackageMode.

Pkg.update(; level::UpgradeLevel=UPLEVEL_MAJOR, mode::PackageMode = PKGMODE_PROJECT)
Pkg.update(pkg::Union{String, Vector{String})
Pkg.update(pkg::Union{PackageSpec, Vector{PackageSpec}})

Update a package pkg. If no posistional argument is given, update all packages in the manifest if mode is PKGMODE_MANIFEST and packages in both manifest and project if mode is PKGMODE_PROJECT. If no positional argument is given level can be used to control what how much packages are allowed to be upgraded (major, minor, patch, fixed).

See also PackageSpec, PackageMode, UpgradeLevel.

Pkg.test(; coverage::Bool=true)
Pkg.test(pkg::Union{String, Vector{String}; coverage::Bool=true)
Pkg.test(pkgs::Union{PackageSpec, Vector{PackageSpec}}; coverage::Bool=true)

Run the tests for package pkg or if no positional argument is given to test, the current project is tested (which thus needs to be a package). A package is tested by running its test/runtests.jl file.

The tests are run by generating a temporary environment with only pkg and its (recursive) dependencies (recursively) in it. If a manifest exist, the versions in that manifest is used, otherwise a feasible set of package are resolved and installed.

During the test, test-specific dependencies are active, which are given in the project file as e.g.

Test = "8dfed614-e22c-5e08-85e1-65c5234f0b40"

test = [Test]

Coverage statistics for the packages may be generated by passing coverage=true. The default behavior is not to run coverage.

The tests are executed in a new process with check-bounds=yes and by default startup-file=no. If using the startup file (~/.julia/config/startup.jl) is desired, start julia with --startup-file=yes.

Pkg.buildFunction.{String, Vector{String}){PackageSpec, Vector{PackageSpec}})

Run the build script in deps/build.jl for pkg and all of the dependencies in depth-first recursive order. If no argument is given to build, the current project is built, which thus needs to be a package. This function is called automatically one any package that gets installed for the first time.

Pkg.pinFunction.{String, Vector{String}){Packagespec, Vector{Packagespec}})

Pin a package to the current version (or the one given in the packagespec or a certain git revision. A pinned package is never updated.

Pkg.freeFunction.{String, Vector{String}){Packagespec, Vector{Packagespec}})

Free a package which removes a pin if it exists, or if the package is tracking a path, e.g. after Pkg.develop, go back to tracking registered versions.


If a Manifest.toml file exist in the current project, download all the packages declared in that manifest. Else, resolve a set of feasible packages from the Project.toml files and install them.


Update the current manifest with eventual changes to the dependency graph from packages that are tracking a path.

Pkg.setprotocol!(proto::Union{Nothing, AbstractString}=nothing)

Set the protocol used to access GitHub-hosted packages when adding a url or developing a package. Defaults to 'https', with proto == nothing delegating the choice to the package developer.