Note: LilyPond is a text-based music engraver; it is more similar to a programming language than a graphical score editing program. Before downloading LilyPond, please read about our Text input.

Generic Packages or Distribution-Specific Packages?

Many distributions already include LilyPond within their normal package repositories and these are often much easier to install than the generic packages found here. However the version of LilyPond in those repositories may be significantly older than the current stable version. If you wish to use our generic packages, please check that your LilyPond editor is using the correct version of lilypond. See Easier editing.

Generic Packages



In the shell, type:

sh lilypond-2.18.2-OS-TYPE.sh


In the shell, type:



In the shell, type:

sh lilypond-2.18.2-OS-TYPE.sh --help

Distribution-specific Packages

Please use your distribution’s package manager to install or upgrade to these versions.

Compiling a file

Note: These instructions assume that you are familiar with command-line programs. If you are using any of the programs described in Easier editing, please consult the documentation for those programs if you have any problems compiling a file.

Step 1. Create your ‘.ly’ file

Create a text file called ‘test.ly’ and enter:

\version "2.18.2"
  c' e' g' e'

Step 2. Compile (with command-line)

To process ‘test.ly’, type the following at the command prompt:

lilypond test.ly

You will see something resembling:

GNU LilyPond 2.18.2
Processing `test.ly'
Interpreting music...
Preprocessing graphical objects...
Solving 1 page-breaking chunks...[1: 1 pages]
Drawing systems...
Layout output to `test.ps'...
Converting to `./test.pdf'...
Success: compilation successfully completed

Step 3. View output

You may view or print the resulting ‘test.pdf’.


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