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Manual Reference Pages  -  OPAM-INIT (1)


opam-init - Initialize OPAM state.


Common Options
Environment Variables
Further Documentation


opam init [OPTION]... [NAME] [ADDRESS]


The init command creates a fresh client state. This initializes OPAM configuration in ~/.opam (or the given --root) and configures the initial remote package repository.

Once the fresh client has been created, OPAM will ask the user if he wants ~/.profile (or ~/.zshrc, etc. depending on his shell) and ~/.ocamlinit to be updated. If --auto-setup is used, OPAM will modify the configuration files automatically, without asking the user. If --no-setup is used, OPAM will *NOT* modify anything outside of ~/.opam.

Additional repositories can be added later by using the opam repository command.

The state of repositories can be synchronized by using opam update.

The user and global configuration files can be setup later by using opam config setup.


ADDRESS (absent=
  Address of the repository.
NAME (absent=default)
  Name of the repository.


-a, --auto-setup
  Automatically setup all the global and user configuration options for OPAM.
-b, --keep-build-dir
  Keep the build directory. This is equivalent to setting $OPAMKEEPBUILDDIR to "true".
--compiler=VERSION (absent=system)
  Which compiler version to use.
-d, --build-doc
  Build the package documentation. This is equivalent to setting $OPAMBUILDDOC to "true".
  Name of the configuration file to update instead of ~/.profile or ~/.zshrc based on shell detection.
  Simulate the command, but don’t actually perform any changes.
-e TAGS, --external=TAGS
  Display the external packages associated to the given tags. This is deprecated, use ‘opam list --external’ instead
  This option registers the actions into the OPAM database, without actually performing them. WARNING: This option is dangerous and likely to break your OPAM environment. You probably want ‘--dry-run’. You’ve been warned.
-j JOBS, --jobs=JOBS (absent=4)
  Number of jobs to use when building packages.
-j JOBS, --jobs=JOBS
  Set the maximal number of concurrent jobs to use. You can also set it using the $OPAMJOBS environment variable.
  Save the result output of an OPAM run in a computer-readable file
-k KIND, --kind=KIND
  Specify the kind of the repository to be used (one of ‘http’, ‘local’, ‘git’, ‘darcs’ or ‘hg’).
-m MAKE, --make=MAKE
  Use MAKE as the default ’make’ command.
-n, --no-setup
  Do not update the global and user configuration options to setup OPAM.
  Do not verify the checksum of downloaded archives.This is equivalent to setting $OPAMNOCHECKSUMS to "true".
  Reject the installation of packages that don’t provide a checksum for the upstream archives. This is equivalent to setting $OPAMREQUIRECHECKSUMS to "true".
--shell=SHELL (absent=sh)
  Sets the configuration mode for OPAM environment appropriate for SHELL. One of one of ‘bash’, ‘sh’, ‘csh’, ‘zsh’ or ‘fish’.
  Call the solver and display the actions. Don’t perform any changes.
-t, --build-test
  Build and run the package unit-tests. This is equivalent to setting $OPAMBUILDTEST to "true".


These options are common to all commands.
--color=WHEN (absent=auto)
  Colorize the output. WHEN must be one of ‘always’, ‘never’ or ‘auto’.
  Specify user preferences for dependency solving for this run. Overrides both $OPAMCRITERIA and $OPAMUPGRADECRITERIA. For details on the supported language, and the external solvers available, see A general guide to using solver preferences can be found at The default value is -count(down),-count(removed),-notuptodate(solution),-sum(solution,version-lag),-count(new) for upgrades, and -count(removed),-notuptodate(request),-sum(request,version-lag),-count(down),-notuptodate(changed),-count(changed),-notuptodate(solution),-sum(solution,version-lag) otherwise.
  Debug option: Save the CUDF requests sent to the solver to FILENAME-<n>.cudf.
  Print debug message to stderr. This is equivalent to setting $OPAMDEBUG to "true".
  Like ‘--debug’, but allows specifying the debug level (‘--debug’ sets it to 1). Equivalent to setting $OPAMDEBUG to a positive integer.
  Print the git version if it exists and exit.
--help[=FMT] (default=pager)
  Show this help in format FMT (pager, plain or groff).
  Do not install base packages (useful for testing purposes). This is equivalent to setting $OPAMNOBASEPACKAGES to a non-empty string.
  OPAM will replace itself with a newer binary found at OPAMROOT/opam if present. This disables this behaviour.
-q, --quiet
  Be quiet when installing a new compiler.
--root=ROOT (absent=~/.opam)
  Use ROOT as the current root path. This is equivalent to setting $OPAMROOT to ROOT.
  Make sure nothing will be automatically updated or rewritten. Useful for calling from completion scripts, for example. Will fail whenever such an operation is needed ; also avoids waiting for locks, skips interactive questions and overrides the OPAMDEBUG variable.
  Specify the name of the external dependency solver. The default value is aspcud. Either ’aspcud’, ’packup’ or a custom command that may contain the variables %{input}%, %{output}% and %{criteria}%
  Fail whenever an error is found in a package definition or a configuration file. The default is to continue silently if possible.
  Use SWITCH as the current compiler switch. This is equivalent to setting $OPAMSWITCH to SWITCH.
--use-internal-solver, --no-aspcud
  Force use of internal heuristics, even if an external solver is available.
-v, --verbose
  Be more verbose, show package sub-commands and their output. Repeat to see more. Repeating n times is equivalent to setting $OPAMVERBOSE to "n".
  Show version information.
-y, --yes
  Disable interactive mode and answer yes to all questions that would otherwise be asked to the user. This is equivalent to setting $OPAMYES to "true".


OPAM makes use of the environment variables listed here. Boolean variables should be set to "0", "no" of "false" to disable, "1", "yes" or "true" to enable.

OPAMCOLOR, when set to always or never, sets a default value for the --color option.

OPAMCRITERIA specifies user preferences for dependency solving.The default value is -count(removed),-notuptodate(request),-sum(request,version-lag),-count(down),-notuptodate(changed),-count(changed),-notuptodate(solution),-sum(solution,version-lag). See also option --criteria

OPAMCURL can be used to select a given ’curl’ program. See OPAMFETCH for more options.

OPAMDEBUG see options ‘--debug’ and ‘--debug-level’.

OPAMDOWNLOADJOBS sets the maximum number of simultaneous downloads.

OPAMEXTERNALSOLVER see option ‘--solver’.

OPAMFETCH specifies how to download files: either ‘wget’, ‘curl’ or a custom command where variables %{url}%, %{out}%, %{retries}%, %{compress}% and %{checksum}% will be replaced. Overrides the ’download-command’ value from the main config file.

OPAMJOBS sets the maximum number of parallel workers to run.

OPAMLOCKRETRIES sets the number of tries after which OPAM gives up acquiring its lock and fails. <= 0 means infinite wait.

OPAMNO answer no to any question asked.

OPAMNOASPCUD see option ‘--no-aspcud’.

OPAMNOSELFUPGRADE see option ‘--no-self-upgrade’.

OPAMPINKINDAUTO if set, version control systems are detected when pinning to a local path.

OPAMREQUIRECHECKSUMS see option ‘--require-checksums’.

OPAMRETRY sets the number of tries before failing downloads.

OPAMROOT see option ‘--root’. This is automatically set by ‘opam config env --root=DIR’ when DIR is non-default or OPAMROOT is already defined.

OPAMSAFE see option ‘--safe’

OPAMSKIPVERSIONCHECKS bypasses some version checks. Unsafe, for compatibility testing only.

OPAMSOLVERTIMEOUT change the time allowance of the internal solver.

OPAMSTATUSLINE display a dynamic status line showing what’s currently going on on the terminal. (one of one of ‘always’, ‘never’ or ‘auto’)

OPAMSWITCH see option ‘--switch’. Automatically set by ‘opam config env --switch=SWITCH’.

OPAMUPGRADECRITERIA specifies user preferences for dependency solving when performing an upgrade. Overrides OPAMCRITERIA in upgrades if both are set.The default value is -count(down),-count(removed),-notuptodate(solution),-sum(solution,version-lag),-count(new). See also option --criteria

OPAMUSEINTERNALSOLVER see option ‘--use-internal-solver’.

OPAMUTF8 use UTF8 characters in output (one of one of ‘always’, ‘never’ or ‘auto’). By default ‘auto’, which is determined from the locale).

OPAMUTF8MSGS use extended UTF8 characters (camels) in OPAM messages. Implies OPAMUTF8. This is set by default on OSX only.

OPAMVAR_var overrides the contents of the variable var when substituting ‘%{var}%‘ strings in ‘opam‘ files.

OPAMVAR_package_var overrides the contents of the variable package:var when substituting ‘%{package:var}%‘ strings in ‘opam‘ files.

OPAMVERBOSE see option ‘--verbose’.

OPAMYES see option ‘--yes’.




Thomas Gazagnaire <>

Anil Madhavapeddy <>

Fabrice Le Fessant <>

Frederic Tuong <>

Louis Gesbert <>

Vincent Bernardoff <>

Guillem Rieu <>

Roberto Di Cosmo <>


Check bug reports at

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Opam 1.2.2 OPAM-INIT (1)

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