2 releases

✓ Uses Rust 2018 edition

0.0.4 Jun 30, 2020
0.0.3 Jun 15, 2020

#402 in Command line utilities

MPL-2.0 license

1.5K SLoC


Binaries for $HOME.

Homebins installs binaries and scripts to your $HOME directory, directly from vendor, without sudo and root.

See Install and Usage for more information.


With Go and Rust came a whole new collection of awesome commandline tools such as ripgrep, bat, exa, etc. Thanks to the generous sponsoring of build capacity on Github Actions, Travis CI, Azure Pipelines even well-established tools such as jq or pandoc can now conveniently ship their releases as binaries.

Homebins helps you download and install the latest releases of these awesome tools to your $HOME directory, so you no longer need to wait for your distribution to ship them or install compilers and build dependencies or visit dozens of Github pages for downloads.

Use cases

  • Get the latest release of bat or jq on Ubuntu LTS.
  • Install xsv or ripgrep on a server you don't have root access to.
  • Publish your tool without the tedious process of getting it into mainstream distributions.


  • Get command line tools like bat or ripgrep, precompiled and straight from upstream.
  • Touch only $HOME, at certain places.
  • Linux support, for x86_64 and perhaps other architectures.


  • Package and dependency management. We only deal with binaries.
  • Build software. Maintainers should do this.
  • System-wide installation. Leave this to distributions.
  • 32-bit systems. Do these still exist?
  • Support Windows or macOS. Use scoop or Homebrew.


  1. Make sure that git, curl, tar and unzip are installed.
  2. Add ~/.local/bin to your $PATH and ~/.local/share/man to your manpath (Ubuntu systems seem to do the latter automatically if $PATH is set up).
  3. Download the "homebins" artifact from the latest release.
  4. chmod a+x ./homebins
  5. ./homebins install homebins
  6. rm ./homebins

There's also a dotbot plugin at dotbot-homebins.


# List available binaries
$ homebins list
# Install bat and ripgrep
$ homebins install bat ripgrep
# List oudated binaries and update them
$ homebins outdated
$ homebins update
# Remove ripgrep again
$ homebins remove ripgrep
# Install a binary directly from a manifest file (see below)
$ homebins manifest-install my-tool.toml

See homebins --help for more information.


Homebins relies on manifests written in TOML to describe where to get a binary from and how to install it. By default it uses manifests from the Git repo at lunaryorn/homebin-manifests; support for custom manifest repositories is planned. It can also use manifest files directly with any of the manifest-* commands.


Homebins does not keep a database of installed manifests; it simply probes all known manifests and queries the version of the installed binary.

Write your own manifest

Manifests are a simple TOML file with some metadata and download instructions:

# The name of the utility. Must match the filename (i.e. jq.toml)
name = "jq"
# The version of the tool
version = "1.6"
# The URL of the website or Github repo
url = "https://github.com/stedolan/jq"
# The license(s), as SPDX license expression (see below)
license = "MIT"

# How to check whether the this manifest is installed
# The binary file to check for in ~/.local/bin
binary = "jq"
# The arguments to invoke the binary with to make it print its version
version_check.args = ["--version"]
# A regular expression to extract the version number from the output.
# Must have a single capturing group containing only the version number.
version_check.pattern = "jq-(\\d\\S+)"

# One or more installation instructions: This manifest requires two downloads
# to install.
# The URL to download
download = "https://github.com/stedolan/jq/releases/download/jq-1.6/jq-linux64"
# A blake2 checksum to verify the download.  We also support other checksums;
# prefer the one provided by the vendor, or blake2 if the vendor doesn't offer checksums.
checksums.b2 = "d08b0756d6a6c021c20610f184de2117827d4aeb28ce87a245a1fc6ee836ef42a3ffd3a31811ea4360361d4a63d6729baf328ac024a68545974de9f6b709733c"
# checksums.sha512 = ""
# checksums.sha256 = ""
# checksums.sha1 = ""
# Directly install the downloaded file as a binary named "jq".
# This copies the file to ~/.local/bin/jq.
# The "name" is optional; if missing it defaults to the filename of the URL.
name = "jq"
type = "bin"

# Another file to download; this time it's an archive.
download = "https://github.com/stedolan/jq/releases/download/jq-1.6/jq-1.6.tar.gz"
checksums.b2 = "c9be1314e9d027247de63492ee362e996ef85faf45a47ee421cad95ebde9188bff8d3fc7db64e717ab922e1052f3b1c1500f5589fc5b2199ab66effb000e442d"
# The file to install from the archive.
files = [
    # Install the entry jq-1.6/jq.1.prebuilt as manpage in section 1, named jq.1
    # This copies jq-1.6/jq.1.prebuilt from the archive to
    # ~/.local/share/man/man1/jq.1
    # Again "name" is optional and defaults to the filename of the "source".
    { source = "jq-1.6/jq.1.prebuilt", name = "jq.1", type = "man", section = 1 }
    # Homebins also supports fish completions: The following would copy
    # jq.fish to ~/.config/fish/completions/jq.fish but jq doesn't include fish
    # completion.
    # { source = "jq-1.6/jq.fish", type = "completion", shell = "fish" }

The info.license field uses SPDX license expressions.

See lunaryorn/homebin-manifests for more examples.


Copyright (c) 2020 Sebastian Wiesner sebastian@swsnr.de

This Source Code Form is subject to the terms of the Mozilla Public License, v. 2.0. If a copy of the MPL was not distributed with this file, You can obtain one at http://mozilla.org/MPL/2.0/.


~170K SLoC