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Alternative Ways of Getting GAP

Alternative GAP distributions

To obtain a fully functional GAP installation you need not only to compile the core system, but also some of its packages. If you install GAP as described on the page Downloading and Installing GAP 4, then after compiling the core GAP system you have to run in the pkg subdirectory the shell script ../bin/ in order to build most of the packages that require compilation provided sufficiently many libraries, headers and tools are available.

You might want to consider one of the alternative installation methods below which simplify the installation of GAP and its packages by further automation or by offering precompiled binaries. Please note that these alternatives may not provide access to the latest public GAP release, and it may take a while until they will be updated.


Docker is a virtualisation software. There is a prebuilt Docker image for GAP and most of the packages, provided by Sebastian Gutsche, Alexander Konovalov and Sarah Mount. It contains additional software, used by some GAP packages, including Ubuntu packages libmpfr-dev, libmpfi-dev libmpc-dev libfplll-dev (needed by the Float package), PARI/GP, Polymake, Singular and 4ti2. If you have installed Docker, first you need to download the GAP container using

docker pull gapsystem/gap-docker
After that, you may just type
docker run --rm -i -t gapsystem/gap-docker gap
to start GAP. Note that you may have to run it with sudo, particularly if you are on Ubuntu. Further instructions could be found here.

Trying GAP online

It is possible to use GAP via a free account on CoCalc (formerly SageMathCloud). Please be aware that the combination of GAP packages available there may differ from the one from the official GAP distribution.

Not updated at the moment


Homebrew is the package manager for macOS. It had a formula to install GAP, provided by Alexey Muranov, which is no longer available due to the deprecation of homebrew-science. We are working on migrating the formula to homebrew-core.


BOB is a tool developed by Max Neunhöffer to download and build GAP and its packages from source on Linux and OS X. It required a C-compiler and some libraries installed on the system, and was able to tell exactly which dependencies were missing. The last GAP release provided by BOB was GAP 4.7.9.

GAP Rsync

Frank L├╝beck has been offering a Linux binary distribution via remote syncronization with a reference installation which includes all packages and some optimisations. The last GAP release provided by this service was GAP 4.7.6.