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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.


Homebrew is the package manager for macOS. If you use Homebrew, you can install GAP using the GAP Homebrew tap.

GAP Rsync (for Linux)

Frank L├╝beck offers a Linux binary distribution via remote syncronization with a reference installation which includes all packages and some optimisations.


Docker is a virtualisation software. There is a prebuilt Docker image for GAP and most of the packages, provided by Sebastian Gutsche, Olexandr 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. (macOS only) is a native macOS frontend and distribution of GAP, developed by Russ Woodroofe. The " + GAP" edition includes a fairly complete copy of GAP, and can be installed by simply downloading a disk image and dragging to the Applications folder. You can also install the built-in GAP for use from your usual terminal via the Install GAP Command For Shell menu option (found under the Gap menu in the GUI frontend).

The included GAP comes with working copies of most of the packages in the standard GAP distribution. is compatible with XGAP, and allows interactive display of subgroup lattices with the GraphicSubgroupLattice command. The version of GAP that comes with may lag slightly behind the very latest. Full details on the currently included GAP may be found in the FAQ.

Trying GAP online

You can try GAP in a Jupyter notebook running on Binder, following instructions from the README file in this repository.

It is also possible to use GAP via a free account on CoCalc (formerly SageMathCloud). The combination of GAP packages available there may differ from the one from the official GAP distribution; however, the maintainers of CoCalc would love to hear about any additional packages you would like to be installed or any questions you might have (email