Pink + Purple == Fuchsia (a new Operating System)

Welcome to Fuchsia! This document has everything you need to get started with Fuchsia.

NOTE: The Fuchsia source includes Zircon, the core platform that underpins Fuchsia. The Fuchsia build process will build Zircon as a side-effect; to work on Zircon only, read and follow Zircon's Getting Started doc.


Prepare your build environment (Once per build environment)


sudo apt-get install texinfo libglib2.0-dev autoconf libtool libsdl-dev build-essential golang git build-essential curl unzip


Install the Xcode Command Line Tools:

xcode-select --install

Install the other pre-reqs:

  • Using Homebrew:
# Install Homebrew
/usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)"
# Install packages
brew install wget pkg-config glib autoconf automake libtool golang
  • Using MacPorts:
# Install MacPorts
# See https://guide.macports.org/chunked/installing.macports.html
port install autoconf automake libtool libpixman pkgconfig glib2

[Googlers only] Goma

Ensure goma is installed on your machine for faster builds.

Build Fuchsia

Get the source

Get the Fuchsia source and then return to this document.


If you added .jiri_root/bin to your path as part of getting the source code, the fx command should already be in your path. If not, the command is also available as scripts/fx.

fx set x86-64
fx full-build

The first command selects the build configuration you wish to build and generates the build system itself in an output directory (e.g., out/debug-x86-64).

The second command actually executes the build, transforming the source code in build products. If you modify the source tree, you can do an incremental build by re-running the fx full-build command alone.

Alternatively, you can use the underlying build system directly.

[optional] Customize Build Environment

By default you will get a x86-64 debug build. You can skip this section unless you want something else.

Run fset-usage to see a list of build options. Some examples:

fx set x86-64              # x86-64 debug build
fx set arm64               # arm64 debug build
fx set x86-64 --release    # x86-64 release build

[optional] Accelerate builds with ccache and goma

ccache accelerates builds by caching artifacts from previous builds. ccache is enabled automatically if the CCACHE_DIR environment variable is set and refers to a directory that exists.

[Googlers only: goma accelerates builds by distributing compilation across many machines. If you have goma installed in ~/goma, it is used by default. It is also used by default in preference to ccache.]

To override the default behaviors, pass flags to fx set:

--ccache     # force use of ccache even if goma is available
--no-ccache  # disable use of ccache
--no-goma    # disable use of goma

Boot Fuchsia

Boot from hardware

There are three options for booting Fuchsia on hardware: network booting (see below), booting from USB (see below), or installing Fuchsia on internal storage. In all cases you'll need to put some code on the target hardware, using a USB drive is a good option for doing this.

If you want to netboot or create a bootable USB drive, but not install Fuchsia, you can use the build-bootable-usb-gigaboot.sh script. If you plan to netboot, pass the -m and -f options to skip copying over the Zircon kernel and Fuchsia system images since the bootserver will supply these.

It may be useful to look at some of the hardware specific instructions. The Raspberry Pi 3 requires very different procedures and the other guides may help with hardware-specific firmware configuration.

Once your hardware is configured, you can run fx boot to start the bootserver.

Boot from QEMU

If you don't have the supported hardware, you can run Fuchsia under emulation using QEMU. Fuchsia includes prebuilt binaries for QEMU under buildtools/qemu.

The fx run command will launch Zircon within QEMU, using the locally built user.bootfs:

fx run

There are various flags for fx run to control QEMU's configuration:

  • -m sets QEMU's memory size in MB.
  • -g enables graphics (see below).
  • -N enables networking (see below).

Use fx run -h to see all available options.

Enabling Graphics

To enable graphics under QEMU, add the -g flag to fx run:

fx run -g

Enabling Network

Note: Networking support within QEMU is only available under x86_64.

First, configure a virtual interface for QEMU's use.

Once this is done you can add the -N and -u flags to fx run:

fx run -N -u $FUCHSIA_SCRIPTS_DIR/start-dhcp-server.sh

The -u flag runs a script that sets up a local DHCP server and NAT to configure the IPv4 interface and routing.

Explore Fuchsia

When Fuchsia has booted and displays the “$” shell prompt, you can run programs!

For example, to receive deep wisdom, run:


Select a tab

Fuchsia shows multiple tabs after booting. The currently selected tab is highlighted in yellow at the top of the screen. You can switch to the next tab using Alt-Tab on the keyboard.

  • Tab zero is the console and displays the boot and application log.
  • Tabs 1, 2 and 3 contain shells.
  • Tabs 4 and higher contain applications you've launched.

Note: to select tabs, you may need to enter “console mode”. See the next section for details.

Launch a graphical application

QEMU does not support Vulkan and therefore cannot run our graphics stack.

Most graphical applications in Fuchsia use the Mozart system compositor. You can launch such applications, commonly found in /system/apps, like this:

launch spinning_square_view

Source code for Mozart example apps is here.

When you launch something that uses Mozart, uses hardware-accelerated graphics, or if you build the default package (which will boot into the Fuchsia System UI), Fuchsia will enter “graphics mode”, which will not display any of the text shells. In order to use the text shell, you will need to enter “console mode” by pressing Alt-Escape. In console mode, Alt-Tab will have the behavior described in the previous section, and pressing Alt-Escape again will take you back to the graphical shell.

If you would like to use a text shell inside a terminal emulator from within the graphical shell you can launch moterm by selecting the “Ask Anything” box and typing moterm.

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