Installing exa

exa is a stand-alone binary that doesn’t require any dependencies or special permissions. This means that using it is as easy as downloading it and making sure it’s in a directory in your $PATH.

If a package is available for your OS, it’s easiest to let your package manager automatically handle the download and verification, as well as installing the man page and shell completion files.

If not, you can still install exa manually, or compile a copy yourself.

  • macOS

    The Homebrew package manager provides an exa binary, but you can also install manually.

  • Linux

    exa is available from many common Linux package managers.

  • Building from source

    How to download the source and build an exa yourself.

Binary downloads

Compiled versions of exa are hosted on GitHub. As with any software that you intend to run as root, make sure you know where your program is being downloaded from.

Installing with Cargo

If you have a recent version of Cargo installed (at least Cargo v0.5.0), you can use it to install exa:

cargo install exa

Cargo will build the exa binary and place it in the $HOME/.cargo directory, which you will have to place in your $PATH. This location can be overridden by passing the --root option to Cargo.

However, this installation method is only here for convenience: Cargo cannot yet handle automatic updates, and will not install shell completions or the man page. For this reason, it’s recommended to use the version provided by your OS’s package manager.