Skip to content

Using the compiler

Inko's compiler is available through the inko command.

Compiling and running

To compile and then run a file, use the inko run command:

inko run hello.inko

This command is useful when running simple scripts or during the development of your project. If your program defines any command line flags, specify them after the file to run:

inko run hello.inko --foo=bar

Any flags specified before the file to run are treated as flags for the run command.

Compiling without running

The inko run command requires your source code to be available, and compiles it from scratch every time. To avoid this, we can build a standalone executable using the inko build command:

inko build hello.inko

The resulting executable is located at ./build/hello. By default the compiler enables a reasonable number of optimisations, without sacrificing compile times. You can either disable optimisations entirely, of enable more aggressively optimisations at the cost of compile times increasing:

inko build --opt none hello.inko       # No optimisations
inko build --opt aggressive hello.inko # Aggressive optimisations

For --opt none the executable is placed in ./build/none/hello, and ./build/aggressive/hello for --opt aggressive.


Only use --opt aggressive if you have determined the increase in compile times is worth the increase in runtime performance. Most users will want to avoid this option entirely.

You can specify an alternative output path using the -o option:

inko build -o /tmp/hello hello.inko

For more information, run inko --help.