Getting Started

Everything you need to know to install Red locally and begin writing your first project.

Installing Red locally

Here is a step by step guide of how to install Red locally:

  1. Download the correct Red binary version for your computer from here (takes only a few seconds, it’s less than 1MB). Save into a suitable folder.
  2. For Windows users, run it by double-clicking on the Red binary file. It will then automatically build the Red GUI-console. Next time you double-click on the file, the GUI-console will automatically open.
  3. For Linux/OSX users, you need to open a terminal app to be able to run Red. Once you have opened the terminal app, change to the directory in which you saved Red. Now do a: chmod u+x <red-binary> which will make sure that Red can be run on your computer. After that simply run Red using ./<red-binary>. This will build the Red console. Next time you run Red, the console will automatically open.

Done! No installer, no setup, no dependencies(*)! What, that’s all? Yes, there was a time when software used to be done right, that’s what we aim at bringing back. ;-)

(*) We have a temporary dependency on libcurl3 for Linux platform, so in case it is not installed or if you are running a 64-bit Linux, please check extra instructions from our download page.

Making a “Hello World”

Red comes with a interpreter in addition to the compiler, which can be easily accessed using the built-in REPL. Calling Red binary with no argument will open the console and allow you to interact with the language in live:

red>> print "Hello World!"
Hello World!

If you are running Red from Windows, you can also use the built-in GUI system and make a more appealing HelloWorld:

red>> view [text "Hello World!"]

Now try something more sophisticated:

red>> view [name: field button "Hi" [print ["Hi" name/text]]]

Yes, GUI programming can be that easy! See more about GUI capabilities in this GUI release post and have a look into the View reference documentation.

Compiling a “Hello World”

You can also compile your Red programs and get a single binary with no dependencies. You don’t have to install anything else, the Red binary you have downloaded already contains a complete toolchain for native compilation! Here is how to use it:

  1. In a code or text editor, write the following Hello World program:

    Red [Title: "Simple hello world script"]
    print "Hello World!"
  2. Save it under the name:

  3. From a terminal (works from DOS too), type:

    $ red -c
    $ ./hello
    or from DOS:
    > red -c
    > hello
  4. You should see the Hello World! output.

  5. Want to cross-compile to another supported platform?

    $ red -c -t Windows
    $ red -c -t Darwin
    $ red -c -t Linux-ARM

Cross-compilation done right: checked! ;-)

Here is a list of currently supported platforms:

MSDOS        : Windows, x86, console (+ GUI) applications
Windows      : Windows, x86, GUI applications
WindowsXP    : Windows, x86, GUI applications, no touch API
Linux        : GNU/Linux, x86
Linux-ARM    : GNU/Linux, ARMv5, armel (soft-float)
RPi          : GNU/Linux, ARMv5, armhf (hard-float)
Darwin       : macOS Intel, console-only applications
macOS        : macOS Intel, applications bundles
Syllable     : Syllable OS, x86
FreeBSD      : FreeBSD, x86
Android      : Android, ARMv5
Android-x86  : Android, x86

Compiling a GUI “Hello World”

Save the following code in file:

Red [Needs: 'View]
view [text "Hello World!"]

Compile and run it the same way as the first script (just replace the filename with Notice that compiled GUI apps requires a Needs: 'View declaration in the Red header block. This tells the compiler to import the View module, which contains all the GUI supporting code.

Going further…

You can now continue your journey discovering all the great features of Red through the following links:

Happy coding/hacking and have fun…that’s the whole point! ;-)

Download the Latest Stable Version of Red Download Red v0.6.4 →