This document will guide you through the process of installing Singularity from source with the version and location of your choice.

Before you begin

If you have an earlier version of Singularity installed, you should remove it before executing the installation commands.

These instructions will build Singularity from source on your system. So you will need to have some development tools installed. If you run into missing dependencies, try installing them like so:


$ sudo apt-get update && \
    sudo apt-get install \
    python \
    dh-autoreconf \


$ sudo yum update && \
    sudo yum groupinstall 'Development Tools'

Install the master branch

The following commands will install the latest version of the GitHub repo master branch to /usr/local.

$ git clone
$ cd singularity
$ ./
$ ./configure --prefix=/usr/local --sysconfdir=/etc
$ make
$ sudo make install

Note that the installation prefix is /usr/local but the configuration directory is /etc. This ensures that the configuration file singularity.conf is placed in the standard location.

If you omit the --sysconfdir option , the configuration file will be installed in /usr/local/etc. If you omit the --prefix option, Singularity will be installed in the /usr/local directory hierarchy by default. And if you specify a custom directory with the --prefix option, all of Singularity’s binaries and the configuration file will be installed within that directory. This last option can be useful if you want to install multiple versions of Singularity, install Singularity on a shared system, or if you want to remove Singularity easily after installing it.

Install a specific release

The following commands will install a specific release from GitHub releases page to /usr/local.

$ VER=2.2.1
$ wget$VER/singularity-$VER.tar.gz
$ tar xvf singularity-$VER.tar.gz
$ cd singularity-$VER
$ ./configure --prefix=/usr/local --sysconfdir=/etc
$ make
$ sudo make install

Install the development branch

If you want to test a development branch the routine above should be tweaked slightly:

$ git clone
$ cd singularity
$ git fetch
$ git checkout development
$ ./
$ ./configure --prefix=/usr/local --sysconfdir=/etc
$ make
$ sudo make install

Remove an old version

Let’s say that we installed Singularity to /usr/local. To remove it completely, you need to hit all of the following:

$ sudo rm -rf /usr/local/libexec/singularity
$ sudo rm -rf /usr/local/etc/singularity
$ sudo rm -rf /usr/local/include/singularity
$ sudo rm -rf /usr/local/lib/singularity
$ sudo rm -rf /usr/local/var/lib/singularity/
$ sudo rm /usr/local/bin/singularity
$ sudo rm /usr/local/bin/run-singularity
$ sudo rm /usr/local/etc/bash_completion.d/singularity 
$ sudo rm /usr/local/man/man1/singularity.1

If you modified the system configuration directory, remove the singularity.conf file there as well.

If you installed Singularity in a custom directory, you need only remove that directory to uninstall Singularity. For instance if you installed singularity with the --prefix=/some/temp/dir option argument pair, you can remove Singularity like so:

$ sudo rm -rf /some/temp/dir

What should you do next? You can check out the quickstart guide, or learn how to interact with your container via the shell, exec, or run commands. Or click next below to continue reading.