Install and manage CHICKEN Scheme versions
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Install and manage multiple CHICKEN versions.



Dust is a binary-based CHICKEN version manager. It lets one quickly install multiple CHICKEN versions and switch between them.

Platform Support

The following platforms are supported:

  • amd64 FreeBSD
  • amd64 GNU libc-based Linux
  • amd64 musl-based Linux

More platforms may be added in the future, however this is not a priority. If you'd like support for a particular platform, please let the author know.

Available Versions

The following versions can be installed:

  • 4.13.0
  • 5.0.0
  • 5.1.0
  • master


On Linux, you can download a precompiled version of the application:

wget -O dust$(uname -m)-linux
chmod +x dust

Alternatively, you can build the program from source. This requires an existing CHICKEN version 5.0 or newer and the OpenSSL development libraries:

chicken-install -n dust


Dust operates in one of two modes. It can either install CHICKENs into a system-wide installation directory (/opt/dust) or into a user-specific directory (specified by DUST_HOME).

In both cases, user files are isolated from one another, so this is really just a question of where you want to put things. In the former case, you'll need to initialise the installation directory by running dust init (as root), while the latter can be used without root permissions.


Refer to the program's help text for a list of commands:

Usage: dust <command> ...

  init <group>
  install [<name>] <version>
  switch <name>
  uninstall <name>

Managing CHICKEN Versions

To install and activate to a particular version of CHICKEN, use install and switch:

dust install 5.1.0
dust switch 5.1.0

You can also provide a name for an installed version, which allows you to have multiple instances of the same version installed at once:

dust install project-one 5.1.0
dust install project-two 5.1.0
dust switch project-one

To list available versions, use status. To remove a version, use uninstall:

dust uninstall project-two
dust uninstall 5.1.0

Installing Ad-hoc CHICKEN Versions

You can also use Dust to install CHICKEN into a particular directory rather than the standard location. To do so, specify a pathname (including at least one slash):

dust install 5.1.0 ./some/path

This version is self-contained and unmanaged in the sense that it won't appear in status output, you can't switch to it, and so on. To use it, just invoke its programs directly:



Evan Hanson


Dust is licensed under the 3-clause BSD license.