Note: LilyPond is a text-based music engraver; it is more similar to a programming language than a graphical score editing program. Before downloading LilyPond, please read about our Text input.

Generic Packages or Distribution-Specific Packages?

Many distributions include LilyPond within their normal package repositories that are often significantly older than the current stable version. While these older packages may be easier to install, we strongly recommend that you use our generic packages. In this case, check that your LilyPond editor is using the correct version. See Easier editing.

Generic Packages



In the shell, type:

sh lilypond-2.20.0-OS-TYPE.sh


In the shell, type:



In the shell, type:

sh lilypond-2.20.0-OS-TYPE.sh --help

Compiling a file

Note: These instructions assume that you are familiar with command-line programs. If you are using any of the programs described in Easier editing, consult the documentation for those programs should you have any problems.

Step 1. Create your ‘.ly’ file

Create a text file called ‘test.ly’ and enter:

\version "2.20.0"
  c' e' g' e'

Step 2. Compile (with command-line)

To process ‘test.ly’, type the following at the command prompt:

lilypond test.ly

You will see something resembling:

GNU LilyPond 2.20.0
Processing `test.ly'
Interpreting music...
Preprocessing graphical objects...
Solving 1 page-breaking chunks...[1: 1 pages]
Drawing systems...
Layout output to `test.ps'...
Converting to `./test.pdf'...
Success: compilation successfully completed

Step 3. View output

You may view or print the resulting ‘test.pdf’.


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