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Alternative Ways of Getting GAP

Alternative GAP distributions

To obtain a fully functional GAP installation you need not only to compile the core system, but also some of its packages. If you install GAP as described on the page Downloading and Installing GAP 4, then after compiling the core GAP system you have to run in the pkg subdirectory the shell script or in order to build most of the packages that require compilation provided sufficiently many libraries, headers and tools are available.

You might want to consider one of the alternative installation methods below which simplify the installation of GAP and its packages by further automation or by offering precompiled binaries.


Homebrew is the package manager for OS X. It has a formula to install GAP, provided by Alexey Muranov. If you have installed Homebrew, for the new GAP installation you need to call these two commands:
brew update
brew install homebrew/science/gap --with-packages
To upgrade existing GAP installation made with Homebrew, call
brew update
brew upgrade gap
This may take some time, so please be patient.


BOB is a tool developed by Max Neunhöffer to download and build GAP and its packages from source on Linux and OS X. You need a C-compiler and some libraries installed on your system but BOB will tell you exactly what is missing.


Docker is a virtualisation software. There is a prebuilt Docker image for GAP and most of the packages, provided by Sebastian Gutsche, Alexander Konovalov and Sarah Mount. It contains additional software, used by some GAP packages, including Ubuntu packages libmpfr-dev, libmpfi-dev libmpc-dev libfplll-dev (needed by the Float package), PARI/GP, Polymake, Singular and 4ti2. If you have installed Docker, first you need to download the GAP container using

docker pull gapsystem/gap-docker
After that, you may just type
docker run --rm -i -t gapsystem/gap-docker gap
to start GAP. Note that you may have to run it with sudo, particularly if you are on Ubuntu. Further instructions could be found here.

GAP Rsync

Frank Lübeck offers a Linux binary distribution via remote syncronization with a reference installation which includes all packages and some optimisations.

Alternatives to GAP downloads

If you cannot download GAP directly from the web pages, there are some further alternatives.

GAP FTP Server

You can use anonymous ftp. The following ftp server carries the official GAP distribution:

Trying GAP

It is possible to get an account in the MEDICIS computers in order to try GAP, as well as other computer algebra systems. To get more information you can read their web page or send an email.

GAP on CDs

We do not normally produce CDs containing GAP. In the exceptional case when you are unable to get GAP any other way, please contact us at