The recommended way to install Silq is by using its Visual Studio Code plugin. This approach works for Linux, Mac, and Windows.

Please note that VSCodium also works if you choose to use it, or already have it installed and don’t want to install VS Code. The steps for either IDE are identical.

Install VS Code

First, install the general-purpose editor VS Code by following these instructions.

Install Plugin

Follow these instructions to install Silq’s VS Code plugin (more details on installing plugins can be found here):

  • Open code
  • Open the extensions tab (Ctrl+Shift+X)
  • Install vscode-silq

For more details on this plugin, see the extension’s GitHub repository

If there is an issue finding the extension from within VS Code, try these steps:

  • Look at the vscode-silq extension page and click on Install
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to open VS Code and install the extension

If that also fails, install the extension manually with these steps:

  • Download the extension as a .vsix file by clicking onDownload Extension under “Resources” on the vscode-silq extension page
  • Open the extensions tab in VS Code with Ctrl+Shift+X
  • Click on the three dots in the top right corner (…)
  • Select Install from VSIX
  • Navigate to the .vsix file you downloaded and select it

Unicode Input

We additionally recommend you follow our instructions on typing unicode symbols (useful when writing Silq programs).

Start Programming

To start programming, just create a file with extension .slq, and populate it with code, e.g.:

def main() {
  return H(x);

Run Type-Check

Type-checking now happens automatically, on save or on pressing F5:

Example of erroneous code

Example of erroneous code

Run Program

Programs with a main function can be run (i.e., simulated) by pressing F5 (see “Silq output” below):

Example of correct code

Alternative: Install from GitHub

You can also compile Silq from its GitHub source code:

The following instructions are targeted for Ubuntu, but should also work for other Linux distributions or Mac.


The following prerequisites are usually already installed on your system. If not, run (on Ubuntu)

sudo apt-get install -y build-essential git wget unzip

Install Silq

Run these instructions to install Silq:

git clone # clone the repository
cd silq && ./ && ./ # download dependencies and build project
# [ignore compilation warnings]

Now, you can run silq by

# (expected) error: no input files

Add Silq to Path

Optionally, you may also add the Silq binary to your path. This enables typing silq anywhere, regardless of the current directory:

# Typically not needed: create directory
sudo mkdir -p /usr/local/bin
# make sure the current directory is `/path/to/silq`
sudo ln -s $(pwd)/silq /usr/local/bin/silq

Then, you can just run silq anywhere:

# (expected) error: no input files

In the following, we assume you have followed this step. Otherwise, you have to call silq using its full path, e.g., /path/to/silq.

Run Type-Check

This command type-checks an erroneous program:

# create a file `erroneous` with a type error:
echo "def main(){ x:=H(false); }" > erroneous.slq
silq erroneous.slq # type-check the created file
# Expected error message:
# erroneous.slq:1:13: error: variable 'x' is not consumed
# def main(){ x:=H(false); }

Run Program

This command type-checks a correct program and simulates it:

# Create a correct Silq file:
echo "def main(){ x:=H(false); return measure(x); }" > correct.slq
silq correct.slq # type-check the correct file
# [no output]
silq correct.slq --run # run the correct file
# Outputs 0 or 1