Installing Lean 4 on Windows #

This document explains how to get started with Lean 4 and mathlib.

If you get stuck, please come to the chat room to ask for assistance.

We'll need to set up Lean, an editor that knows about Lean, and mathlib4 (the standard library). Rather than installing Lean directly, we'll rely on a small program called elan which automatically provides the correct version of Lean on a per-project basis. This is recommended for all users.

Installing Visual Studio Code #

We recommend that everyone use VS Code as their editor for working in Lean. You can install VS Code for your operating system from

Installing git #

Dependencies between Lean 4 projects are implemented via pointers to git repositories, so you will need git installed on your computer.

You may have this set up already, in which case you can skip this step.

Otherwise, we recommend that you install Git for Windows. You will be asked many questions during installation, and we recommend you accept the defaults for all of them except for the default editor, for which you should select Visual Studio Code, rather than the default choice of vi.

We recommend running git config --global core.autocrlf input to make sure that you don't change the line endings of text files you edit.

Installing the lean4 extension in VS Code #

Open VS Code, and in the "activity bar" along the left hand edge of the screen click on the "extension" icon (image of icon).

In the search box that appears, type lean4, and then select the lean4 extension that appears, and click the install button.

Setting up elan and lean #

You can either have the VS Code extension install elan and lean for you, or do it manually. We recommend having the extension do it, but give instructions for both.

Have the extension install elan and lean #

Under the File menu, select New text file. A new window labelled Untitled-1 will appear.

There will be a prompt in this window saying Select a language, which you should click on and select Lean4. (You can alternatively find where VS Code says Plain text in the bottom right of your screen, and change the language here, or press ctrl+shift+p to open the command palette, and select Change language mode.)

Once you've set the language to Lean4, a dialog will appear in the bottom right of your screen, saying Failed to start 'lean' language server with a button Install Lean using Elan.

Click this button, and inside a terminal window within VS Code you should see the installation process begin. It will take on the order of a minute to download and install Lean.

When this finishes, return to the Untitled-1 editor, and type

#eval 18 + 19

If you see a blue underline appear under #eval, and the result 37 displayed in the right hand side Lean info view panel, then you have successfully installed Lean 4!

You can skip ahead to read the instructions about creating and working on Lean projects. This page will show you how to work with mathlib4, the main mathematical library for Lean, or to work with a new or existing project that depends on mathlib4.

Installing elan yourself #

Open a command prompt (cmd) and execute the following commands:

curl -O --location
powershell -ExecutionPolicy Bypass -f elan-init.ps1
del elan-init.ps1

Alternatively you can open a git bash window, and run

curl -sSf | sh

In either case, it should take about a minute to install elan. Afterwards, in VS Code you can open a text file and either set the language to Lean4 (or just save it with a .lean extension), and then try

#eval 18 + 19

as described above to check that Lean is responding to you.

You can now read the instructions about creating and working on Lean projects.