Raspberry Pi

How to Install Ninja Build System on Raspberry Pi

Ninja is a small and simple build system that allows users to build binaries from source code. It was developed by a Google Employee, Evan Martins and has been quite effective in building binaries faster than the most used “make” command. It is extremely effective in those scenarios where you have to build a large number of input files on the system.

This article will show you how to install the Ninja Build System on Raspberry Pi Linux.

How to Install Ninja Build System on Raspberry Pi

Ninja Build System is already available in the Raspberry Pi official system repository and you can install it through the following command:

$ sudo apt install ninja-build -y


Once the Ninja Build System installation is completed, confirm it using the following command:

$ ninja --version


Test Ninja Build System on Raspberry Pi

To test Ninja Build System, ensure “gcc” compiler is installed on your Raspberry Pi system as this will help run the C code on the system.

The following command will help install the gcc compiler on the Raspberry Pi system if it’s not installed.

$ sudo apt install gcc


After that, you have to write a C code using nano editor:

$ sudo nano hello.c

Add the following C code inside the file:

int main() {
      printf(“Type Message Here\n”);
      return 0;


Save the file using “CTRL+C”.

Note: You can write your own code.

Now create the default build.ninja file through the following command:

$ sudo nano build.ninja

And add the following lines inside the build file:

rule compile
  command = gcc -Wall -c $in -o $out

rule link
  command = gcc $in -o $out

build <input_file_name_during_build-operation>: compile <source_file_name>
build <output_file_name_after_build-operation>: link <input_file_name_during_build-operation>


input_file_name_during_build-operation: File name to appear during build.ninja process.

source_file_name: The name of the source file the user wants to build.

output_file_name_after_build-operation: Output file name after the build.ninja process. This file will be used as an output file.

Now, you can start building the source file using the ninja command as shown below:

$ ninja


Once the file is built, you can run the output file using the following command:

$ ./hello_out


Remove Ninja Build System from Raspberry Pi

To completely remove Ninja build system from Raspberry Pi, follow the below-given command:

$ sudo apt purge --autoremove -y ninja-build



Ninja Build System is used to build binaries from source code at a much faster rate compared to the make command. You can install this system directly from the source Raspberry Pi repository and after the installation, you can test it by compiling a simple C code and building it through the Ninja file system as shown in the above guidelines.

About the author

Awais Khan

I'm an Engineer and an academic researcher by profession. My interest for Raspberry Pi, embedded systems and blogging has brought me here to share my knowledge with others.