Get the source

Project Chrono is distributed as open source, so the preferred way for installing it is to clone the source code from our GIT repository and to build the libraries by compiling the source code.

Instructions for configuring and building the Chrono libraries are provided on the installation page.

Download precompiled binaries

We also provide both container images and precompiled binaries if you want to skip the build process:

Windows, Mac, and Linux users:

The latest release of Project Chrono is available as a Docker image.

Get the latest version

docker pull uwsbel/projectchrono:latest

Pull a specific release

docker pull uwsbel/projectchrono:8.0-vnc

See the Project Chrono Docker Repository for more information.


PyChrono is Chrono for Python. It is a module that can be installed in your Python environment so that you can access the functions of Chrono via the Python language. This can be an easier way to use Chrono because Python is more friendly than C++.

We support installation of PyChrono via the conda installer:

conda install -c projectchrono pychrono

For more details on the installation, refer to the PyChrono installation page.


This optional tool can be installed as an add-in for the SolidWorks CAD software. After installation of this add-in, a new exporter tool is availabnle in the right panel of SolidWorks: this can be used to generate .py files with PyChrono scene descriptions containing masses, constraints, etc.

The installer automatically detects the SolidWorks installation (SolidWorks v.2021 is tested and known to work at the moment, but other version may also work) and adds the Chrono add-in.


Chrono::SolidWorks add-in compatible with the current development branch of Chrono.

Chrono::SolidWorks add-in compatible with the development branch of Chrono up to and including commit #37ef79d.

Versions of the Chrono::SolidWorks add-in compatible with previous Chrono releases can be downloaded from the GiHub Releases page.

Useful tools

The following list contains useful third-party tools and libraries for building and/or using Chrono. If building Chrono from source, some of them are required/recommended (e.g., a GIT client, CMake for configuration, a compiler, etc.). If using preinstalled binaries, most of these are optional.

C++ compiler

A C++ compiler is required in order to build Chrono libraries and demos. Chrono requires a C++11 compliant compiler. The Chrono building process has been tested with Microsoft compilers (required version Visual Studio v.2013 or later), GNU compilers, and Intel compilers.

In case you do not have a C++ compiler already installed on your computer, you can download one of these free tools:

The initial release of Visual Studio 2015 gives an error when compiling Chrono. Using update 2 of Visual Studio 2015 fixes this problem (download it from this page. )

GIT client

A GIT client compiler is required in order to build Chrono libraries and demos. The C++ source code of Chrono is hosted on a GIT versioning system. You need a GIT client that allows you to clone and pull the most recent release from GIThub. There are many alternatives, but we suggest SourceTree.


The CMake tool is required in order to in order to build Chrono libraries and demos. CMake is cross-platform and available for many operating systems (choose the one that you need, ex. Windows, Linux, etc.). Download it from this site.

Irrlicht 3D

The Irrlicht library is required in order to compile the Chrono demos that use the IRRLICHT module 3D visualization. It is a cross-platform 3D visualization library, based on OpenGL and DirectX. Download it from this site.

The new release v.1.8.2 of Irrlicht is tested to be stable and working well with Chrono.
Release v.1.8.3 does not contain the precompiled 64bit dlls.
Release v.1.8.0 has some issues with soft shadows.


The optional MATLAB module in Chrono provides the support for interoperation with Matlab(TM). If you want to build that unit and to test its demos, you must have the Matlab API installed in your computer: that is distributed in the main Matlab software, so if you already have Matlab installed you are fine. If not, just do not compile and use the MATLAB module in the Chrono project. If you want to buy the Matlab software, go to


The optional POSTPROCESSING module in Chrono provides functionality for exporting simulation data in formats that can be rendered by external software. No libraries are needed to build or use this unit; however you may need raytracing software for processing the saved data. Currently, the POVray 3D raytracer is supported and tested. Download it from this site.


The optional POSTPROCESSING module in Chrono provides functionality for exporting simulation data. One of the output file formats is for plotting graphs with the free GNUplot tool. Download it from this site.