Installing Red on Linux or Mac


For safety reasons, DO NOT install Red with a root user. If you are unsure how to create a new user on Linux, see this guide by DigitalOcean.

Installing the pre-requirements

Please install the pre-requirements using the commands listed for your operating system.

The pre-requirements are:
  • Python 3.8.1 or greater
  • Pip 18.1 or greater
  • Git
  • Java Runtime Environment 11 or later (for audio support)

We also recommend installing some basic compiler tools, in case our dependencies don’t provide pre-built “wheels” for your architecture.

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -Syu python python-pip git jre-openjdk-headless base-devel

CentOS and RHEL 7

yum -y groupinstall development
yum -y install
sudo yum -y install zlib-devel bzip2 bzip2-devel readline-devel sqlite sqlite-devel \
  openssl-devel xz xz-devel libffi-devel findutils git2u java-11-openjdk

Complete the rest of the installation by installing Python 3.8 with pyenv.

Debian and Raspbian

We recommend installing pyenv as a method of installing non-native versions of python on Debian/Raspbian. This guide will tell you how. First, run the following commands:

sudo apt update
sudo apt -y install make build-essential libssl-dev zlib1g-dev libbz2-dev libreadline-dev \
  libsqlite3-dev wget curl llvm libncurses5-dev xz-utils tk-dev libxml2-dev \
  libxmlsec1-dev libffi-dev liblzma-dev libgdbm-dev uuid-dev python3-openssl git openjdk-11-jre

Complete the rest of the installation by installing Python 3.8 with pyenv.

Fedora Linux

Fedora Linux 30 and above has all required packages available in official repositories. Install them with dnf:

sudo dnf -y install python38 git java-latest-openjdk-headless @development-tools


Install Brew: in Finder or Spotlight, search for and open Terminal. In the terminal, paste the following, then press Enter:

/usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"

After the installation, install the required packages by pasting the commands and pressing enter, one-by-one:

brew install python --with-brewed-openssl
brew install git
brew tap caskroom/versions
brew cask install homebrew/cask-versions/adoptopenjdk11

It’s possible you will have network issues. If so, go in your Applications folder, inside it, go in the Python 3.8 folder then double click Install certificates.command.


openSUSE Leap

We recommend installing a community package to get Python 3.8 on openSUSE Leap. This package will be installed to the /opt directory.

First, add the Opt-Python community repository:

source /etc/os-release
sudo zypper ar -f${VERSION_ID}/ Opt-Python

Now install the pre-requirements with zypper:

sudo zypper install opt-python38 opt-python38-setuptools git-core java-11-openjdk-headless
sudo zypper install -t pattern devel_basis

Since Python is now installed to /opt/python, we should add it to PATH. You can add a file in /etc/profile.d/ to do this:

echo 'export PATH="/opt/python/bin:$PATH"' | sudo tee /etc/profile.d/
source /etc/profile.d/

Now, install pip with easy_install:

sudo /opt/python/bin/easy_install-3.8 pip

openSUSE Tumbleweed

openSUSE Tumbleweed has all required dependencies available in official repositories. Install them with zypper:

sudo zypper install python3-base python3-pip git-core java-12-openjdk-headless
sudo zypper install -t pattern devel_basis



Ubuntu Python Availability

We recommend using the deadsnakes ppa to ensure up to date python availability.

sudo apt update
sudo apt install software-properties-common
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:deadsnakes/ppa

Install the pre-requirements with apt:

sudo apt update
sudo apt -y install python3.8 python3.8-dev python3.8-venv python3-pip git default-jre-headless \

Installing Python with pyenv


If you followed one of the sections above, and weren’t linked here afterwards, you should skip this section.

On distributions where Python 3.8 needs to be compiled from source, we recommend the use of pyenv. This simplifies the compilation process and has the added bonus of simplifying setting up Red in a virtual environment.

curl -L | bash

After this command, you may see a warning about ‘pyenv’ not being in the load path. Follow the instructions given to fix that, then close and reopen your shell.

Then run the following command:

CONFIGURE_OPTS=--enable-optimizations pyenv install 3.8.1 -v

This may take a long time to complete, depending on your hardware. For some machines (such as Raspberry Pis and micro-tier VPSes), it may take over an hour; in this case, you may wish to remove the CONFIGURE_OPTS=--enable-optimizations part from the front of the command, which will drastically reduce the install time. However, be aware that this will make Python run about 10% slower.

After that is finished, run:

pyenv global 3.8.1

Pyenv is now installed and your system should be configured to run Python 3.8.

Creating a Virtual Environment

We strongly recommend installing Red into a virtual environment. Don’t be scared, it’s very straightforward. See the section Installing Red in a Virtual Environment.

Installing Red

Choose one of the following commands to install Red.


If you’re not inside an activated virtual environment, include the --user flag with all python3.8 -m pip install commands, like this:

python3.8 -m pip install --user -U setuptools wheel
python3.8 -m pip install --user -U Red-DiscordBot

To install without additional config backend support:

python3.8 -m pip install -U setuptools wheel
python3.8 -m pip install -U Red-DiscordBot

Or, to install with PostgreSQL support:

python3.8 -m pip install -U setuptools wheel
python3.8 -m pip install -U Red-DiscordBot[postgres]

Setting Up and Running Red

After installation, set up your instance with the following command:


This will set the location where data will be stored, as well as your storage backend and the name of the instance (which will be used for running the bot).

Once done setting up the instance, run the following command to run Red:

redbot <your instance name>

It will walk through the initial setup, asking for your token and a prefix. You can find out how to obtain a token with this guide, section “Creating a Bot Account”.


If it’s the first time you’re using Red, you should check our Getting started guide that will walk you through all essential information on how to interact with Red.