Installing Howl

Howl is developed on Linux, but it builds on other *NIX platforms as well such as FreeBSD and OpenBSD (with other *BSDs presumably requiring only little work). It should be possible to port to OSX or Windows, should any brave soul be willing to put in the work.

You can install Howl by building it from source, either from a release or by cloning the repository from Github.

Latest release

The latest release of Howl is 0.6. It was released at 2019-04-05, and is available for download from:

MD5: a47e8cc7c1f07de150b3320247f0daa5

SHA1: 912142d37ce20b3d87d9fb5ba548faec924d8856

Release notes: Howl 0.6 Released

Building Howl from source

Build requirements

Howl requires the following build dependencies:

If you’re running Linux and have Flatpak, all you need is flatpak-builder.

Downloading the sources

Download and unpack a Howl release, or get the source from Github, either by cloning the repository or by download a Zip-file of the desired branch/tag.


Compile Howl by issuing make from the src directory (gmake for *BSD). When building directly from a source checkout, in-app dependencies will automatically be downloaded for you using wget. Once it’s built, you can if you want run it directly as is from the src directory, like so: $ ./howl. To install it properly however, so that it integrates into your desktop, you’ll want to run the make install command.

Example session:

[nilnor@cohen:~/tmp]% git clone
Cloning into 'howl'...
remote: Counting objects: 7924, done.
Checking connectivity... done
[nilnor@cohen:~/tmp]% cd howl/src/
[nilnor@cohen:~/tmp/howl/src]% make -j 4
[snipped download and compiling]
make  49.44s user 4.21s system 81% cpu 1:05.74 total
[nilnor@cohen:~/tmp/howl/src]% sudo make install
[sudo] password for nilnor:
Installing to /usr/local..
All done.

Howl installs to /usr/local by default, but you can specify a different location to install to by specifying PREFIX to make, like so:

make PREFIX=~/.local
make PREFIX=~/.local install

NB: If you install to a non-standard location, your desktop environment might not pick up on the fact that Howl is installed, and the application icon will look ugly as the result.

Building using Flatpak

Change into the Howl source directory (which contains io.howl.Editor.yaml) and run:

flatpak-builder --force-clean --install root io.howl.Editor.yaml

This will build Howl via flatpak-builder and install it once the build is completed. Just re-run this again after a git pull to get the latest changes.

Tracking the latest from Github

We developers use Howl every day for our daily development, and we try our best to keep the master branch stable and suitable for production usage at all times. If you want to follow along with the latest updates for Howl, simply clone the repository from Github and build as per the above instructions. To update just pull the latest additions, and issue make again from the src directory. Don’t forget to make again though, as this would cause stale byte code to be loaded and confusion to arise.

Older releases

Howl 0.5.3 released 2017-11-07


MD5: 449950d26e56c0ddafe70a6e2cff6bc0

SHA1: 219bac3f2a29026f9945b45ab82af82277cc23cd

Howl 0.5.2 released 2017-10-06

MD5: 63b604888656212d94f2e98cc5bc2207

SHA1: 947742c70c141308f92426c79d8adf87fa078196


Howl 0.5.1 released 2017-07-06

MD5: 0529b657f441acbc2e334a3dcd2d49d9

SHA1: 1e48e4b2e50b6e587007a3de641349b57f4fbd1e


Howl 0.5 released 2017-06-30

MD5: 5d254146f174455156cabcbdf1f3c95c

SHA1: 5fb65ebd9e916ca8a63f42f3dce11c6245aeeec5


Howl 0.4.1 released 2016-10-14

MD5: 9ef463f4d8b31e8954e70e507fbb1858

SHA1: 1434af03c5bc9f10d64ef93ca0ae68ccc7092fee


Howl 0.4, released 2016-05-31


MD5: aa4761e657b2cedbae0f2f843731a17f

SHA1: 557fea5af8e6768ea6408ab2d11db63c0ae5fdf4

Howl 0.3, released 2015-09-02.


MD5: 30014d5a9d6adda87c8f0048afc25893

SHA1: 102f47badbcfd43c0c1f1d3921d70ba11767b0e4

Release notes

Howl 0.2.1, released 2014-04-29.


MD5: 8caf43a8631041677a4bc4df9c6c0f18

SHA1: 79a582e4b31012073e2dc15678814d5c46596fa9

Howl 0.2, released 2014-04-29.


MD5: 616598045baa8633f67af0a21c3afacf

SHA1: cbcebc01b1fe4762895e914d989c17457058f2ff

Howl 0.1.1, released 2014-03-15.


MD5: b7fe35018a7016e66b93920a67444b0d

SHA1: 9542dd53c25045e33732f7210b0c68ebff156d41

Howl 0.1, released 2014-03-15.


MD5: c8128a9d1510c91ae27603787b17010a

SHA1: 16cfdd89d537ca22881c1646832270165dd05d17