Creating and Publishing OCaml Libraries and Packages

Are you an OCaml developer looking to share your code with other developers? Do you want to contribute to the OCaml ecosystem by creating and publishing your own libraries and packages? Look no further, as we will guide you through the process of creating, packaging, and publishing your own OCaml libraries and packages.

OCaml is a powerful and expressive language that has its roots in the world of functional programming. It has gained popularity due to its type system, which ensures safe code and its ability to target many different platforms. OCaml also has a robust standard library, but it can’t cover every use case. This is why the community has developed a vast ecosystem of libraries and packages that extend the functionality of OCaml.

Getting Started

Before we dive into the details of creating and packaging your OCaml libraries, we need to set up a development environment in which to work.

Installing OPAM

The easiest way to set up your OCaml development environment is by using OPAM (OCaml Package Manager). OPAM is a package manager for OCaml that simplifies the process of installing and managing dependencies. To install OPAM, follow the instructions on the OPAM website.

When you have installed OPAM, you can use it to install the OCaml compiler and packages. For example, to install the version 4.12.0 of the OCaml compiler, run:

opam switch create 4.12.0
eval $(opam env)

Now you are ready to start building your own libraries and packages.

Creating a Project

In OCaml, a library is simply a collection of modules in a folder hierarchy. Packages, on the other hand, are directories with metadata files that define dependencies and other package-specific information.

To create a new library, navigate to the directory where you want to place it and run:

dune create library mylibrary

Dune is a build system for OCaml. It generates the boilerplate code and configuration files needed to build your library.

Now you have a folder hierarchy that looks like:


Developing Your Library

Now that you have a skeleton library, you can start adding your code. OCaml libraries are made up of modules, which can be organized in a folder hierarchy. You can define a module by creating a file with the same name as the module.

For example, if you want to create a module M in the mylibrary library, create the file mylibrary/, and add the following code:

module M = struct
  let x = 42

This code defines a module M that has a single value x that equals 42. To use this module, you need to open it:

open Mylibrary.M

let () =
  print_endline (string_of_int M.x)

This code prints 42 to the console.

Test your code by running:

dune runtest

This will compile and run the test code in the test/ directory.

Packaging Your Library

Before you can publish your library, you need to package it. A package is a directory with metadata files that define dependencies and other package-specific information.

Creating an OPAM File

The mylibrary.opam file is the metadata file for your package. It contains information about your package, such as its dependencies, authors, and version number. Here's an example opam file:

opam-version: "2.1"
name: "mylibrary"
version: "0.1.0"
maintainer: "Your Name <>"
authors: ["Your Name <>"]
homepage: ""
license: "MIT"
dev-repo: "git+"
depends: [
build: [
  ["dune" "build" "-p" name "-j" jobs]
  ["dune" "runtest"]

Fill in the appropriate values for your package. The depends field lists your package's dependencies. In this example, the only dependency is dune, which is the build system.

Building Your Package

To build your package, run:

dune build @install

This will create an install directory that contains the compiled code for your library. You can verify that the library compiles correctly by running the tests:

dune runtest

Publishing Your Package

Once you have built your package, you can publish it on OPAM. First, log in to your OPAM account by running:

opam login

Then, publish your package by running:

opam publish submit mylibrary.0.1.0 mylibrary.0.1.0.tar.gz

This will submit your package to the OPAM repository. Once it has been processed, it will be available for other developers to use.


Creating and publishing OCaml libraries and packages has never been easier. By following these steps, you can share your code with other developers and contribute to the OCaml ecosystem. If you have any questions or need help, the OCaml community is always happy to assist you. Happy coding!

Editor Recommended Sites

AI and Tech News
Best Online AI Courses
Classic Writing Analysis
Tears of the Kingdom Roleplay
HL7 to FHIR: Best practice around converting hl7 to fhir. Software tools for FHIR conversion, and cloud FHIR migration using AWS and GCP
Crypto Payments - Accept crypto payments on your Squarepace, WIX, etsy, shoppify store: Learn to add crypto payments with crypto merchant services
Model Shop: Buy and sell machine learning models
Graph DB: Graph databases reviews, guides and best practice articles
Managed Service App: SaaS cloud application deployment services directory, best rated services, LLM services