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Getting Started

Welcome to the documentation about Zarf, the air-gap tool! Let's get you started down your Zarfing journey!

Installing Zarf

There are multiple ways to get the Zarf CLI onto your machine including installing from the Defense Unicorns Homebrew Tap, downloading a prebuilt binary from our GitHub releases, or even building the CLI from scratch yourself.

Installing from the Defense Unicorns Homebrew Tap

Homebrew is an open-source software package manager that simplifies the installation of software on macOS and Linux. With Homebrew, installing Zarf is super simple!

brew tap defenseunicorns/tap
brew install zarf

The above command detects your OS and system architecture and installs the correct Zarf CLI binary for your machine. Thanks to the magic of Homebrew, the CLI should be installed onto your $PATH and ready for immediate use.

Downloading a prebuilt binary from our GitHub releases

All Zarf releases on GitHub include prebuilt binaries that you can download and use. We offer a small range of combinations of OS and architecture for you to choose from. Once downloaded, you can install the binary onto your $PATH by moving the binary to the /usr/local/bin directory.

mv ./path/to/downloaded/{ZARF_FILE} /usr/local/bin/zarf

Building the CLI from scratch

If you want to build the CLI from scratch, you can do that too! Our local builds depend on Go 1.19.x and are built using make.

git clone
cd zarf
make build-cli # This builds all combinations of OS and architecture
mv ./build/{ZARF_FILE} /usr/local/bin/zarf

The make build-cli command builds a binary for each combinations of OS and architecture. If you want to shorten the build time, you can use an alternative command to only build the binary you need:

  • make build-cli-mac-intel
  • make build-cli-mac-apple
  • make build-cli-linux-amd
  • make build-cli-linux-arm

You can learn more about building here.

Verifying Zarf Install

Now that you have installed Zarf onto your path, let's verify that it is working by checking two things! First, we'll check the version of Zarf that has been installed with the command:

zarf version

# Expected output should look similar to the following
vX.X.X # X.X.X is replaced with the version number of your specific installation

If you are not seeing that, then it's possible that Zarf was not installed onto your $PATH, this $PATH guide should help with that.

Where to next?

Depending on how familiar you are with Kubernetes, DevOps, and Zarf, let's find what set of information would be most useful to you!

  • If you want to dive straight into Zarf, you can find examples and guides in the Walkthroughs page.

  • More information about the Zarf CLI is available in the Zarf CLI page, or by browsing through the help descriptions of all the commands available through zarf --help.

  • More information about the packages that Zarf create and deploy is available in the Understanding Zarf Packages page.

  • If you want to take a step back and better understand the problem Zarf is trying to solve, you can find more context in the Understand the Basics and Core Concepts page.