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Install depot_tools

Chromium and Chromium OS use a package of scripts called depot_tools to manage checkouts and code reviews.  
The depot_tools package includes gclient, gclgit-clrepo, and others.

Installing on Linux and Mac

  1. Confirm git and python are installed. git 2.2.1+ recommended. python 2.7+ recommended.

  2. Fetch depot_tools: 
    $ git clone https://chromium.googlesource.com/chromium/tools/depot_tools.git

  3. Add depot_tools to your PATH:
    $ export PATH=`pwd`/depot_tools:"$PATH"

    • Yes, you want to put depot_tools ahead of everything else, otherwise gcl will refer to the GNU Common Lisp compiler.
    • You may want to add this to your .bashrc file or your shell's equivalent so that you don’t need to reset your $PATH manually each time you open a new shell.

Installing on Windows

Preamble

Chromium is mostly designed to be run using the native Windows tools and the Msys (Git for Windows) toolchain. Cygwin is not recommended, and likely things will fail in cryptic ways.

Instructions

  1. Download depot_tools.zip and decompress it.
    • Do not use drag-n-drop or copy-n-paste extract from Explorer, this will not extract the hidden ".git" folder which is necessary for depot_tools to autoupdate itself. You can use "Extract all..." from the context menu though.
    • Do not extract to a path containing spaces. If you do, gclient will produce the error "update_depot_tools.bat was not expected at this time" or similar.
  2. Add depot_tools to the start (not end!) of your PATH:
    • With Administrator access:
      • Control Panel > System and Security > System > Advanced system settings
      • Modify the PATH system variable to include depot_tools
    • Without Administrator access:
      • Control Panel > User Accounts > User Accounts > Change my environment variables
      • Add a PATH user variable: C:\path\to\depot_tools;%PATH%
  3. Run gclient from the cmd shell. The first time it is run, it will install its own copy of various tools. If you run gclient from a non-cmd shell, it may appear to run properly, but python, and other tools may not get installed correctly (while it should work fine from a msys bash shell, you may still trip over bugs from time to time).
    • If you see strange errors with the file system on the first run of gclient, you may want to disable Windows Indexing.
    • If you see errors like "The system cannot execute the specified program", try installing "Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 Redistributable Package".
    • If it complains that it can't find python, make sure you don't already have a .gclient file in the same directory.
    • After running gclient open a command prompt and type where python and confirm that the depot_tools python.bat comes ahead of any copies of python.exe. Failing to ensure this can lead to overbuilding when using gn - see crbug.com/611087

See also Howto: depot tools

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