Cloning the stacks project

To clone the stacks project onto your local linux machine just type

$ git clone git://

on your command line. This assumes you have the linux tool git installed. It will create a directory called “stacks” which has all the tex files in the project (and the complete history of the project). To latex all tex files and obtain dvi files on you system type

$ cd stacks
$ make dvis

You can get all the pdfs by typing make pdfs instead. Play around with it!

If you do not have git installed, then you will usually be able to install it using your distributions package manager (or you may have to ask your administrator to do this). For example on Debian you would use

$ apt-get install git-core

and on Ubuntu you may have to preface that with sudo.

If you still use the windows operating system, then you can install msysgit. This will allow you to clone the stacks git repository by the age old point and click method. But I’m not sure this is too useful, since you still need some kind of make clone to be able to convert the tex files into dvis or pdfs. In that regard it may be better (if you haven’t already) to install Cygwin which gives you access to unix tools on windows (including git).

Zachary Maddock has reported success installing git on OS X (presumably using git-osx-installer) and using it to download the stacks project onto his Apple.

Of course a less nerdy and perhaps more efficient way to get the complete project (source files only) is to download stacks-git.tar.bz2. The advantage of having the git tool is that when you type

$ git pull

on the command line (inside the project directory) it will automatically look for updates and pull them in if there are any. In the file git-howto there are some hints as how to use the git tool and contribute to the stacks project. Much more information on using git can be found on its website.

2 thoughts on “Cloning the stacks project

  1. For somebody who is not already an expert, but wants to start contributing to the Stacks Project, where would you suggest that person begin? Are there some little projects that a non-expert could help out on (maybe writing up examples, writing solutions to some exercises, etc.)?

  2. Well, you can take a look at the todo list which is here
    and you can just read parts of the project and find mistakes (typos, misspellings, etc). Another worthwhile thing is to add alternative proofs of results which are already in the project; for example you can find a result and explain how to prove a less general version of it. Another good thing to do is, if you are a graduate student, and you are working through the proof of some result, and you happen to write a brief explanation of it in LaTeX, then you can send it in to and we’ll see if we can fit it in somewhere.

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