GraalVM Updater

Oracle GraalVM Enterprise Edition 19 contains GraalVM Updater command line utility, gu, to add support for additional features.

These are:

To assist a user with the installation, these features are pre-packaged as Components. These components are not part of the GraalVM Enterprise core distribution and must be downloaded and installed separately. GraalVM Updater also verifies whether the version of the component is appropriate for a current installation. Component packages are released for each GraalVM Enterprise distribution with respective updates. Component packages downloaded for previous release(s) cannot be used with newer ones.

The source code of the tool is located in the <GRAALVM_HOME>/lib/installer folder. To start using the gu installer tool, resolve the PATH environment variable to the GraalVM /bin directory.

GraalVM Updater Commands Overview

There is a command-line help available by running gu or gu -h. Run gu <command> -h to get help specific for the particular command, for example, gu install -h.

Usage Description
gu info [-cClLnprstuvV] <param> Print the information about specific component (from file, URL or catalog).
gu available [-aClvV] <expr> List components available in the catalog.
gu install [-0cCDfFiLnorsuvyxY] <param> Install a component package.
gu list [-clv] <expression> List installed components, or components from catalog.
gu rebuild-images Rebuild native images.
gu remove [-0Dfxv] <id> Uninstall a component.
gu update [-cCnLsux] [<ver>] [<param>] Upgrade to the recent GraalVM version.
gu <command> -h Print help message about a specific command.
Option Description
--auto-yes, -A Say YES or ACCEPT to a question.
--catalog, -c Treat parameters as component IDs from catalog of GraalVM components. This is the default.
--local-file, -L Treat parameters as local filenames of packaged components.
--debug, -d Enable debugging and print stacktraces.
--help, -h Print the help message.
--no-progress, -n Do not display download progress.
--non-interactive, -N Enable non-interactive mode. Fail when input is required.
--url, -u Interpret parameters as URLs of packaged components.
--verbose, -v Enable verbose output. Print versions and dependency information.

Installation Modes

Three modes of a component installation are supported:

Manual Installation

Depending on the GraalVM distribution, a user downloads the component package from Oracle Technology Network page and GraalVM Updater will install it. It requires accepting the License Agreement before downloading. The following pre-built components are available for GraalVM Enterprise:

With the already downloaded package archive, the component can be installed as:

gu -L install component.jar

where the -L option, equivalent to --local-file or --file, tells to install a component from a downloaded archive. However, a component may depend on other components (e.g. Ruby language depends on the LLVM toolchain). For example, gu -L install component.jar will fail if the required components are not yet installed. If all dependencies are downloaded into the same directory, a user can run:

gu -L install -D

Check gu --help or gu -C how to instruct GraalVM Updater to find and process required components as well.

Installation from Catalog

There is a list of components maintained by Oracle, allowing to install a component just by its ComponentId value:

gu install ComponentId

GraalVM Updater first downloads the list of components, then uses the information in the list to download the actual component package and installs it. To see which components are available in the catalog and get their IDs, and descriptive names, use:

gu available

To see more verbose output during the installation, like the download progress bar, print versions and dependency information, use the -v (--verbose) switch.

If a component being installed requires other components to be present, GraalVM Updater will search the catalog to find the appropriate component and install it as well. If required components could not be found, installation will fail.

When using custom catalog URLs, it is possible, as a convenience, to set environment variable GRAALVM_CATALOG pointing to the custom catalog’s URL. GraalVM updater will use URL found defined by GRAALVM_CATALOG in preference to the builtin ones.

Warning: By installing a component from catalog, GraalVM Enterprise would by default download it from GitHub. To prevent installation of a “community” component version, install it manually. The installation of the R language component is available only from catalog (gu install R).

Installation from Local Components Collection

Components can be downloaded manually in advance to a local file folder, or to a folder shared on the local network. GraalVM Updater can then use that folder instead of the catalog:

gu -C /path/to/download/directory

specifying the directory to use as components collection. It is possible to type components names (like ruby) instead of filenames. GraalVM Updater also attempts to find required dependencies in the local component collection.

Similar to the installation from catalog, the path to the directory that contains local components collection can be defined in the GRAALVM_CATALOG environment variable.

Installed on a machine components can be printed with:

gu list

A generic support R, Ruby and Python scripting languages will work out of the box in most cases. It is recommended to fine-tune system-dependent configurations, thus follow the recommendations in the component post-installation messages.

If a necessary component installed, check its version:

native-image --version
llvm-toolchain --version
ruby -v
Rscript --version
graalpython --version

Already installed on components can be printed with:

gu list

Rebuilding images

A set of GraalVM components that provide language implementations may change. Polyglot native image and polyglot native C library may be out of sync, particularly:

To rebuild and refresh the native binaries, use the following command:

gu rebuild-images [--verbose] polyglot|libpolyglot|js|llvm|python|ruby [custom native-image args]


Components may be uninstalled from the GraalVM Enterprise installation when no longer needed. To uninstall a specific component, use its ComponentId. Run gu list to find out the exact ComponentId. The command to uninstall the component is:

gu remove ruby

If more components end with, for example, ruby, the installer will print an error message that a component full name is required (org.graalvm.ruby). The uninstallation removes the files created during the installation. If a file belongs to multiple components, it will be removed when the last component using it is removed.


If GraalVM Updater needs to reach the component catalog, or download a component package, it may need to pass through the HTTP/HTTPS proxy, if the network uses one. On macOS, the proxy settings are automatically obtained from the OS. On Linux, ensure that the http_proxy and https_proxy environment variables are set appropriately before launching the gu tool. Refer to the distribution and/or desktop environment documentation for the details.

GraalVM Updater intentionally does not support an option to disable certificate or hostname verification, for security reasons. A user may try to add proxy’s certificate to the GraalVM default security trust store. A user can also download the components manually to a folder, and then use gu -L install /path/to/file or gu -C /path/to/download/dir install component to install from a local filesystem.

Replacing Components and Files

A component may be only installed once. GraalVM Updater refuses to install a component if a component with the same ID is already installed. But the installed component may be replaced. GraalVM Updater first uninstalls the component and then installs a new package. To replace component, use -r option, and the -L (--local-file or --file) option to treat parameters as local filename of a packaged component:

gu install -L -r component.jar
gu install -r ruby

The process is the same as if gu remove is run first and gu install next.

The GraalVM Updater also refuses to overwrite existing files if the to-be-installed and existing versions differ. There are cases when refreshing file contents may be needed, if they were modified or damaged. Use -o option:

gu install -L -o component.jar
gu install -o ruby

GraalVM Updater will just instruct to replace the contained files of a component. By default, it will not alter anything. Alternatively, use -f (--force) option, which disables most of the checks and allows to install non-matching versions.