- Getting Started
- The Vala Reference Manual
- Other Resources
- Sample Code
- Projects Developed in Vala
- Companies that use/have used Vala
Vala - Documentation
Here is a staged approach to get familiar with the Vala compiler, related tools and the Vala language:
The first thing to do is install Vala for your platform and compile a small program to show everything is working.
The second activity is to skim over the Sample Code on this page and choose a topic that interests you. Compile one or more sample programs from that topic area and pay special attention to the use of the --pkg option with valac. This tells the Vala compiler which library binding the program should use. Cross-reference the name of the package with its API documentation at Valadoc.org. Valadoc.org is a great resource for finding bindings to libraries and becoming familiar with a library's API (Application Programming Interface).
The third activity is to get familiar with third party build tools and code editors. If you are unfamiliar with such development tools then a good set of starting options are an up to date version of GNOME Builder for editing Vala code. Then a build tool like Meson or CMake. GNOME Builder can create Meson build files and Autovala can create both Meson and CMake build files. These tools are useful for larger projects.
The fourth activity is to get inspired! Visit some of the Projects Developed in Vala linked to from this page. As a taster visit Akira and BirdFont. These are all GUI (Graphical User Interface) applications using the GTK 3 toolkit. Corebird and Gradio also use special attributes in Vala code to trigger Vala's code generation routines that make using GtkBuilder user interface files a lot easier. In those two projects' source code repositories look for files ending in .ui and the use of [GtkTemplate], [GtkChild] and [GtkCallback] attributes in Vala code.
The fifth activity is to become familiar with the resources available about the Vala language. The Vala syntax is heavily influenced by C#, but it is better to start looking at the Vala Tutorials available. If concepts like strong typing and objects aren't familiar to you then documentation for C# may help explain the underlying idea, but focus on the concept rather than the C# syntax. The syntax in Vala may be different. The Tutorials linked to on this page cover Vala itself and explanations for those coming from a C# or Java background. Vala also has a Reference Manual available online, for download as a PDF and as a Devhelp package available through distributions.
Vala is a community driven project so the sixth activity is to share your experiences. This helps consolidate your understanding and offer insight to others. Blogs posts and shared code repositories are common ways of doing this.
If you want some tips before start hacking in Vala, take a tutorial and see what you can do with this.
Vala Video tutorials Learn Vala and Gtk from Scratch by Alessandro Castellani (author of Akira)
Vala tutorials (a series of Video tutorials)
Tutorial for beginners and code samples(Gtk) - GNOME Developer Platform
Getting Started - Elementary OS tutorial, covering build system, packaging and Gtk GUI applications
Real book - Introducing Vala Programming: A Language and Techniques to Boost Productivity. Authors: Lauer, Michael
Flappy GNOME Tutorial - GTK is not a framework for animated games, but this tutorial shows the use of CSS in GTK 3.8+ by pushing it to its limits in a fun way
If you find any mistakes in the tutorials on wiki.gnome.org please feel free to correct them.
The Vala Reference Manual
The Vala Reference Manual for the latest Vala release is available from vala-project.org as:
The Vala Reference Manual is also available for your installed version of Vala as DevHelp from your distribution. For Red Hat based distributions, like Fedora, the package is vala-doc. For Debian based distributions, like Ubuntu and elementary OS, the Vala API version is also used in the package name. For example vala-0.40-doc is the documentation package for the Vala 0.40 API.
The manual is a work in progress and we welcome corrections and additions from the user community. The current draft can be found at Vala Reference Manual [Draft].
Genie is another programming language supported by the Vala compiler with a syntax closer to Python.
Genie Tutorials, Blogs and Code Examples - a page listing links to numerous tutorials, articles, blogs, code examples and projects
Developing Genie - a useful starting point if you want to improve the Genie scanner and parser, includes communication channels for developers and a detailed guide on downloading and compiling the Vala source code
Vala has bindings to over 250 libraries. A good starting place is to read valadoc.org. This site holds bindings' API documentation generated by Vala's valadoc tool. The site is currently hosted by Elementary OS. A desktop focused operating system with apps written in Vala.
List Of Bindings - The list aims to be comprehensive. Bindings are listed by how they are distributed: upstream libraries; Vala; the Vala Extra VAPIs repository and individuals
Generating Bindings - Using GObject introspection to generate a binding
Writing VAPI files manually - A document that explains how to write VAPI files for a C library manually, without GObject introspection
ValaDoc - Most of libraries API and examples
Planet Vala - An rss aggregator of blogs about Vala and more
Vala Journal - A periodic summary of what is going on around the Vala programming language (last post 2015)
Synchronization in Vala - Yorba blog posting
Interfaces in Vala - Yorba blog posting
The Vala Guide (pdf last change in 2010)
Introduction to asynchronous functions (blog article, in spanish)
Places to discuss and ask questions
GNOME Discourse - with Vala tag
StackoverFlow - with Vala tag
Elementary StackExchange - with Vala tag
Matrix Vala room PS You can find Ricotz there
Russian public page - Vkontakte Social Network
Discord - Discord Vala Channel
If you have trouble compiling an example try the latest release of Vala. Some distributions ship with older versions of Vala which may lack some features. Also make sure that the respective libraries are installed along with their header files (e.g. *-devel packages on RedHat/Fedora/SuSE, *-dev packages on Debian/Ubuntu).
Language Features and Introductory Samples
Basics: Collections, Files, I/O, Networking, IPC
Gee Samples (Collections: lists, sets, maps, iterables)
GIO Samples (Input/Output, file operations)
GIO Compression Sample (Inflating/deflating files)
GIO Settings Sample (Application settings)
GIO Networking Sample (Network socket communication)
Soup Sample (HTTP client / server)
D-Bus Basic Client/Server Samples (Inter-process communication)
D-Bus Client Samples (some "real world" D-Bus client examples)
Async Method Samples (using Vala's special syntax for async methods)
Work-stealing and managed blocking task scheduling: Similar behavior to Go scheduler
Task scheduling - WIP
Compose is a Functional templating for Vala.
- lazy evaluation using callbacks with native environments
- it's reusable since nodes can be isolated in functions
- it provides minimal compile-time correctness
- HTML5 elements support
GTK Samples (GUI toolkit)
GTK DnD Order ListBox widget by doublehourglass
GDL Sample (Docking widgets)
Mx Samples (MeeGo netbook UX toolkit)
WebKit Sample (Embeddable web browser engine)
StatusIcon Sample (Showing icons in the systray/notification area)
Vala Video tutorials Learn Vala and Gtk from Scratch
Multimedia and Graphics
GStreamer Samples (Multimedia: Audio, Video)
Cairo Sample (2D vector graphics)
Clutter Sample (Animation framework)
Pango Sample (Font rendering)
Poppler Sample (PDF rendering)
SDL Samples (Full screen graphics and game programming)
OpenGL Samples (2D and 3D graphics)
PulseAudio Samples (Audio playback)
MarkupParser Sample (Parsing simple XML files)
Plugin Sample (Loading modules at runtime)
Threading Samples (Concurrency and Synchronization)
Curses Sample (Terminal control library)
GSF Sample (Deflating ZIP archives)
GSL Samples (Numerical calculations)
Loudmouth Sample (Jabber instant messaging)
Lua Sample (Scripting)
Tiff Sample (Image loading/saving)
Shared Library Sample and how to call Vala code using GObject introspection
Deprecated Samples (Examples using deprecated libraries such as GNOME 2 panel applets)
Projects Developed in Vala
Autovala - A project manager for Vala that automatically creates and maintains CMake scripts.
DHGBinaryUtils - is a set of static routines (for convenience packed into classes) written in Vala that are aimed at facilitating storage and retrieval of data chunks from uint type variables.
Gee - Collection Library
Gpseq - A parallelism library for Vala and GObject
gtkaml - An Application Markup Language for GTK/Vala.
Valadate - Unit Testing Framework
vala-dbus-binding-tool - Create Vala D-Bus Interfaces from XML Specifications
Valadoc - Documentation generator for generating API documentation from Vala source code.
Valag - Vala Graphviz code tree and control flow graph generator
ValaBind - Valabind is a tool to parse vala or vapi files to transform them into swig interface files, C++, NodeJS-ffi or GIR.
Aroop - Aroop is vala language profile for object-pool-plus library. I hope it is faster than gobject profile for vala.
VLS - Basic Language Server for Vala
Vala Language Server - Visual Studio Code extension for a Vala Language Server
vala-grammar - Vala Syntax Highlighting for Visual Studio Code
vala-code - Vala language support for Visual Studio Code
Vala Language Server - Code Intelligence for Vala
ValaVerbalExpressions - Regular expressions in Vala made easy
Jaa - High-level wrapper over JSON
json-api-glib - The provided classes consist of serializable GLib.Object definitions producing conformant JSON API payloads.
EasyJSON - This class adds syntactic sugar to JSON-Glib. It's mainly meant for making it easy to generate JSON documents for sending to single-page web applications.
vapis - More Vapis
Option Guess - A helper for command line options
Vanat - Dependency Manager for Vala App under development!
liblog - Super simple logging functionality just here to try something out.
Console commands - Library to route command-line arguments to a Command pattern object, current implementation covers extension by inheritance or using closures.
Valabind - create bindings from vapi to nodejs, python, swig, c++
Valadate - Testing framework for GObject (Arrange >> Act >> Assert with Valadate)
valacef - WIP Vala bindings for Chromium Embedded Framework (CEF).
VSGI - VSGI is a middleware that interfaces different Web server technologies under a common and simple set of abstractions
Log4Vala - is a logging framework for Vala (or other GLib/GObject projects), heavily inspired by the syntax and architecture of Log4J and similar projects
Almanna - The Almanna ORM for Vala/GLib
Ambition - The Ambition MVC Framework for Vala
vast - vala and scientific numerical computation
GVS - GObject to GVariant serialization library
By Daniel Espinosa
VDA - Is a set of interfaces to access Data Bases written in Vala. There are a set of classes implementing VDA interfaces using GDA as backend. Allowing to use its features. A native backend is an implementation of VDA interfaces using the C and/or a Vala bindings of a database engine.
GXml - An XML library
GVLS - GNOME Vala Language Server (GNOME Builder(already in)|Elementary Code|Gedit)
libgtkflow - A universal library for drawing flow graphs with Gtk 3
GTK DnD Order ListBox widget by doublehourglass
GCanvas - A Clutter based canvas written in Vala
gtktester - Library with widgets for Gtk+ widget tests
Caroline - A simple Cairo Chart Library for GTK and Vala
Applications / Applets / Other Projects
Akira - Akira is a native Linux Design application built in Vala and GTK. Akira focuses on offering a modern and fast approach to UI and UX Design, mainly targeting web designers and graphic designers.
Aptik - Aptik is a proprietary(EULA) tool for migrating settings and data from an existing Linux system to a newly installed system.
Almanna - Object-relation mapping (ORM) for Vala/GLib
Ambition Framework - A "next-generation MVC web application framework", written in and targeted at the Vala programming language
pace - A simple graphical tool to edit pacman.conf
Baobab - Disk usage analyzer
Birdfont - A font editor
Brickman - Brick Manager for ev3de (OS for LEGO® MINDSTORMS EV3)
Cheese - Cheese is an application that takes photos and videos from your webcam.
Chess - GNOME Chess game
Corebird - A modern Gtk Twitter client
Cronopete - A backup utility, which aims to be a clone of Apple's Time Machine.
Dactl - Dactl is a configurations based application for creating custom data acquisition and control systems in the GNOME desktop environment(SCADA).
dactl-mcc-plugin - This plugin is an interface between Dactl and the MCC.
Déjà Dup - A backup utility.
Diodon - GTK clipboard manager.
Dockery - Dockery is a Docker GUI client written in Vala.
DVB Daemon - Daemon to setup your DVB devices, record and watch TV shows and browse EPG.
Ease - Presentation authoring tool for the GNOME desktop.
ev3devKit - This is a GLib/GObject based library that provides a number of programming interfaces for ev3dev, including user interface and device driver interface.
FeedReader - RSS desktop client
Folks - A library that aggregates people from multiple sources to create metacontacts.
Calculator - GNOME Calculator
Games - Simple game launcher for GNOME
Geary - An email application built for GNOME 3.
Gitg - git repository viewer for gtk/GNOME.
Gmail Notify - A Gmail notification app
Gnome Encfs Manager - A manager and mounter for EncFS stashes
Gnome media applet - A GNOME applet to simply mount/umount removable media
Gnome Pie - A visual application launcher for the Gnome Desktop
GNOME Scan - A scan library for GNOME
gst-plugins-cl - An OpenCL plugin for gstreamer written in vala
i4uc - An IDE for micro-controllers
Iagno - Strategy game
Komorebi - "Komorebi is an awesome desktop manager for all Linux platforms. It provides fully customizeable image and video wallpapers that can be tweaked at any time!"
LaTeXila - An integrated LaTeX environment
Lights Off - Logic game
Lingo - A dictionary application
Listaller - A distro-agnostic application management and software installation tool based on PackageKit
Lucruri - Todo list and note taking application.
Mahjongg - Mahjongg game
Mines - Minesweeper game
Mipsdis - MIPS32 disassembler for stripped ELF (without section tables)
moserial - A serial terminal for the GNOME desktop.
Multiplication Puzzle - A puzzle game.
Mutiara - A motif designer based on fractals. (2015)
Paldo Installer - Installer for the Paldo Linux Distro.
Pantheon Mail - An email client application.
Pasang Emas - Traditional board game of Brunei.
PDF PC - A fork from PDF Presenter Console with several new options and enhancements.
peek - "Simple animated GIF screen recorder with an easy to use interface"
Picsaw - Jigsaw puzzle game
Plank - The world's simplest dock
Quadrapassel - Tetris game
Rygel - A collection of UPnP/DLNA media devices for GNOME
Selene - audio/video converter for audio and video files. It supports almost every file format that you are likely to come across and can encode them to popular output formats like MKV, MP4, etc.
Shotwell - A photo organizer.
Simple Scan - Scanner application
SmartSim - Visual digital logic design and simulation package.
Swell Foop - Puzzle game
Switchboard - Modular desktop settings hub. (Elementary)
systemd - Graphical frontend for the systemd system and service manager.
Tetravex - Puzzle game
Vala - The Vala compiler itself is written in Vala.
Vala Terminal - A lightweight terminal based on VTE.
Vinagre - A VNC Client for the GNOME Desktop. (Parts of Vinagre is written in Vala.)
Xfmpc - A small MPD client.
Xfce4 Notes Plugin - A quick-to-scribble notes application.
Xfce4 Stopwatch Plugin - A plugin for the panel that keeps track of elapsed time
Xnoise - A media player.
Valum - Web framework for Vala. Inspired by sinatra and allows lua scripting.
Zeitgeist - Event logging framework
Vala-Lint - Check Vala code files for code-style errors
Enso-OS - xfce + pantheon DE
Tracky - GNOME Application to track your activities (WIP)
Dockery - Dockery is a Gtk3+ based GUI for managing docker images & containers written in Vala
pdfpc - is a GTK-based presentation application which uses Keynote-like multi-monitor output to provide meta information to the speaker during the presentation.
Timeshift - Timeshift for Linux is an application that provides functionality similar to the System Restore feature in Windows and the Time Machine tool in Mac OS
Asteroids_Vala - Simple game using OpenGL
Sequeler - SQL Client built in Vala
Karim - Graphical interface for command-line tool youtube-dl
Files - File browser designed for elementary OS
App Template - A template for desktop applications written in Vala
VServer - VServer opens an http server in the desired folder
Minder - Mind-mapping application for Elementary OS
Spice-up - Create Simple and Beautiful presentations
FeedReader - Modern desktop application designed to complement existing web-based RSS accounts
Discontinued Projects(> 6 years)
SHR Project - SHR is a GNU/Linux based operating system for smartphones and similar mobile devices (2012)
libmodulo - Dependency Injection / Inversion of Control
Sampala - A sample Vala application demonstrating Autotools and i18n (2011)
Val(a)IDE - Small IDE for the Vala language (2012)
ValaWinPKG - Vala Package manager, install needed MinGW libraries on Windows®. (Use MSYS2 now)
AllTray - A program for docking software to the system tray/notification area
Caméléon - Easy file converter. (2009)
Commandeer - A sysadmin tool to lock the desktop while a command runs. (2010)
DSync - Directory Sync - simple rsync frontend for Maemo and GNOME
Epris music player - A D-Bus service and command line client to listen to music. Unlike xmms2 or mpd, it uses GStreamer and D-Bus.
Fillmore - A Multitrack audio recorder for GNOME (2011)
Final Page - A tool to reorganize, split and merge PDF documents.(2009)
gradio - A GTK3 app for finding and listening to internet radio stations (still support but rewritten to Rust)
Hum - A lightweight music player built on DBus, Tracker, and GStreamer (2011)
Gwibber - Microblogging client. Prior to version 3.0, it was written in the Python programming language using the PyGTK library. Starting with version 3.0, it was completely rewritten in the Vala. Was included in Ubuntu 10.04 from box. In 2013 it was renamed to Friends and the frontend was rewritten in QML.
libvfcgi - FastCGI library for GObject/Vala. (2009)
Marlin - The sexiest fish in the large sea of file-browsers (Turned into an application Files for Elementary)
Meiga - Light and easy content server for your desktop. (2010)
MPRIS Applet - MPRIS client panel applet/plugin for GNOME and Xfce. (2011)
People Project - Aims at providing an unified access to contacts for desktop applications. (2008)
Pino - A Twitter client.
Postler - ultra simple desktop mail client (2011)
PSchema - A framework for investigating artificial intelligence through the use of Piagetian schema learning.
RhythmPnP - Rhythmbox Universal Plug'N'Play Media Renderer Plugin (2011)
Scratchpad - Spatial text editor for the GNOME desktop. (2007)
Shishen Sho Mahjongg for Gtk and Maemo - A board game similar to Mahjong. (2008 Maemo)
Steadyflow - A simple download manager.
Synapse - A semantic file launcher
ValaTerm - A lightweight terminal emulator. (2012)
Valence - A simple PDF viewer. (2007)
Watray - A general purpose IDE. (2009)
Curl Vala - Object-oriented interface for libcurl written in Vala.
Companies that use/have used Vala
GNOME itself. If you sort GNOME repos by language label, you will see the number of GNOME repositories in this order: C: 225, Vala: 44 Python: 32, C++: 18
Nokia for Maemo
DocuMatrix - Outsourcing company for documentation and data processing. Has a proprietary library for vala (part of it is open).
Cannonical for Unity DE (until 8 version)
elementary OS - Vala is the language of choice for elementary OS.
ev3dev - is a Debian Linux-based operating system that runs on several LEGO® MINDSTORMS compatible platforms including the LEGO® MINDSTORMS EV3 and Raspberry Pi-powered BrickPi. They use Vala for Brickman - some kind of DE for this little Lego screens. There also grx widgets toolkit and other stuff. You can find screenshots at end of this page
rooJSolutions - With over 15 years of specialised experience in Software Development and Linux Services, we have been developing business automation solutions for companies throughout the world from a variety of technology-dependent industries. Vala + JS IDE - App Builder, Demo Video
Frida - Dynamic instrumentation toolkit for developers, reverse-engineers, and security researchers.
Coanda - Coanda company - "Solving Industrial Problems Through Science & Technology". “We help our clients RESOLVE their TECHNICAL PROBLEMS, make their processes MORE EFFICIENT, and develop NEW TECHNOLOGY.”
RealMacSoftware - Make apps for Apple devices. They are proprietary so there is no link to the repository. But they indicated that they use Vala on stackshare.
Untangle - Untangle Provides a Comprehensive Approach to Security Orchestration. They are proprietary so there is no link to the repository. But they indicated that they use Vala on stackshare.