Installation Guide

To use Viam software with your smart machine, install and run the viam-server binary on the computer that you want to use to control the smart machine. In most cases, this will be a single board computer (SBC), like a Raspberry Pi, but you can also install viam-server on a macOS or Linux computer.

For an overview of the Viam software platform, see Viam in 3 minutes.

Install on a single board computer

Prepare your board

If you haven’t already, you must install a supported operating system on your board (SBC). viam-server supports Linux 64-bit operating systems running on the aarch64 or x86_64 architectures. If you are using one of the following boards, you can follow our guide for that board to prepare it for installation:


Viam also provides a lightweight version of viam-server which can run on resource-limited embedded systems that cannot run the fully-featured Robot Development Kit (RDK). If you are using a microcontroller, prepare your board using the following guide:

Other SBCs such as the RockPi S and Orange Pi Zero 2 can run Viam with an experimental periph.io based modular component.

Install viam-server

Once you have a compatible operating system on your board, follow along with the video below or walk through the steps outlined beneath it to install viam-server on your board:

Installation steps

  1. Go to the Viam app and add a new robot. If this is your first time using the Viam app, you must create an account first.

  2. On the Setup tab, select Linux for Mode and select the appropriate Architecture for your board. On most Linux operating systems, you can run uname -m to confirm your board’s architecture.

  3. Follow the steps shown on the Setup tab to install viam-server on your board.

  4. Once viam-server is installed and running on your board, return to the Setup page on the Viam app and wait for confirmation that your robot has successfully connected.

By default, viam-server will start automatically when your system boots, but you can change this behavior if desired.

Install on a macOS or Linux computer

You can also install viam-server on a macOS or Linux computer. This is useful if you don’t have a board available, or if you want to run a Viam service with your robot that requires more computing resources than is otherwise available on an SBC. Select the tab below for your operating system:

Install on a macOS computer

viam-server is available for macOS users through Homebrew, and supports both Intel and Apple Silicon macOS computers. To install viam-server on a macOS computer:

  1. Go to the Viam app and add a new robot. If this is your first time using the Viam app, you must create an account first.

  2. On the Setup tab, select Mac for Mode.

  3. Follow the steps shown on the Setup tab to install viam-server on your macOS computer.

  4. Once viam-server is installed and running, return to the Setup page on the Viam app and wait for confirmation that your computer has successfully connected.

Install on a Linux computer

viam-server is distributed for Linux as an AppImage. The AppImage is a single, self-contained binary that runs on 64-bit Linux systems running the aarch64 or x86_64 architectures, with no need to install any dependencies. To install viam-server on a Linux computer:

  1. Go to the Viam app and add a new robot. If this is your first time using the Viam app, you must create an account first.

  2. On the Setup tab, select Linux for Mode and select the appropriate Architecture for your computer. On most Linux operating systems, you can run uname -m to confirm your computer’s architecture.

  3. Follow the steps shown on the Setup tab to install viam-server on your Linux computer.

  4. Once viam-server is installed and running, return to the Setup page on the Viam app and wait for confirmation that your computer has successfully connected.

By default, viam-server will start automatically when your system boots, but you can change this behavior if desired.

Next Steps