Pure Language and Library Documentation

Last updated: April 11, 2018 (v0.68)

This manual collects all of Pure’s online documentation: The Pure Manual which covers the Pure language and the operation of the Pure interpreter; the Pure Library Manual which describes the standard library modules included in the distribution of the Pure interpreter; all available documentation for the various addon modules which can be downloaded as separate packages from the Pure website; and an appendix with installation instructions.

Most of the Pure documentation is distributed under the GNU Free Documentation License. The authors of the current edition are listed below. (This just lists the primary section authors in alphabetical order; please check the different parts of this manual for additional authorship and licensing information.)

The Pure programming system is free and open source software. The interpreter runtime, the standard library and most of the addon modules are distributed under the GNU Lesser General Public License or the 3-clause BSD License which allow for commercial applications. Some parts of the system also use the GNU General Public License (typically because they interface to other GPL’ed software such as Gnumeric, GSL and Octave). Details about authorship and license conditions can be found in the sources or in the various manual sections.

For more information, discussions, feedback, questions, suggestions etc. please see:

From the Pure website you can also download a recent version of this manual in pdf format.

Language and Standard Library

This part of the manual documents the Pure language and interpreter, as well as the standard library distributed with the interpreter.

Basic Support Utilities and Libraries

This part covers general programming tools and libraries which are useful in many Pure programs but don’t come bundled with the interpreter.

Scientific Computing

Interfaces to various 3rd party mathematical software.

Database and Web Programming

Modules for dealing with data in CSV and XML format, interfacing to SQL databases, and running Pure scripts in a web server using the FastCGI protocol.

GUI and Graphics

Various interfaces to 3rd party GUI and graphics libraries.


A collection of scripts and modules useful for programming media applications. Currently, this covers digital audio, MIDI and OSC. Interfaces to Yann Orlarey’s functional DSP programming language Faust and Miller Puckette’s graphical computer music software PureData are also available.

Appendix: Installation and Usage

General information about installing and using Pure.