Awesome Open Source
Awesome Open Source


Welcome to Ziglings! This project contains a series of tiny broken programs. By fixing them, you'll learn how to read and write Zig code.


Those tiny broken programs need your help! (You'll also save the planet from evil aliens and help some friendly elephants stick together, which is very sweet of you.)

This project was directly inspired by the brilliant and fun rustlings project for the Rust language. Indirect inspiration comes from Ruby Koans and the Little LISPer/Little Schemer series of books.

Intended Audience

This will probably be difficult if you've never programmed before. But no specific programming experience is required. And in particular, you are not expected to have any prior experience with "systems programming" or a "systems" level language such as C.

Each exercise is self-contained and self-explained. However, you're encouraged to also check out these Zig language resources for more detail:

Also, the Zig community is incredibly friendly and helpful!

Getting Started

Install a development build of the Zig compiler. (See the "master" section of the downloads page.)

Verify the installation and build number of zig like so:

$ zig version

Clone this repository with Git:

$ git clone
$ cd ziglings

Then run zig build and follow the instructions to begin!

$ zig build

A Note About Versions

The Zig language is under very active development. In order to be current, Ziglings tracks development builds of the Zig compiler rather than versioned release builds. The last stable release was 0.7.1, but Ziglings needs a dev build with pre-release version "0.9.0" and a build number at least as high as that shown in the example version check above.

It is likely that you'll download a build which is greater than the minimum.

Once you have a build of the Zig compiler that works with Ziglings, they'll continue to work together. But keep in mind that if you update one, you may need to also update the other.

Also note that the current "stage 1" Zig compiler is very strict about input: no tab characters or Windows CR/LF newlines are allowed.

Version Changes

  • 2021-06-14 0.9.0-dev.137 - .Custom is now .custom
  • 2021-04-21 0.8.0-dev.1983 - std.fmt.format() any format string required
  • 2021-02-12 0.8.0-dev.1065 - std.fmt.format() s (string) format string required

Advanced Usage

It can be handy to check just a single exercise or start from a single exercise:

zig build 19
zig build 19_start

You can also run without checking for correctness:

zig build 19_test

Or skip the build system entirely and interact directly with the compiler if you're into that sort of thing:

zig run exercises/001_hello.zig

Calling all wizards: To prepare an executable for debugging, install it to zig-cache/bin with:

zig build 19_install


Contributions are very welcome! I'm writing this to teach myself and to create the learning resource I wished for. There will be tons of room for improvement:

  • Wording of explanations
  • Idiomatic usage of Zig
  • Additional exercises

Planned exercises:

Core Language

  • [x] Hello world (main needs to be public)
  • [x] Importing standard library
  • [x] Assignment
  • [x] Arrays
  • [x] Strings
  • [x] If
  • [x] While
  • [x] For
  • [x] Functions
  • [x] Errors (error/try/catch/if-else-err)
  • [x] Defer (and errdefer)
  • [x] Switch
  • [x] Unreachable
  • [x] Enums
  • [x] Structs
  • [x] Pointers
  • [x] Optionals
  • [x] Struct methods
  • [x] Slices
  • [x] Many-item pointers
  • [x] Unions
  • [x] Numeric types (integers, floats)
  • [x] Labelled blocks and loops
  • [x] Loops as expressions
  • [x] Builtins
  • [x] Inline loops
  • [x] Comptime
  • [x] Sentinel termination
  • [x] Quoted identifiers @""
  • [x] Anonymous structs/tuples/lists
  • [ ] Async
  • [ ] Working with C?

Modules and the Zig Standard Library

  • [ ] Imports
  • [ ] Allocators
  • [ ] Arraylist
  • [ ] Filesystem
  • [ ] Readers and Writers
  • [ ] Formatting
  • [ ] Random Numbers
  • [ ] Crypto
  • [ ] Threads
  • [ ] Hash Maps
  • [ ] Stacks
  • [ ] Sorting
  • [ ] Iterators

The initial topics for these exercises were unabashedly cribbed from I've since moved things around in an order that I think best lets each topic build upon each other.

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