Python Dependencies for SpiNNaker

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This guide will detail how to install the core Python dependencies for SpiNNaker.

This has been tested using Ubuntu Linux 14.04 LTS 64-bit, Ubuntu Linux 16.04 LTS 64-bit, Ubuntu Linux 18.04 LTS 64-bit, Windows 10 64-bit and Mac OS X but it should in principle work on 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Fedora and Ubuntu Linux, Windows 7, 8 and 10, and Mac OS X.

Note that once you have completed these instructions, the remainder of the installation instructions assume that the command “python” points at the version of Python you have installed here; please ensure that this is the case.


Please be aware due to an unexpected change to pyNN the relased versions only work with pyNN version 0.9.0 to 0.9.4

Please install pyNN version 0.9.4 before running the rest of these instructions.


Ubuntu Linux Requirements

  1. If you are on Ubuntu 16 or less, you will need to add a repository to get later versions of Python

    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:jonathonf/python-3.6
    sudo apt-get update
  2. Install Python

    sudo apt-get install python3.6
  3. Upgrade pip and dependencies (be careful at this point that the version of pip you use here is the Python 3 version; you may need to type “pip3” instead of “pip”)

    sudo pip install --upgrade pip setuptools wheel

Fedora Linux Requirements

  1. Install Python

    sudo dnf install python
  2. Upgrade pip and dependencies

    sudo pip install --upgrade pip setuptools wheel

Mac OS X

Mac OS X Requirements

  1. Download and install MacPorts (Requires XCode Developer Tools and an X11 windowing environment such as XQuartz). Note that with some versions of OS X, you might need to accept the Xcode license if you haven’t already done so.

  2. Install python

    sudo port install python36
    sudo port select --set python python36
    sudo port select --set pip pip36
  3. Upgrade pip and dependencies

    sudo pip install --upgrade pip setuptools wheel


Note that you need to install the correct build of the tools and update your PATH environment variable for the toolchain to work.

Users with an up-to-date version of Windows 10 64-bit may want to use the Linux Subsystem for Windows 10. This has been tested with an Ubuntu 14.04 install and seems to work well. For graphics content, you will also need to install and run an X-Windows Server. After installing, you should follow the Ubuntu installation instructions and not the instructions below.

  1. Download and install Python 3.6.

  2. Download and install setuptools.

  3. Update pip and dependencies - from an administrative console, run:

    pip install --upgrade pip setuptools wheel

Continue to edit your PATH.

Windows Path Settings

Edit your PATH environment variable to include the Python27, Python27\Scripts and (if installed) gtk\bin directories.

  1. Go to “Control Panel”
  2. Go to “System” (may be under “System and Security”)
  3. Select “Advanced System Settings”
  4. Select “Environment Variables”
  5. Select the “Path” in the “System Variables” box at the bottom
  6. Click on “Edit”
  7. Add the new directory by putting it before the existing string, followed by a single semi-colon; for example, if you installed the dependencies to the default/recommended locations, prepend Path with: