This documentation is for an old version of IPython. You can find docs for newer versions here.

IPython requires Python 2.7 or ≥ 3.3.


If you need to use Python 2.6 or 3.2, you can find IPython 1.x here, or get it with pip:

pip install 'ipython<2'


If you have pip, the quickest way to get up and running with IPython is:

$ pip install "ipython[all]"

This will download and install IPython and its main optional dependencies for the notebook, qtconsole, tests, and other functionality. Some dependencies (Qt, PyQt for the QtConsole, pandoc for nbconvert) are not pip-installable, and will not be pulled in by pip.

To run IPython’s test suite, use the iptest command:

$ iptest


This document describes in detail the steps required to install IPython, and its various optional dependencies. For a few quick ways to get started with package managers or full Python distributions, see the install page of the IPython website.

IPython is organized into a number of subpackages, each of which has its own dependencies. All of the subpackages come with IPython, so you don’t need to download and install them separately. However, to use a given subpackage, you will need to install all of its dependencies.

Please let us know if you have problems installing IPython or any of its dependencies.

IPython and most dependencies can be installed via pip. In many scenarios, this is the simplest method of installing Python packages. More information about pip can be found on its PyPI page.

More general information about installing Python packages can be found in Python’s documentation.

Installing IPython itself

Given a properly built Python, the basic interactive IPython shell will work with no external dependencies. However, some Python distributions (particularly on Windows and OS X), don’t come with a working readline module. The IPython shell will work without readline, but will lack many features that users depend on, such as tab completion and command line editing. If you install IPython with pip, then the appropriate readline for your platform will be installed. See below for details of how to make sure you have a working readline.

Installation using pip

If you have pip, the easiest way of getting IPython is:

$ pip install ipython

That’s it.

Installation from source

If you don’t want to use pip, or don’t have it installed, grab the latest stable build of IPython from here. Then do the following:

$ tar -xzf ipython.tar.gz
$ cd ipython
$ python setup.py install

If you are installing to a location (like /usr/local) that requires higher permissions, you may need to run the last command with sudo.

Installing the development version

It is also possible to install the development version of IPython from our Git source code repository. To do this you will need to have Git installed on your system. Then do:

$ git clone --recursive https://github.com/ipython/ipython.git
$ cd ipython
$ python setup.py install

Some users want to be able to follow the development branch as it changes. If you have pip, you can replace the last step by:

$ pip install -e .

This creates links in the right places and installs the command line script to the appropriate places.

Then, if you want to update your IPython at any time, do:

$ git pull

IPython now uses git submodules to ship its javascript dependencies. If you run IPython from git master, you may need to update submodules once in a while with:

$ git submodule update


$ python setup.py submodule

Another option is to copy git hooks to your ./git/hooks/ directory to ensure that your submodules are up to date on each pull.

Basic optional dependencies

There are a number of basic optional dependencies that most users will want to get. These are:

  • readline (for command line editing, tab completion, etc.)
  • nose (to run the IPython test suite)
  • mock (Python < 3, also for tests)

If you are comfortable installing these things yourself, have at it, otherwise read on for more details.

IPython uses several other modules, such as pexpect and path.py, if they are installed on your system, but it can also use bundled versions from IPython.external, so there’s no need to install them separately.


As indicated above, on Windows, to get full functionality in the console version of IPython, PyReadline is needed. PyReadline is a separate, Windows only implementation of readline that uses native Windows calls through ctypes. The easiest way of installing PyReadline is you use the binary installer available here.

On OS X, if you are using the built-in Python shipped by Apple, you will be missing a proper readline implementation as Apple ships instead a library called libedit that provides only some of readline’s functionality. While you may find libedit sufficient, we have occasional reports of bugs with it and several developers who use OS X as their main environment consider libedit unacceptable for productive, regular use with IPython.

Therefore, IPython on OS X depends on the gnureadline module. We will not consider completion/history problems to be bugs for IPython if you are using libedit.

To get a working readline module on OS X, do (with pip installed):

$ pip install gnureadline


Other Python distributions on OS X (such as Anaconda, fink, MacPorts) already have proper readline so you likely don’t have to do this step.

When IPython is installed with pip, the correct readline should be installed if you specify the terminal optional dependencies:

$ pip install "ipython[terminal]"


To run the IPython test suite you will need the nose package. Nose provides a great way of sniffing out and running all of the IPython tests. The simplest way of getting nose is to use pip:

$ pip install nose

Another way of getting this is to do:

$ pip install "ipython[test]"

For more installation options, see the nose website.

Once you have nose installed, you can run IPython’s test suite using the iptest command:

$ iptest

Dependencies for IPython.parallel (parallel computing)

IPython’s inter-process communication uses the PyZMQ bindings for the ZeroMQ messaging library. This is the only dependency for IPython.parallel.


pip install "ipython[parallel]"

or manual

pip install pyzmq

PyZMQ provides wheels for current Python on OS X and Windows, so installing pyzmq will typically not require compilation.

IPython.parallel can use SSH tunnels, which require paramiko on Windows.

Dependencies for the IPython Qt console

pyzmq, pygments, PyQt (or PySide)


pip install "ipython[qtconsole]"

or manual

pip install pyzmq pygments

PyQt/PySide are not pip installable, so generally must be installed via system package managers (or conda).

Dependencies for the IPython HTML notebook

The HTML notebook is a complex web application with quite a few dependencies:

pyzmq, jinja2, tornado, mistune, jsonschema, pygments, terminado


pip install "ipython[notebook]"

or manual:

pip install pyzmq jinja2 tornado mistune jsonschema pygments terminado

The IPython notebook is a notebook-style web interface to IPython and can be started with the command ipython notebook.


The IPython notebook uses the MathJax Javascript library for rendering LaTeX in web browsers. Because MathJax is large, we don’t include it with IPython. Normally IPython will load MathJax from a CDN, but if you have a slow network connection, or want to use LaTeX without an internet connection at all, you can install MathJax locally.

A quick and easy method is to install it from a python session:

python -m IPython.external.mathjax

If you need tighter configuration control, you can download your own copy of MathJax from http://www.mathjax.org/download/ - use the MathJax-2.0 link. When you have the file stored locally, install it with:

python -m IPython.external.mathjax /path/to/source/mathjax-MathJax-v2.0-20-g07669ac.zip

For unusual needs, IPython can tell you what directory it wants to find MathJax in:

python -m IPython.external.mathjax -d /some/other/mathjax

By default MathJax will be installed in your ipython directory, but you can install MathJax system-wide. Please refer to the documentation of IPython.external.mathjax

Browser Compatibility

The IPython notebook is officially supported on the following browsers:

  • Chrome ≥ 13
  • Safari ≥ 5
  • Firefox ≥ 6

The is mainly due to the notebook’s usage of WebSockets and the flexible box model.

The following browsers are unsupported:

  • Safari < 5
  • Firefox < 6
  • Chrome < 13
  • Opera (any): CSS issues, but execution might work
  • Internet Explorer < 10
  • Internet Explorer ≥ 10 (same as Opera)

Using Safari with HTTPS and an untrusted certificate is known to not work (websockets will fail).

Dependencies for nbconvert (converting notebooks to various formats)

For converting markdown to formats other than HTML, nbconvert uses Pandoc (1.12.1 or later).

To install pandoc on Linux, you can generally use your package manager:

sudo apt-get install pandoc

On other platforms, you can get pandoc from their website.