G89.3404 - An Introduction to Cognitive Modeling - Todd M. Gureckis - ipython hints

iPython Notebook Install Tips

(back to class page)

This is a collection of tips for people installing from various systems.

Mac OS X Lion (10.7+)

Good news, this is a pretty easy system to install on.

  • Check what version python you are running.
    Open /Applications/Utilities/Terminal.app. Type python. Hopefully this says something higher than or equal to 2.7 (e.g., 2.7.1). Press cntrl-d to exit Python.
  • Download SciPy Superpack You can get it here
  • Download QT. You can get it here.
  • Download PySide. Select the "pyside-1.1.0-qt47-py27apple.pkg. You can get it here.
  • Install readline, pyzmq, pygments, tornado: Go back to the Terminal window. Type sudo easy_install readline pyzmq pygments tornado. It should start downloading and installing all these add-on packages.
  • Install iPython from Github - This is the actual notebook. This can be installed via easy_install with the following command: sudo easy_install https://github.com/ipython/ipython/tarball/master. This will grab the latest version via Github (what I am using).
  • Launch iPython in Notebook mode: If all that worked, you should be done. Now, in terminal type ipython notebook --pylab inline. Then open a browser (chrome is preferred) and point it at the URL that is printed (usually You should load the notebook and it should work. Test math by creating a cell that says '1+1' and check plotting by typing 'plot([1,2,3,4,5])'. If that works, you are set.

Mac OS X Snow Leopard (10.6)

Good news, this is also a pretty easy system to install on.

  • Install package from Enthought: EPD-7.2-2
  • sudo easy_install readline pyzmq pygments tornado (in the /Applications/Utilities/Terminal.app)
  • sudo easy_install https://github.com/ipython/ipython/tarball/master (in the /Applications/Utilities/Terminal.app)
  • ipython notebook --pylab inline (also in the /Applications/Utilities/Terminal.app)

Windows 7

See the advice below. We got it working on one machine. But it was complex and not easy to remember. Best handled on a case-by-case basis. (please share advice if you have it)

Bits of Advice

Fernando Perez (original author of iPython) writes:
I'm the original author of IPython, and I now work at the UC Berkeley Brain Imaging Center as a research scientist, so I was very happy to see your blog post about it.. First, a quick tip regarding: http://gureckislab.org/courses/spring12/modeling/ipythonhints.html I strongly encourage you to take advantage, especially on Windows, of the Enthought Python Distribution. It's free for academic users, and takes a huge bite out of the hassles of installing Scientific Python tools on Windows and OSX. I've taught scientific python workshops for years and since EPD came out, I switched to it saving myself and my students many hours of headaches. I keep a 'starter kit' page with resources you may find useful: http://fperez.org/py4science/starter_kit.html


Sara Constantino (recovering economist) writes:
Dylan helped me install the scientific libraries on Snow Leopard and my call to plot is now working in ipython. Some small tips that helped us were:

use macports or homebrew (http://mxcl.github.com/homebrew/)

brew install pkg-config # so that matplotlib can find everything

easy_install pip # pip works better than easy_install to install python libraries

pip install matplotlib

If that can't find something then install using homebrew.


Daniel Campbell-Meiklejohn (the last minute auditor) writes:

Ok, I got it working. (on snow leopard)

Install package from Enthought: EPD-7.2-2

in terminal:

sudo easy_install readline pyzmq pygments tornado

ipython notebook --pylab inline

and you are smiling.

...to get the recommended version of the notebook, one still has to download as you recommend via

sudo easy_install https://github.com/ipython/ipython/tarball/master

And I did install Pyside separately, at some point before I found the Enthought installation, so it may still be necessary.