Nengo runs on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux and requires Python. To install Nengo, we recommend using pip.

pip install nengo nengo-gui

If you do not have pip installed, or if you run into any errors when installing Nengo with pip, read on for more detailed instructions.

pip will do its best to install all of Nengo’s requirements when it installs Nengo. However, if anything goes wrong during this process, you can install Nengo’s requirements manually before doing pip install nengo again.

Installing Python and NumPy

Nengo’s only required dependency is NumPy, and we recommend that you install it first. The best way to install NumPy depends on several factors, such as your operating system. Briefly, what we have found to work best on each operating system is:

For more options, see’s installation page. For our recommended options, read on.


Anaconda provides an all-in-one solution that will install Python, NumPy, and other optional Nengo dependencies. It works on all operating systems (Windows, Mac, Linux) and does not require administrator privileges. It includes GUI tools, as well as a robust command line tool, conda, for managing your Python installation.

Run the graphical installer for your operating system to install it. Unless you have a reason to stay with Python 2, opt for the Python 3 installer. Once Anaconda is installed, open the Anaconda command prompt and do

pip install nengo nengo-gui

to complete Nengo installation.


Miniconda gives you the convenience of the conda command line tool without having to download a ton of packages you might not use. After running the Miniconda installer, open the command prompt and do

conda install numpy pip
pip install nengo nengo-gui

will install Nengo and its dependencies.

Package managers

If you are comfortable with the command line, operating systems other than Windows have package managers that can install Python and NumPy.

Mac OS X: Homebrew

On Mac OS X, Homebrew has excellent Python support. After installing Homebrew:

brew install python
pip install numpy
pip install nengo nengo-gui

will install Nengo and its dependencies.

Debian, Ubuntu: apt

In Debian, Ubuntu, and other distributions with apt, do:

sudo apt-get install python-numpy python-pip
pip install nengo nengo-gui

Fedora, CentOS: yum

In Fedora, CentOS, and others distributions with yum, do:

sudo yum install python-numpy python-pip
pip install nengo nengo-gui

From source

If speed is an issue and you know your way around a terminal, installing NumPy from source is flexible and performant. See the detailed instructions here. Once NumPy is installed, you can install Nengo with pip install nengo nengo-gui.

Installing optional packages

While NumPy is the only hard dependency, some optional Nengo features require other packages. These can be installed either through Anaconda, a package manager, or through pip. Other packages that Nengo can interact with include

Other parts of the Nengo ecosystem may interact with other packages. See their documentation for details.