This documentation is for a development version. Click here for the latest stable release (v1.1.0).


Local machine

On a local machine not connected to a Loihi host, you can use any version of Python that has pip.

pip install nengo-loihi

pip will do its best to install NengoLoihi’s requirements. If anything goes wrong during this process, it is likely related to installing NumPy. Follow our NumPy install instructions, then try again.


These steps will take you through setting up a Python environment for running NengoLoihi, as well as for running models using the NxSDK directly. We will use Miniconda to set up an isolated environment for running Loihi models.

  1. Ensure that conda is available.

    To see if it is available, run

    conda -V

    If conda is available, the conda version should be printed to the console.

    If it is not available:

    1. Ask your superhost administrator if conda is installed. If it is, you need to add the bin directory of the conda installation to your path.

      export PATH="/path/to/conda/bin:$PATH"

      Running this once will change your path for the current session. Adding it to a shell configuration file (e.g., ~/.profile, ~/.bashrc) will change your path for all future terminal sessions.

    2. If conda is not installed, install Miniconda.

      wget -O

      Follow the prompts to set up Miniconda as desired.

  2. Create a new conda environment.

    conda create --name loihi python=3
  3. Activate your new environment.

    conda activate loihi

    Sometimes the environment can have issues when first created. Before continuing, run which pip and ensure that the path to pip is in your conda environment.


    You will need to run conda activate loihi every time you log onto the superhost.

  4. Install NumPy and Cython with conda.

    conda install numpy cython

    The NumPy provided by conda is usually faster than those installed by other means.

  5. Copy the latest NxSDK release to your current directory.


    The location of NxSDK may have changed. Refer to Intel’s documentation to be sure. The most recent release and NxSDK location are current as of November, 2021.

    If you are logged into INRC:

    cp /nfs/ncl/releases/1.0.0/nxsdk-1.0.0.tar.gz .

    If you are setting up a non-INRC superhost:

    scp <inrc-host>:/nfs/ncl/releases/1.0.0/nxsdk-1.0.0.tar.gz .
  6. Install NxSDK.

    pip install nxsdk-1.0.0.tar.gz
  7. Install NengoLoihi.

    pip install nengo-loihi

    pip will install other requirements like Nengo automatically.

  8. Test that both packages installed correctly.

    Start Python by running the python command. If everything is installed correctly, you should be able to import nxsdk and nengo_loihi.

    Python 3.8.5 (default, Sep  4 2020, 07:30:14)
    [GCC 7.3.0] :: Anaconda, Inc. on linux
    Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
    >>> import nxsdk
    >>> import nengo_loihi

Developer install

If you plan to make changes to NengoLoihi, you should perform a developer install. All of the steps above are the same with a developer install, except that instead of doing pip install nengo-loihi, you should do

git clone
pip install -e nengo-loihi
cd nengo-loihi
pre-commit install