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Installation

We try not to reinvent the wheel, but to bring something innovative to the market. As a consequence, we’re focused on our own code and use pre-existing, high-quality third-party libraries where possible. To support the full, rich set of features that Kivy offers, several other libraries are required. If you do not use a specific feature (e.g. video playback), you don’t need the corresponding dependency. That said, there is one dependency that Kivy does require: Cython.

In addition, you need a Python 2.x (2.6 <= x < 3.0) interpreter. If you want to enable features like windowing (i.e. open a Window), audio/video playback or spelling correction, additional dependencies must be available. For these, we recommend Pygame, Gst-Python and Enchant, respectively.

Other optional libraries (mutually independent) are:

  • OpenCV 2.0 – Camera input.
  • PIL – Image and text display.
  • PyCairo – Text display.
  • PyEnchant – Spelling correction.
  • PyGST – Audio/video playback and camera input.

That said, DON’T PANIC!

We don’t expect you to install all those things on your own. Instead, we have created nice portable packages that you can use directly, and they already contain the necessary packages for your platform. We just want you to know that there are alternatives to the defaults and give you an overview of the things Kivy uses internally.

Development Version

The development version is for developers and testers. Note that when running a development version, you’re running potentially broken code at your own risk. To use the development version, you will first need to install the dependencies. Thereafter, you will need to set up Kivy on your computer in a way that allows for easy development. For that, please see our Contributing document.

Installing Dependencies

To install Kivy’s dependencies, follow the guide below for your platform.

Ubuntu

For Ubuntu 12.04, simply enter the following command that will install all necessary packages:

$ sudo apt-get install python-setuptools python-pygame python-opengl \
  python-gst0.10 python-enchant gstreamer0.10-plugins-good python-dev \
  build-essential libgl1-mesa-dev-lts-quantal libgles2-mesa-dev-lts-quantal\
  python-pip

For other versions of Ubuntu, this one should work:

$ sudo apt-get install python-setuptools python-pygame python-opengl \
  python-gst0.10 python-enchant gstreamer0.10-plugins-good python-dev \
  build-essential libgl1-mesa-dev libgles2-mesa-dev zlib1g-dev python-pip

Kivy requires a recent version of Cython, so it’s better to use the last version published on pypi:

$ sudo pip install --upgrade cython

Mac OS X

You will need to install at least the following:

If you run into problems, please read Troubleshooting on Mac OS X.

Installing Kivy for Development

Now that you’ve installed all the required dependencies, it’s time to download and compile a development version of Kivy:

$ # Download Kivy from GitHub
$ git clone git://github.com/kivy/kivy.git
$ cd kivy

$ # Compile:
$ python setup.py build_ext --inplace -f

If you have the make command available, you can also use the following shortcut to compile (does the same as the last command):

$ make

Warning

By default, versions 2.7 to 2.7.2 of Python use the gcc compiler which ships with earlier versions of XCode. As of version 4.2, only the clang compiler is shipped with XCode by default. This means that if you build using XCode 4.2 or above, you need to ensure you have at least Python 2.7.3 installed, but prefferably the latest version (2.7.5 at the time of writing).

If you want to modify the Kivy code itself, set up the PYTHONPATH environment variable to point at your clone. This way you don’t have to install (setup.py install) after every tiny modification. Python will instead import Kivy from your clone.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to make any changes to Kivy itself, you can also run (as admin, e.g. with sudo):

$ python setup.py install

If you want to contribute code (patches, new features) to the Kivy code base, please read Contributing.

Running the test suite

To help detect issues and behaviour changes in Kivy, a set of unittests are provided. A good thing to do is to run them just after your Kivy installation, and every time you intend to push a change. If you think something was broken in Kivy, perhaps a test will show this? If not, it might be a good time to write one .)

Kivy tests are based on nosetest, which you can install from your package manager or using pip :

$ pip install nose

To run the test suite, do :

$ make test

Uninstalling Kivy

If you are mixing multiple Kivy installations, you might be confused about where each Kivy version is located. Please note that you might need to follow these steps multiple times if you have multiple Kivy versions installed in the Python library path. To find your current installed version, you can use the command line:

$ python -c 'import kivy; print(kivy.__path__)'

Then, remove that directory recursively.

If you have installed Kivy with easy_install on linux, the directory may contain a “egg” directory. Remove that as well:

$ python -c 'import kivy; print(kivy.__path__)'
['/usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/Kivy-1.0.7-py2.7-linux-x86_64.egg/kivy']
$ sudo rm -rf /usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/Kivy-1.0.7-py2.7-linux-x86_64.egg

If you have installed with apt-get, do:

$ sudo apt-get remove --purge python-kivy