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Installation on Windows

Using Conda

If you use Anaconda, you can simply install kivy using:

$ conda install kivy -c conda-forge

Otherwise, continue below to install Kivy in a native Python installation.

Prerequisites

Kivy is written in Python and as such, to use Kivy, you need an existing installation of Python. Multiple versions of Python can be installed side by side, but Kivy needs to be installed in each Python version that you want to use Kivy in.

Beginning with 1.9.1 we provide binary wheels for Kivy and all its dependencies to be used with an existing Python installation. See Installing the kivy stable release.

We also provide nightly wheels generated using Kivy master. See Nightly wheel installation. If installing kivy to an alternate location and not to site-packages, please see Installing Kivy and editing it in place.

Note

For Python < 3.5 we use the MinGW compiler. However, for Python 3.5+ on Windows we currently only support the MSVC compiler because of the following Python issue 4709 about MinGW. Generally this should make no difference when using precompiled wheels.

Updating Kivy from a previous release

When updating from a previous Kivy release, all the Kivy dependencies must be updated first. Typically, just adding –upgrade to the pip install … commands below is sufficient for pip to update them.

Warning

When updating from Kivy 1.10.1 or lower to 1.11.0 or higher, one must manually uninstall all kivy dependencies before upgrading because won’t update them properly. This is done with:

python -m pip uninstall -y kivy.deps.glew kivy.deps.gstreamer kivy.deps.sdl2 kivy.deps.angle

assuming all the dependencies were previously installed. See Kivy’s dependencies for more details.

After uninstalling, continue with the installation below.

Installing the kivy stable release

Warning

Kivy 1.11.1 is the last release that supports Python 2.

Now that python is installed, open the Command line and make sure python is available by typing python --version. Then, do the following to create a new virtual environment (optionally) and install the most recent stable kivy release (1.11.1) and its dependencies.

  1. Ensure you have the latest pip, wheel, and virtualenv:

    python -m pip install --upgrade pip wheel setuptools virtualenv
    

    Optionally create a new virtual environment for your Kivy project. Highly recommended:

    1. First create the environment named kivy_venv in your current directory:

      python -m virtualenv kivy_venv
      
    2. Activate the virtual environment. You’ll have to do this step from the current directory every time you start a new terminal. On windows CMD do:

      kivy_venv\Scripts\activate
      

      If you’re in a bash terminal, instead do:

      source kivy_venv/Scripts/activate
      

    Your terminal should now preface the path with something like (kivy_venv), indicating that the kivy_venv environment is active. If it doesn’t say that, the virtual environment is not active.

  2. Install the dependencies (skip gstreamer (~120MB) if not needed, see Kivy’s dependencies). If you are upgrading Kivy, see Updating Kivy from a previous release:

    python -m pip install docutils pygments pypiwin32 kivy_deps.sdl2==0.1.22 kivy_deps.glew==0.1.12
    python -m pip install kivy_deps.gstreamer==0.1.17
    

    Note

    If you encounter a MemoryError while installing, add after pip install the –no-cache-dir option.

    For Python 3.5+, you can also use the angle backend instead of glew. This can be installed with:

    python -m pip install kivy_deps.angle==0.1.9
    

    Warning

    When installing, pin kivy’s dependencies to the specific version that was released on pypi when your kivy version was released, like above. Otherwise you may get an incompatible dependency when it is updated in the future.

  3. Install kivy:

    python -m pip install kivy==1.11.1
    
  4. (Optionally) Install the kivy examples:

    python -m pip install kivy_examples==1.11.1
    

    The examples are installed in the share directory under the root directory where python is installed.

That’s it. You should now be able to import kivy in python or run a basic example if you installed the kivy examples:

python kivy_venv\share\kivy-examples\demo\showcase\main.py

Replace kivy_venv with the path where python is installed if you didn’t use a virtualenv.

Note

If you encounter any permission denied errors, try opening the Command prompt as administrator and trying again. The best solution for this is to use a virtual environment instead.

What are wheels, pip and wheel

In Python, packages such as Kivy can be installed with the python package manager, pip. Some packages such as Kivy require additional steps, such as compilation, when installing using the Kivy source code with pip. Wheels (with a .whl extension) are pre-built distributions of a package that has already been compiled and do not require additional steps to install.

When hosted on pypi one installs a wheel using pip, e.g. python -m pip install kivy. When downloading and installing a wheel directly, python -m pip install wheel_file_name is used, such as:

python -m pip install C:\Kivy-1.9.1.dev-cp27-none-win_amd64.whl

Nightly wheel installation

Warning

Using the latest development version can be risky and you might encounter issues during development. If you encounter any bugs, please report them.

Snapshot wheels of current Kivy master are created daily on the master branch of kivy repository. They can be found here. To use them, instead of doing python -m pip install kivy we’ll install one of these wheels as follows.

  1. Perform steps 1 and 2 of the above Installation section.
  2. Download the appropriate wheel for your system.
  3. Install it with python -m pip install wheel-name where wheel-name is the name of the file.

Kivy examples are separated from the core because of their size. The examples can be installed separately on both Python 2 and 3 with this single wheel:

Kivy’s dependencies

We offer wheels for Kivy and its dependencies separately so only desired dependencies need be installed. The dependencies are offered as optional sub-packages of kivy_deps, e.g. kivy_deps.sdl2.

Note

In Kivy 1.11.0 we transitioned the kivy Windows dependencies from the kivy.deps.xxx namespace stored under kivy/deps/xxx to the kivy_deps.xxx namespace stored under kivy_deps/xxx. Pip is sometimes not able to distinguish between these two formats, so follow the instructions at Updating Kivy from a previous release when upgrading from a older Kivy. See here for more details.

Currently on Windows, we provide the following dependency wheels:

One can select which of these to use for OpenGL using the KIVY_GL_BACKEND envrionment variable by setting it to glew (the default), angle, or sdl2. angle is currently in an experimental phase as a substitute for glew on Python 3.5+ only.

gstreamer is an optional dependency which only needs to be installed if video display or audio is desired. ffpyplayer is an alternate dependency for audio or video.

Command line

Know your command line. To execute any of the pip or wheel commands, one needs a command line tool with python on the path. The default command line on Windows is Command Prompt, and the quickest way to open it is to press Win+R on your keyboard, type cmd in the window that opens, and then press enter.

Alternate linux style command shells that we recommend is Git for Windows which offers a bash command line as well as git. Note, CMD can still be used even if bash is installed.

Walking the path! To add your python to the path, simply open your command line and then use the cd command to change the current directory to where python is installed, e.g. cd C:\Python37. Alternatively if you only have one python version installed, permanently add the python directory to the path for cmd or bash.

Use development Kivy

Warning

Using the latest development version can be risky and you might encounter issues during development. If you encounter any bugs, please report them.

To compile and install kivy using the kivy source code or to use kivy with git rather than a wheel there are some additional steps:

  1. Both the python and the Python\Scripts directories must be on the path. They must be on the path every time you recompile kivy.

  2. Ensure you have the latest pip and wheel with:

    python -m pip install --upgrade pip wheel setuptools
    
  3. Get the compiler. For Python < 3.5 we use mingwpy as follows.

    1. Create the python\Lib\distutils\distutils.cfg file and add the two lines:

      [build]
      compiler = mingw32
      
    2. Install MinGW with:

      python -m pip install -i https://pypi.anaconda.org/carlkl/simple mingwpy
      

    For Python 3.5 we use the MSVC compiler. For 3.5, Visual Studio 2015 is required, which is availible for free. Just download and install it and you’ll be good to go.

    Visual Studio is very big so you can also use the smaller, Visual C Build Tools instead.

  4. Set the environment variables. On windows do:

    set USE_SDL2=1
    set USE_GSTREAMER=1
    

    In bash do:

    export USE_SDL2=1
    export USE_GSTREAMER=1
    

    These variables must be set everytime you recompile kivy.

  5. Install the other dependencies as well as their dev versions (you can skip gstreamer and gstreamer_dev if you aren’t going to use video/audio). we don’t pin the versions of the dependencies like for the stable kivy because we want the latest:

    python -m pip install Cython==0.29.10 docutils pygments pypiwin32 kivy_deps.sdl2 kivy_deps.glew kivy_deps.gstreamer kivy_deps.glew_dev kivy_deps.sdl2_dev kivy_deps.gstreamer_dev
    
  6. If you downloaded or cloned kivy to an alternate location and don’t want to install it to site-packages read the next section.

  7. Finally compile and install kivy with pip install filename, where filename can be a url such as https://github.com/kivy/kivy/archive/master.zip for kivy master, or the full path to a local copy of a kivy.

Compile Kivy

  1. Start installation of Kivy cloned or downloaded and extracted from GitHub. You should be in the root directory where kivy is extracted containing the setup.py file:

    python -m pip install .
    

If the compilation succeeds without any error, Kivy should be good to go. You can test it with running a basic example:

python share\kivy-examples\demo\showcase\main.py

Installing Kivy and editing it in place

In development, Kivy is often cloned or downloaded to a location and then installed with:

python -m pip install -e kivy_path

Now you can safely compile kivy in its current location with one of these commands:

make
python setup.py build_ext --inplace

But kivy would be fully installed and available from Python. remember to re-run the above command whenever any of the cython files are changed (e.g. if you pulled from GitHub) to recompile.

Making Python available anywhere

There are two methods for launching python on your *.py files.

Double-click method

If you only have one Python installed, you can associate all *.py files with your python, if it isn’t already, and then run it by double clicking. Or you can only do it once if you want to be able to choose each time:

  1. Right click on the Python file (.py file extension) of the application you want to launch
  2. From the context menu that appears, select Open With
  3. Browse your hard disk drive and find the file python.exe that you want to use. Select it.
  4. Select “Always open the file with…” if you don’t want to repeat this procedure every time you double click a .py file.
  5. You are done. Open the file.

Send-to method

You can launch a .py file with our Python using the Send-to menu:

  1. Browse to the python.exe file you want to use. Right click on it and copy it.
  2. Open Windows explorer (File explorer in Windows 8), and to go the address ‘shell:sendto’. You should get the special Windows directory SendTo
  3. Paste the previously copied python.exe file as a shortcut.
  4. Rename it to python <python-version>. E.g. python27-x64

You can now execute your application by right clicking on the .py file -> “Send To” -> “python <python-version>”.

Uninstalling Kivy

To uninstall Kivy, remove the installed packages with pip. E.g. if you isnatlled kivy following the instructions above, do:

python -m pip uninstall kivy_deps.sdl2 kivy_deps.glew kivy_deps.gstreamer
python -m pip uninstall kivy