On some Windows machines, during the installation process, you might get the error: “The requested operation requires elevation.” This means that you need to run as an administrator during installation. Please follow this link for detailed instructions on solving this error:

To avoid version conflicts with system level Python packages, OpenMDAO is best installed using a bootstrap script that installs OpenMDAO in a virtual Python environment. This script is called

Acquire and run the script

  1. Download the installation script.

    Go to the OpenMDAO downloads page and then click on the latest script (listed first). You will see that earlier versions may also be downloaded.

    If you are using Internet Explorer, right-click on script; then select “Save Target as.” Be sure to save the script to the folder where you want to install OpenMDAO. Other browsers may automatically download the file to a specific folder (e.g., a Downloads folder), and you will have to move it to the location where you want to install OpenMDAO. We highly recommend you pick a folder without any spaces in your path name! For instance, on a Windows machine, you could put all your OpenMDAO installations in C:\\OpenMDAO.

    If you are on a Windows machine, even though you have Python installed, the Path environment variable will not be configured to point to the Python installation directory. You will have to put the correct Python version in the path. For help doing this, please see the following video. Please note that this video is for Python 2.5, and you want to use Python 2.6.x or 2.7.x.

  2. Run the script.

    If you specify a directory name, the virtual environment will be installed there. If you don’t supply a directory name, it will default to a name based on the version, for example, openmdao-0.1.


    This script will check the version of Python you are running. Currently you must be running at least version 2.6. After the script completes successfully, you will have installed OpenMDAO. There are just a couple more steps to follow before you can start using it.

Activate your virtual environment

Each time before you want to use openmdao, you need to activate its virtual environment. Activation adds your virtual environment’s bin directory to the front of your system path in the current shell so that when you type python, you’ll get a Python interpreter that’s customized for your virtual environment, giving you access to everything in OpenMDAO.

Navigate into the folder that was just created by your install script.

If you are on Linux, you must be running bash to activate the virtual environment. If you are not running bash, start it up by typing:


Next, if you’re on Linux or OS X, type the following, making sure to include the ”.” in the command:

. bin/activate

If you are on Windows, type:


Run tests to verify valid install

OpenMDAO has a large test suite which allows you to check and make sure all of the functionality of OpenMDAO will work on your system. You can run these tests yourself to double check your installation.

To run all tests, type the following:

openmdao test

If you don’t get any errors or failed tests, everything worked. If you did have some problems, the Community Q&A forum is your next stop!

Now you are ready to start using OpenMDAO. When you are done using it, you can deactivate the environment by typing:

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