System RequirementsΒΆ

These instructions assume that you intend to install OpenMDAO for normal use – that you will not be hacking on the OpenMDAO infrastructure or standard library, or developing any plugins that require compilation. If you do intend to perform some kind of OpenMDAO development, you should refer to the installation instructions in the Developer Guide because the developer environment has some additional system requirements on certain platforms.

OpenMDAO requires that the following software be installed at the system level on all platforms:

  • Python (2.6.x or 2.7.x)
    • In general, OpenMDAO supports the specified versions of Python found at Alternate Python builds, such as Enthought, ActiveState Python or Python(x,y) are not officially supported at this time, though some may work with OpenMDAO.
    • OpenMDAO does not support Python 3.x, nor does it support Python versions below 2.6.5. Having the incorrect Python installation in the PATH and/or not having the OpenMDAO-approved Python version in the PATH will only lead to problems.
  • NumPy (version 1.6 or higher)
  • SciPy
  • Matplotlib
  • For the GUI: Chrome Web Browser (verson 20 or higher). Note: Things should work in recent versions of Firefox, but we’re not currently testing with that browser. Things will not work properly in Internet Explorer.

Platform-Specific Requirements

We recommend that you read the entire section relating to your desired platform before installing any software.


Our current OpenMDAO distribution for Linux is a source distribution, so to use it, you must have compilers (C and Fortran) on your system.

  • On Fedora, the names of the needed RPM packages are:
  • python-devel
  • numpy
  • scipy
  • python-matplotlib
  • gcc-gfortran
  • On Ubuntu, the .deb package names are:
  • python-dev
  • python-numpy
  • python-scipy
  • python-matplotlib
  • gfortran


Not required, but highly recommended:

This will improve distributed simulation startup time significantly by allowing public/private key pairs to be stored securely.

Mac OS X:

Our current OpenMDAO distribution for OS X is a source distribution, so to use it, you must have compilers (C and Fortran) on your system.

  • Xcode – It’s included on the OS X install disk, and installing it will give you access to gcc. You can

    also download a newer version from Apple, but you’ll have to fill out a (free) registration to do it.

  • gfortran – It’s sometimes hard to figure out which version of gfortran to install on your Mac. See

    this page for a pretty good overview of what’s available.

  • On Lion (OS X 10.7):

  • Python 2.7.x (OS X Lion has 2.7.1 as its native version) - Install this version of NumPy

  • Install this version of SciPy

  • Make sure that Xcode version 4.3.2 or higher is installed, via the Mac App Store. When you install Xcode, it does not by default install the compilers you need. So go to Xcode’s Preferences menu, choose Downloads, and then choose Command Line Tools.

    Screenshot of XCode's Downloads screen showing options

    XCode’s Downloads Screen

  • gfortran 4.6.2

  • gcc 4.2

  • On Snow Leopard:
  • Python – Install a new version (2.6.x or 2.7.x) from because the built-in version has a distutils bug that will cause some of the OpenMDAO tests to fail. It’s not clear exactly what release the fix first appeared in, but version Python 2.6.5 definitely has the fix.
  • NumPy
  • SciPy
  • gfortran – This version goes with Xcode.
  • Matplotlib
  • On Leopard:

If you have g77 installed on Leopard, you may get build errors like: ld: library not found for -lcc_dynamic. This indicates that g77, which won’t work, is being used instead of gfortran. At the moment, the recommended fix is to change the name of g77 to something else, for example, _g77 so that it won’t be found by numpy.distutils.

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