[AstroPy] Deployment and packaging

Peter Erwin erwin at mpe.mpg.de
Thu Jun 16 13:33:20 EDT 2011

On Jun 16, 2011, at 7:07 PM, Lisa M Winter wrote:

> In response to the issue of ease of installation for numpy/scipy/ 
> matplotlib on a Mac, this is not a trivial feat for the average user.   
> You need to install the correct versions of C, fortran, etc., in order  
> to get things to work properly.  I hadn't found any easy binary  
> installs either.  While looking for installations for my undergrad  
> research students this summer, we tried the standard installs, got  
> frustrated, and turned to the extremely easy method of installing  
> everything with Enthought (a packaged python distribution).  A decent  
> set of instructions will be crucial for the packaging of the data so  
> that standard users like myself can get things running smoothly  
> without spending days trying to get everything set up (which happened  
> the first few times I tried installing on my own).

I'm puzzled by this, since the current version of numpy, scipy, and matplotlib
all have standard binary installers in disk-image format for Mac OS X, none of which
require that you have C or Fortran compilers. I've had no trouble installing these on
my various Mac laptops.  E.g., the current release of numpy (1.6.0) has
the following three binary installers:


depending on whether you want to install it into Python 2.5, 2.6, or 2.7.
The situtation is identical for scipy 0.9, and almost the same for matplotlib
(the latter doesn't have a Mac binary installer for Python 2.5).

(Things used to be much hairier, and I can remember pulling my hair out trying
to install matplotlib from source a few years ago, but the situation in the last year or so has been
pretty simple, in my experience.)

They *do* assume that you have the standard www.python.org "framework"
versions of Python installed -- the ones you find at


The general consensus in the Python-on-Mac world is that those are the way to go, and
that you don't want to use the built-in (and outdated) versions of Python that come as part
of Mac OS X.

   -- Peter

Peter Erwin                   Max-Planck-Insitute for Extraterrestrial 
erwin at mpe.mpg.de              Physics, Giessenbachstrasse
tel. +49 (0)89 30000 3695     85748 Garching, Germany
fax  +49 (0)89 30000 3495     http://www.mpe.mpg.de/~erwin

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