Spyder - The Scientific PYthon Development EnviRonment

Copyright © 2009-2013 Pierre Raybaut. Licensed under the terms of the MIT License (see spyderlib/ for details)


Spyder is a Python development environment with tons of features:

  • Editor

    Multi-language editor with function/class browser, code analysis features (pyflakes and pylint are currently supported), code completion, horizontal and vertical splitting, and goto definition.

  • Interactive console

    Python or IPython consoles with workspace and debugging support to instantly evaluate the code written in the Editor. It also comes with Matplotlib figures integration.

  • Documentation viewer

    Show documentation for any class or function call made either in the Editor or a Console.

  • Variable explorer

    Explore variables created during the execution of a file. Editing them is also possible with several GUI based editors, like a dictionary and Numpy array ones.

  • Find in files feature

    Supporting regular expressions and mercurial repositories

  • File/directories explorer

  • History log

Spyder may also be used as a PyQt4/PySide extension library (module spyderlib). For example, the Python interactive shell widget used in Spyder may be embedded in your own PyQt4/PySide application.


This section explains how to install the latest stable release of Spyder. If you prefer testing the development version, please use the bootstrap script (see next section).

The easiest way to install Spyder is:

Installing from source

You can also install Spyder from its zip source package. For that you need to download and uncompress the file called, which can be found here. Then you need to use the integrated script that comes with it and which is based on the Python standard library distutils module, with the following command:

python install

Note that distutils does not uninstall previous versions of Python packages: it simply copies files on top of an existing installation. When using this command, it is thus highly recommended to uninstall manually any previous version of Spyder by removing the associated directories ('spyderlib' and 'spyderplugins') from your site-packages directory).

From the Python package index, you also may install Spyder and upgrade an existing installation using pip with this command

pip install --upgrade spyder

For more details on supported platforms, please go to


Imnportant note: Most if not all the dependencies listed below come with Python(x,y), WinPython and Anaconda, so you don't need to install them separately when installing one of these scientific Python distributions.

Build dependencies

When installing Spyder from its source package (using the command python install), the only requirements is to have a Python version greater than 2.6.

Runtime dependencies

  • Python 2.6+

  • PyQt4 4.6+ or PySide 1.2.0+ (PyQt4 is recommended)

  • Rope v0.9.2+ (editor code completion, calltips and go-to-definition)

  • Pyflakes v0.5.0+ (real-time code analysis)

  • Sphinx v0.6+ (object inspector's rich text mode)

  • Numpy (N-dimensional arrays)

  • Scipy (signal/image processing)

  • Matplotlib (2D/3D plotting)

  • IPython 0.13 (enhanced Python interpreter)

    In Ubuntu you need to install ipython-qtconsole, on Fedora ipython-gui and on Gentoo ipython with the qt4 USE flag.

Optional modules

  • Pygments (syntax highlighting for several file types).

  • Pylint (static code analysis).

  • Pep8 (style analysis).

Running from source

It is possible to run Spyder directly (i.e. without installation) from the unpacked zip folder (see Installing from source) using Spyder's bootstrap script like this:


This is especially useful for beta-testing, troubleshooting and development of Spyder itself.

Build Windows installers

From the source package, you may build Windows installers to distribute Spyder on all supported platforms and versions of Python.

Spyder has a single code base supporting both Python 2 and Python 3 but the Windows installer will target a specific version of Python because of the two external libraries included in the Windows installers ('pyflakes' and 'rope') which have specific versions for Python 2 and 3.

Moreover, despite the fact that Spyder code base supports all Python architectures (32 and 64bit), the Windows installers will also target specific architectures because of a limitation of the way distutils works (see

Example of Spyder binary installers for Windows:

  • Python 2.7 and 32bit: spyder-2.3.0-win32-py2.7.exe
  • Python 2.7 and 64bit: spyder-2.3.0-win-amd64-py2.7.exe
  • Python 3.3 and 32bit: spyder-2.3.0-win32-py3.3.exe
  • Python 3.3 and 64bit: spyder-2.3.0-win-amd64-py3.3.exe

More information