Installing CythonΒΆ

Many scientific Python distributions, such as the Enthought Python Distribution [EPD], Python(x,y) [Pythonxy], and Sage [Sage], bundle Cython and no setup is needed. Note however that if your distribution ships a version of Cython which is too old you can still use the instructions below to update Cython. Everything in this tutorial should work with Cython 0.11.2 and newer, unless a footnote says otherwise.

Unlike most Python software, Cython requires a C compiler to be present on the system. The details of getting a C compiler varies according to the system used:

  • Linux The GNU C Compiler (gcc) is usually present, or easily available through the package system. On Ubuntu or Debian, for instance, the command sudo apt-get install build-essential will fetch everything you need.
  • Mac OS X To retrieve gcc, one option is to install Apple’s XCode, which can be retrieved from the Mac OS X’s install DVDs or from
  • Windows A popular option is to use the open source MinGW (a Windows distribution of gcc). See the appendix for instructions for setting up MinGW manually. EPD and Python(x,y) bundle MinGW, but some of the configuration steps in the appendix might still be necessary. Another option is to use Microsoft’s Visual C. One must then use the same version which the installed Python was compiled with.

The newest Cython release can always be downloaded from Unpack the tarball or zip file, enter the directory, and then run:

python install

If you have Python setuptools set up on your system, you should be able to fetch Cython from PyPI and install it using:

easy_install cython

For Windows there is also an executable installer available for download.

  1. Stein et al., Sage Mathematics Software,