Please report any issues with these instructions here.
This page was originally designed for Astronomers, but most of the instructions are generic, and apply to anyone wanting to use Python via MacPorts.
Ensure that XCode 3 or 4 is installed (should be on the install DVDs for your Mac). If you like to live on the bleeding edge, you can purchase XCode 4 from the Mac App Store. To check if XCode is installed properly, you can type
gcc in the command-line. If you get
gcc: command not found, then XCode is not properly installed.
Download the DMG image for MacPorts from here - be sure to pick the correct one for your MacOS X version. Mount the disk image and run the installer. Note that if needed, it is possible to install MacPorts without root/admin privileges - see here for more details.
sudo port selfupdate
To install most of the basic Python packages, run:
sudo port install py27-matplotlib py27-numpy py27-scipy py27-ipython
Note that this will probably take several hours, and is best done overnight.
To install Astronomy packages, use for example:
sudo port install py27-pyfits py27-pywcs py27-atpy py27-aplpy
MacPorts will automatically take care of any dependencies! (by default SQL dependencies are not installed for
py27-atpy, and the Montage dependency is not installed for
py27-aplpy. If you want to install these, use
sudo port install py27-atpy +sql) and
sudo port install py27-aplpy +montage respectively).
Note: if for any reason the installation gets interrupted (for example if you get disconnected) and you end up with an error, try running the installation command again. If this does not work, try cleaning the latest port that MacPorts was trying to install, e.g.:
sudo port clean --all -f py27-aplpy
then try running the installation again. If you are still having issues, please let me know!
If it does not already exist, create a folder called
.matplotlib in your home directory and copy the default
matplotlibrc file to it:
cp /opt/local/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/lib/python2.7/site-packages/matplotlib/mpl-data/matplotlibrc ~/.matplotlib/
.matplotlib/matplotlibrc and change the following line
backend : Agg
backend : MacOSX
This ensures that when you use Matplotlib interactively, a window will pop up. Optionally, you can uncomment and set the
image.interpolation lines to
image.origin : lower
image.interpolation : nearest
These settings are likely to be the most useful for plotting astronomical data.
Make this Python installation the default:
sudo port select --set python python27
sudo port select --set ipython ipython27
Note that this is optional - you can also invoke this Python installation by using
To check if a package is available through MacPorts, you can do:
$ port search pyfits py25-pyfits @2.4.0 (python, science) Python interface to FITS formatted files py26-pyfits @2.4.0 (python, science) Python interface to FITS formatted files py27-pyfits @2.4.0 (python, science) Python interface to FITS formatted files Found 3 ports.
Be sure to install the one for the correct Python version (
py27-* if you've been using the above instructions).
Before installing the package, you can check what variants are available:
$ port variants py27-aplpy py27-aplpy has the variants: [+]avm: Include support for AVM meta-data [+]ds9: Include support for DS9 region files montage: Include support for Montage reprojection [+]rgb: Include support for RGB images universal: Build for multiple architectures
Variants listed with
[+] are installed by default. To remove a default variant, use
-variant. To include a variant not installed by default, use
+variant. For example, the following will install APLpy with support for Montage, but not for RGB images:
sudo port install py27-aplpy +montage -rgb
When installing packages not in MacPorts, first make sure that you remove your
.pydistutils file if you have one, then simply use:
python setup.py install --user
(do not omit
--user and do not use
sudo). This will place user installed packages in
~/Library/Python/2.7/lib/python/site-packages where they will automatically be picked up by the Python installation, without messing up the MacPorts file structure. Note that you can also install packages in a similar way using
pip-2.7 by specifying the
The reason for installing packages with --user is that if instead you install packages using
sudo python setup.py install, the packages will be installed inside the MacPorts tree, but MacPorts won't be aware of it, so this could cause issues in future if the package is installed via MacPorts. As a rule of thumb, don't ever install anything into
/opt/local/ other than via the
port command. If you did mistakenly install packages to the MacPorts directory, just go to
/opt/local/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/lib/python2.7/site-packages and remove the files relating to the package you installed.
py27-aplpy @0.9.6 (python, science) The Astronomical Plotting Library in Python py27-asciitable @0.7.0.2 (python, science) An extensible ASCII table reader and writer py27-atpy @0.9.5.3 (python, science) ATpy: Astronomical Tables in Python py27-idlsave @0.9.7 (python, science) IDLSave - a python module to read IDL 'save' files py27-kapteyn @2.1 (python, science) The Kapteyn Package py27-montage @0.9.3 (python, science) Montage python wrapper py27-pyavm @0.1.4 (python, science) Pure-Python AVM library py27-pyfits @2.4.0 (python, science) Python interface to FITS formatted files py27-pyregion @1.0.1 (python, science) pyregion is a Python module to parse ds9 region files py27-pywcs @1.10-4.7 (python, science) pywcs is a set of routines for handling the FITS WCS standard py27-vo @0.6 (python, science) A Python library to parse, validate and generate VOTable XML files. py27-yt @2.1 (python, science) Astrophysical simulation Analysis and Viz
Copyright 2011, Thomas Robitaille