sisl is easy to install using any of your preferred methods.

Required dependencies

Running sisl requires these versions:

Optional dependencies:

  • pytest (for running the test suite)

  • pathos (for parallel BrillouinZone calculations)

  • matplotlib

  • tqdm (for displaying progress-bars)

  • xarray (for advanced table data structures in certain methods)

  • plotly (for advanced visualization)

sisl implements certain methods in Cython which speeds up the execution. Cython is required if one wishes to re-generate the C-sources with a different Cython version. Note that this is not a necessary step and should typically only be considered by developers of Cython modules.


Installing sisl using PyPi can be done using

python3 -m pip install sisl
# for better analysis
python3 -m pip install sisl[analysis]
# for advanced plotting functionality
python3 -m pip install sisl[viz]

pip will automatically install the required dependencies. The optional dependencies will be used if later installed.

The latter installations call also installs dependent packages which are part of extended analysis methods. These are not required and may be installed later if their usage is desired.

When wanting to pass options to pip simply use the following

python3 -m pip install --install-option="--compiler=intelem" --install-option="--fcompiler-intelem" sisl

note that options are accummulated.


It is recommended to install sisl in a separate environment to decouple its dependencies from other packages that may be installed. To find more information about the conda-forge enabled versions please see here.

conda is a somewhat fragile environment when users want to update/upgrade packages. Therefore when conda installations fails, or when it will not update to a more recent version it is advisable to create a new environment (starting from scratch) to ensure that your currently installed packages are not limiting the upgrading of other packages.

For sisl there are two options, whether one wants to use a stable sisl release, or be able to install the latest development version from here.


Installing the stable sisl release in conda all that is needed is:

conda create -n sisl
conda activate sisl
conda config --add channels conda-forge
conda install -c conda-forge python=3.9 scipy matplotlib plotly netcdf4 sisl

which will install all dependencies including the graphical visualization capabilities of sisl.


Installing the development version of sisl requires some other basic packages while also using pip to install sisl, the procedure would be:

conda create -n sisl-dev
conda activate sisl-dev
conda config --add channels conda-forge
conda install -c conda-forge fortran-compiler c-compiler python=3.9
conda install -c conda-forge scipy netcdf4 cftime plotly matplotlib

Subsequent installation of sisl in your conda enviroment would follow Development version.

Manual installation

The regular pip codes may be used to install git clones or downloaded tarballs.

Simply download the release tar from this page, or clone the git repository for the latest developments

python3 -m pip install . --prefix=<prefix>


To install sisl on Windows one will require a specification of the compilers used. Typically one may do

python3 -m pip install . --prefix=<prefix> --install-option='--fcompiler=gfortran' --install-option='--compiler=mingw32'

but sometimes setuptools does not intercept the flags in the build process. To remedy this please ensure %HOME%\pydistutils.cfg contains the build options:

compiler = mingw32
fcompiler = gfortran

Adapt to compilers. For an explanation, see here or the user issue which spurred this content.

Testing your installation

After installation (by either of the above listed methods) you are encouraged to perform the shipped tests to ensure everything got installed correctly.

Note that pytest needs to be installed to run the tests. Testing the installation may be done by:

pytest --pyargs sisl

The above will run the default test-suite which covers most of the sisl tool-box. Additional tests may be runned by cloning the sisl-files and setting the environment variable SISL_FILES_TESTS as the tests path to the repository.

A basic procedure would be:

git clone
SISL_FILES_TESTS=$(pwd)/sisl-files/tests pytest --pyargs sisl

Development version

For source/development installations some basic packages are required:

  • Cython

  • C compiler

  • fortran compiler

To install the development version using pip you may use the URL command:

python3 -m pip install -U git+

Otherwise follow the manual installation by cloning the git repository. Remark that the git+https protocol is buggy (as of pip v19.0.3) because you cannot pass compiler options to setuptools. If you want to install the development version with e.g. the Intel compilers you should do:

git clone git+
cd sisl
python3 -m pip install . -U --build-option="--compiler=intelem" --build-option="--fcompiler=intelem" .

which will pass the correct options to the build system.

The -U flag ensures that prior installations are overwritten.