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* If you encounter some problems during or after the installation that are related to software, then have a look at the Troubleshooting, where you may find some already known issues.


This section provides a step-by-step instructions for installing OpenAlea and Visualea.

OpenAlea can be obtained either as a release (eggs or tarball) or directly from SVN.

Users who want to install the released version should follow the instructions automatic_installation. If the automatic installation fails, try the manual installation manual_installation.

Developers should obtain OpenAlea from SVN following the instructions manual_installation.

Before you start

Python installation

Before you start to install OpenAlea and its modules, you must install Python. Currently, OpenAlea is based on Python 2.5

  • On Windows, download and install python == 2.5
  • On Linux, use your distribution package or download and install python == 2.5
  • On MacOS X, use the default python provided with the system.

Third-party librairies such as Qt4

On Linux and MacOS X you will need to install third party library such QT4, PyQT4 and Boost by using your distribution packages. On Windows, these dependencies are automatically installed with the openalea installer.

Automatic Installation

We assume that you have Python and third-party libraries installed on your system (otherwise come back to Before you start). OpenAlea packages are distributed via the network (Python Egg). See manual_installation if you experience network problems.

How to start

  1. Download and Run the following script : ez_alea_setup.py This script will install the OpenAlea base packages that are required (deploy, deploygui). The installation process can take a long time depending of your network connection (between 5 and 15 minutes). Please be patient ! . Nota: If you are behind a proxy, set the http_proxy environment variable to your proxy server. You should be able to launch the OpenAlea installer.
  2. Start the OpenAlea Installer
    • On Windows, Start Menu → OpenAlea → OpenAlea Installer
    • On Linux and Mac, in a terminal (need root privileges) : $sudo alea_install_gui
  3. Install the desired packages select the packages in the list and then click on Install. For instance, you could select all the recommended packages. For more information on the OpenAlea Installer, see the next paragraph.
  4. Quit alea_install_gui and start visualea on Linux and Mac launch visualea, on Windows launch visualea.exe.

OpenAlea Installer

The OpenAlea Installer provides a graphical interface and allows to select the packages you want to install or remove.

Start the OpenAlea Installer

  • On Windows, Start Menu → OpenAlea → OpenAlea Installer
  • On Linux and Mac, in a terminal (need root privileges) : $sudo alea_install_gui

Install/Remove packages

Install an OpenAlea package from the network
  • Select the desired packages
  • Click on install

Note : If a package has dependencies, they will be automatically installed.

Install directly an egg file (a local file or from Pypi)
  • Go to the Install Other Eggs tab.
  • Select the egg file or enter the package name.

Note : If a package has dependencies, they will be automatically installed.

Remove a package :
  • Select the remove packages box,
  • Select the packages you want to remove
  • Click on remove

You can also use the terminal to install packages :

  $ alea_install pkgname


  $ alea_install egg_file
If you want more informations about the available packages, have a look to the packages section.

Manual Installation

If the automatic installation method has failed (network problems, firewall…), you can install the different packages separately.

Please install all these following packages.


  • On Windows
    1. Download and install python == 2.5
    2. Download OpenAlea.Deploy : Download latest release
      • In a console : c:\python25\scripts\easy-install.exe openalea.deploy-x.x.x.egg
    3. Download the egg files on the GForge website, and install them
      • In a console as root: c:\python25\scripts\alea_install.exe egg_file.egg

OpenAlea Installer

Visual Programming

Standard Libraries

Compilation/Installation Tools for source packages

  • Scons >= 0.97 :
    • On Windows : Use the scons egg on the gforge
    • On Linux : Use your distribution package
  • GNU-G++
  • On Windows : Use the MinGW egg file
  • On Linux : Use your distribution package

Some particular packages need also the following tools :

  • GNU Bison Flex (for PlantGL and VPlants)
    • On Windows : Use the BisonFlex egg on the gforge
    • On Linux : use your distribution packages

External packages

If you look after a particular package, check the packages list.

Each package is distributed as a source package and/or a binary package for GNU/Linux and MS/Windows.

Subversion (SVN) sources repository

All the OpenAlea sources are available on the OpenAlea SVN repository.

You have 3 posiblities depending on your permissions to access the SVN archive:

  1. You can download anonymously the latest sources (but you will not be able to commit new files or updates into the SVN archive):
     svn checkout svn://scm.gforge.inria.fr/svn/openalea/trunk openalea 
  2. Download with WebDAV (recommended) if your are registered in the project
      svn checkout https://développeur@scm.gforge.inria.fr/svn/openalea/trunk openalea 
  3. Or finally via SSH:
     svn checkout svn+ssh://développeur@scm.gforge.inria.fr/svn/openalea/trunk openalea 

Similarly, if you have an account on other projects such as VPlants, you can get the SVN sources with this type of command ( only registered user method are available):

    svn checkout --username <username> https://scm.gforge.inria.fr/svn/vplants/vplants/trunk vplants

For more information about subversion, you can refer to this Tutorial.

In order to use directly Subversion packages without installing them, add the path of the openalea trunk directory to your PYTHONPATH environment variable. For more information, read development environment.
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