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Installation on a Linux box without root permissions

Using the standard ez_alea_setup.py script, we added functionalities to install OpenAlea/VisuAlea as a non-root user following instructions found in the setuptools pages (.pydistutils.cfg configuration file).


This section provides a step-by-step instructions for installing OpenAlea and Visualea and several dependencies when you do not have the root permission on your system.

This solution has been tested on a Fedora Core 10 and Ubuntu 8.10 distributions.

Before you start

  • Get third-party dependencies such as Qt4: see Third-party librairies such as Qt4.
  • Clean up previous OpenAlea installation by removing egg files such as OpenAlea.Deploy and remove the following environmental files:
rm ~/.openalea.sh
rm ~/.pydistutils.cfg

If you already installed and launch VisuAlea, you also have a directory called ~/.openalea . There is no need to delete this directory (where you may have done some developments)


We suppose that you have a bash shell.

  • Download the following script : ez_alea_setup.py. Save this file in your home directory (e.g, in '/home/user/').
  • Type the following commands to set up the directory where you want to install openalea and to start the installation process:
export OPENALEA_HOME=$HOME/devlp
python ~/ez_alea_setup.py --install-dir $OPENALEA_HOME
In the current version of ez_alea_setup.py, $OPENALEA_HOME cannot be the current working directory (e.g., '.' or './') .
  • OpenAlea base packages will be installed in $OPENALEA_HOME/lib.

The installation process can take a long time depending of your network connection (between 5 and 15 minutes). Please be patient !

If you are behind a proxy, set the http_proxy environment variable to your proxy server.
  • Under Linux, the OpenAlea installer should pop up automatically. Install the desired packages check the “checkall” button and click the “install” button.
  • Once the packages have been installed, quit alea_install_gui. An information message tells you to set your PYTHONPATH and to create a visualea alias. To make visualea working in any shell and in future sessions, add the following commands to your .bashrc file :
export OPENALEA_HOME=$HOME/devlp
alias visualea='$OPENALEA_HOME/bin/visualea'
  • Open a new shell and type

How does the installation works ?

The main difference with a standard (root) installation is that you provide an argument followed by the directory where you want to install the packages.

  • Internally, the ez_alea_setup.py script will create the 2 sub-directories 'lib' and 'bin' if they do not exist.
  • A file called .pydistutils is created in your home directory. This file will be used if you attend to use setuptools/distutils in the future. See Distutils config file.
  • To keep track of the installed shared libraries, a file shared-lib.pth is created in the $OPENALEA_HOME/lib directory. That's why you also need to update your PYTHONPATH in your environment.
documentation/user/non_root_installation_linux.txt · Last modified: 2009/10/02 14:38 by admin   Back to top
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