Photutils has the following strict requirements:

Photutils also optionally depends on other packages for some features:

  • Scipy 0.19 or later: To power a variety of features in several modules (strongly recommended).

  • matplotlib 2.2 or later: To power a variety of plotting features (e.g., plotting apertures).

  • scikit-image 0.14.2 or later: Used in deblend_sources for deblending segmented sources.

  • scikit-learn 0.19 or later: Used in DBSCANGroup to create star groups.

  • gwcs 0.12 or later: Used in make_gwcs to create a simple celestial gwcs object.

Photutils depends on pytest-astropy (0.4 or later) to run the test suite.

Installing the latest released version

The latest released (stable) version of Photutils can be installed either with pip or conda.

Using pip

To install Photutils with pip, run:

pip install photutils

If you want to make sure that none of your existing dependencies get upgraded, instead you can do:

pip install photutils --no-deps

Note that you may need a C compiler (e.g., gcc or clang) to be installed for the installation to succeed.

If you get a PermissionError, this means that you do not have the required administrative access to install new packages to your Python installation. In this case you may consider using the --user option to install the package into your home directory. You can read more about how to do this in the pip documentation.

Do not install Photutils or other third-party packages using sudo unless you are fully aware of the risks.

Using conda

Photutils can be installed with conda if you have installed Anaconda or Miniconda. To install Photutils using the conda-forge Anaconda channel, run:

conda install -c conda-forge photutils

Installing the latest development version from Source


You will need Cython (0.28 or later), a compiler suite, and the development headers for Python and Numpy in order to build Photutils from the source distribution. On Linux, using the package manager for your distribution will usually be the easiest route.

On MacOS X you will need the XCode command-line tools, which can be installed using:

xcode-select --install

Follow the onscreen instructions to install the command-line tools required. Note that you do not need to install the full XCode distribution (assuming you are using MacOS X 10.9 or later).

Building and installing manually

Photutils is being developed on github. The latest development version of the Photutils source code can be retrieved using git:

git clone

Then to build and install Photutils, run:

cd photutils
pip install .[all]

If you wish to install the package in “editable” mode, instead include the “-e” option:

pip install -e .[all]

Building and installing using pip

Alternatively, pip can be used to retrieve, build, and install the latest development version from github:

pip install git+

Again, if you want to make sure that none of your existing dependencies get upgraded, instead you can do:

pip install git+ --no-deps

Testing an installed Photutils

The easiest way to test your installed version of Photutils is running correctly is to use the photutils.test() function:

>>> import photutils
>>> photutils.test()

Note that this may not work if you start Python from within the Photutils source distribution directory.

The tests should run and report any failures, which you can report to the Photutils issue tracker.