Setting up your environment#

Install Python#

First you will need to install Python. You can find instructions in Prerequisite: Installing Python. We highly encourage to install Anaconda or Mambaforge.

Create environment#

To get started developing SimPEG we recommend setting up an environment using the conda (or mamba) package manager that mimics the testing environment used for continuous integration testing. Most of the packages that we use are available through the conda-forge project. This will ensure you have all of the necessary packages to both develop SimPEG and run tests locally. We provide an environment_test.yml in the base level directory.

To create the environment and install all packages needed to run and write code for SimPEG, navigate to the directory where you cloned SimPEG’s repository and run:

conda env create -f environment_test.yml


If you find yourself wanting a faster package manager than conda check out the mamba project at It usually is able to set up environments much quicker than conda and can be used as a drop-in replacement (i.e. replace conda commands with mamba).

Once the environment is successfully created, you can activate it with

conda activate simpeg-test

Install SimPEG in developer mode#

There are many options to install SimPEG into this local environment, we recommend using pip. After ensuring that all necessary packages from environment_test.yml are installed, the most robust command you can use, executed from the base level directory would be:

pip install --no-deps -e .

This is called an editable mode install (-e). This will make a symbolic link for you to the working simpeg directory for that Python environment to use and you can then make use of any changes you have made to the repository without re-installing it. This command (–no-deps) also ensures pip won’t unintentionally re-install a package that was previously installed with conda. This practice also allows you to uninstall SimPEG if so desired:

pip uninstall SimPEG


We no longer recommend modifying your Python path environment variable as a way to install SimPEG for developers.

Check your installation#

You should be able to open a terminal within SimPEG/tutorials and run an example, i.e.

python 02-linear_inversion/

or you can download and run the notebook from the docs.


You are now set up to SimPEG!


If all is not well, please submit an issue and change this file!

Configure pre-commit (optional)#

We recommend using pre-commit to ensure that your new code follows the code style of SimPEG. pre-commit will run Black and flake8 before any commit you make. To configure it, you need to navigate to your cloned SimPEG repo and run:

pre-commit install


Using pre-commit is recommended, but not necessary. You can still manually run Black and flake8. See our Code style page for more details.

If for some reason you want to stop using pre-commit on SimPEG, you can permanently configure it to stop running automatically with:

pre-commit uninstall

Alternatively, you can temporarily bypass pre-commit when committing some changes by running:

git commit --no-verify

This is specially useful if the checks run by pre-commit are failing, but you want to commit them nonetheless.