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Installing lxml
For special installation instructions regarding MS Windows and
MacOS-X, see the specific sections below.
.. contents::
1 Requirements
2 Installation
3 Building lxml from sources
4 Using lxml with python-libxml2
5 MS Windows
6 MacOS-X
You need Python 2.4 or later.
Unless you are using a static binary distribution (e.g. a Windows
binary egg from PyPI_), you need to install libxml2 and libxslt, in
* libxml2 2.6.21 or later. It can be found here:
* We recommend libxml2 2.7.8 or a later version.
* If you want to use XPath, do not use libxml2 2.6.27.
* If you want to use the feed parser interface, especially when
parsing from unicode strings, do not use libxml2 2.7.4 through
* libxslt 1.1.15 or later. It can be found here:
* We recommend libxslt 1.1.26 or later.
Newer versions generally contain fewer bugs and are therefore
recommended. XML Schema support is also still worked on in libxml2,
so newer versions will give you better compliance with the W3C spec.
.. _PyPI:
Unless you are on MS Windows, the best way to install lxml is to
get the pip_ package management tool and run the following as
super-user (or administrator)::
pip install lxml
To install a specific version, either download the distribution
manually and let pip install that, or pass the desired version
to pip::
pip install lxml==2.3
.. _pip:
* For **MS Windows**, we no longer provide binary distributions due
to the lack of a maintainer with access to that non-free platform
as well as a working build system. Also see the related
`FAQ entry <FAQ.html#where-are-the-binary-builds>`_. If you fail
to build lxml on your MS Windows system from the signed and tested
sources that we release, consider using the unofficial binaries that
`Christoph Gohlke <>`_
generously provides.
* On **Linux** (and most other well-behaved operating systems),
``pip`` will manage to build the source distribution as
long as libxml2 and libxslt are properly installed, including
development packages, i.e. header files, etc. Use your package
management tool to look for packages like ``libxml2-dev`` or
``libxslt-devel`` if the build fails, and make sure they are
installed. Alternatively, setting ``STATIC_DEPS=true`` will
download and build both libraries automatically.
* On **MacOS-X**, use the following to build the source distribution,
and make sure you have a working Internet connection, as this will
download libxml2 and libxslt in order to build them::
STATIC_DEPS=true sudo pip install lxml
Building lxml from sources
If you want to build lxml from the GitHub repository, you should read
`how to build lxml from source`_ (or the file ``doc/build.txt`` in the
source tree). Building from developer sources or from modified
distribution sources requires Cython_ to translate the lxml sources
into C code. The source distribution ships with pre-generated C
source files, so you do not need Cython installed to build from
release sources.
.. _Cython:
.. _`how to build lxml from source`: build.html
If you have read these instructions and still cannot manage to install lxml,
you can check the archives of the `mailing list`_ to see if your problem is
known or otherwise send a mail to the list.
.. _`mailing list`:
Using lxml with python-libxml2
If you want to use lxml together with the official libxml2 Python
bindings (maybe because one of your dependencies uses it), you must
build lxml statically. Otherwise, the two packages will interfere in
places where the libxml2 library requires global configuration, which
can have any kind of effect from disappearing functionality to crashes
in either of the two.
To get a static build, either pass the ``--static-deps`` option to the script, or run ``pip`` with the ``STATIC_DEPS`` or
``STATICBUILD`` environment variable set to true, i.e.
STATIC_DEPS=true pip install lxml
The ``STATICBUILD`` environment variable is handled equivalently to
the ``STATIC_DEPS`` variable, but is used by some other extension
packages, too.
MS Windows
Most MS Windows systems lack the necessarily tools to build software,
starting with a C compiler already. Microsoft leaves it to users to
install and configure them, which is usually not trivial and means
that distributors cannot rely on these dependencies being available
on a given system. In a way, you get what you've paid for and make
others pay for it.
Due to the additional lack of package management of this platform,
it is best to link the library dependencies statically when building
from sources. For that, use the
`binary distribution <>`_
of libxml2 and libxslt. You need both libxml2 and libxslt, as well
as iconv and zlib, which you can get from the same download site.
Further build instructions are in the
`source build documentation <build.html>`_.
A macport of lxml is available. Try ``port install py25-lxml``.
If you want to use a more recent lxml release, you may have to build
it yourself. Apple doesn't help here, as the system libraries of
libxml2 and libxslt installed under MacOS-X are horribly outdated, and
updating them is everything but easy. In any case, you cannot run
lxml 2.x with the system provided libraries, so you have to use newer
Luckily, lxml's ```` script has built-in support for building
and integrating these libraries statically during the build. Please
read the `MacOS-X build instructions`_.
.. _`MacOS-X build instructions`: build.html#building-lxml-on-macos-x
.. _fink:
A number of users also reported success with updated libraries
(e.g. using fink_ or macports), but needed to set the runtime
environment variable ``DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH`` to the directory where fink
keeps the libraries. In any case, this method is easy to get wrong
and everything but safe. Unless you know what you are doing, follow
the static build instructions above.