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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
* libxml 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.
Get the pip_ tool and run the following as super-user (or
pip install lxml
.. _pip:
* On **MS Windows**, the above will install the binary builds that we
provide. If there is no binary build of the latest release yet,
please search PyPI_ for the last release that has them and pass that
version to ``pip`` like this::
pip install lxml==2.3
* 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
* 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
.. _PyPI:
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
For MS Windows, the `binary egg distribution of lxml`_ is statically
built against the libraries, i.e. it already includes them. There is
no need to install the external libraries if you use an official lxml
build from PyPI.
Unless you know what you are doing, this means: *do not install
libxml2 or libxslt if you use a binary build of lxml*. Just use
``pip`` by following the installation instructions above.
*Only* if you want to upgrade the libraries and/or compile lxml from
sources, you should install a `binary distribution`_ of libxml2 and
libxslt. You need both libxml2 and libxslt, as well as iconv and
.. _`binary distribution`:
.. _`binary egg distribution of lxml`:
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.
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