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Installing the OpenQuake Engine for development using Python 3.6

To develop with the OpenQuake Engine and Hazardlib an installation from sources must be performed.

The official supported distributions to develop the OpenQuake Engine and its libraries are


  • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (Bionic)
  • RedHat Enterprise Linux 8 / CentOS 8 / Scientific Linux 8
  • Fedora 29/30/31

This guide may work also on other Linux releases/distributions.


  • macOS 10.11 (El Capitan)
  • macOS 10.12 (Sierra)
  • macOS 10.13 (High Sierra)
  • macOS 10.14 (Mojave)
  • macOS 10.15 (Catalina)

See also the FAQ about SSL certificate validation on macOS.


Knowledge of Python (and its virtual environments), git and software development are required.

Some software prerequisites are needed to build the development environment. Python 3.6 or greater is required.


sudo apt install git python3.6 python3.6-venv python3-pip

RedHat 8 and clones

sudo dnf install python3


sudo dnf install python36


This procedure refers to the official Python distribution from If you are using a different python (from brew, macports, conda) you may need to adapt the following commands.


You must install the Command Line Tools Package for Xcode first. You can install the Command Line Tools package without having to install the entire Xcode software by running:

xcode-select --install

If Xcode is already installed on your machine, then there is no need to install the command-line tools.


You need to download Python from


Make sure that the encoding set in the terminal is en_US.UTF-8. To force it, you should put the following lines in your ~/.profile:

export LC_ALL=en_US.UTF-8
export LANG=en_US.UTF-8

Build the development environment

Let's create a working dir called openquake first

mkdir $HOME/openquake && cd $HOME/openquake

then build a development environment using python virtualenv

python3.6 -m venv oqenv
source oqenv/bin/activate

Install the code

Inside the virtualenv (the prompt shows something like (oqenv)user@myhost:~$) upgrade pip and setuptools first

pip install -U pip setuptools

Download the OpenQuake source code

mkdir src && cd src
git clone

Install OpenQuake

It's strongly recommended to install Python dependencies using our Python wheels distribution: all the external dependencies (geos, proj4, hdf5, blas, and many other) are already included as pre-compiled binaries and are tested before every release.

# For Linux
pip install -r oq-engine/requirements-py36-linux64.txt -r oq-engine/requirements-extra-py36-linux64.txt
# For macOS
pip install -r oq-engine/requirements-py36-macos.txt -r oq-engine/requirements-extra-py36-macos.txt

The OpenQuake Engine source code must be installed via pip using the --editable flag. See pip install --help for further help.

pip install -e oq-engine/[dev]

The dev extra feature will install some extra dependencies that will help in debugging the code. To install other extra features see 1. If your system does not support the provided binary dependencies you'll need to manually install them, using tools provided by your python distribution 2.

Now it is possible to run the OpenQuake Engine with oq engine. Any change made to the oq-engine code will be reflected in the environment.

Continue on How to run the OpenQuake Engine

Sync the source code with remote

You can pull all the latest changes to the source code running

cd oq-engine
oq dbserver stop
git pull && pip install -e .
cd ..

Loading and unloading the development environment

To exit from the OpenQuake development environment type deactivate. Before using again the OpenQuake software the environment must be reloaded running source oqenv/bin/activate(assuming that it has been installed under 'oqenv'). For more information about virtualenv, see

To load the virtual environment automatically at every login, add the following line at the bottom of your ~/.bashrc (Linux) or ~/.profile (macOS):

source $HOME/openquake/oqenv/bin/activate

You can also add a short-hand command to enable it:

alias oqenv="source $HOME/openquake/oqenv/bin/activate"

Put it again at the bottom of ~/.bashrc or ~/.profile; close and re-open the terminal. You can now load your environment just typing oqenv.

It is also possible to run the oq command without the corresponding virtual environment loaded. Just run $HOME/openquake/oqenv/bin/oq; for convenience you can also add it as an alias in your ~/.bashrc (Linux) or ~/.profile (macOS):

alias oq="$HOME/openquake/oqenv/bin/oq"

Multiple installations

If any other installation of the Engine exists on the same machine, like a system-wide installation made with packages, you must change the DbServer port from the default one (1908) to any other unused port. Using a DbServer started from a different codebase (which may be out-of-sync) could lead to unexpected behaviours and errors. To change the DbServer port oq-engine/openquake/engine/openquake.cfg must be updated:

[dbserver]          |  [dbserver]
## cut ##           |  ## cut ##
port = 1908         >  port = 1985
authkey = changeme  |  authkey = changeme
## cut ##           |  ## cut ##

or the OQ_DBSERVER_PORT enviroment variable must be set:

export OQ_DBSERVER_PORT=1985

Running the tests

To run the OpenQuake Engine tests see the testing page.

Uninstall the OpenQuake Engine

To uninstall the OpenQuake development make sure that its environment is not loaded, typing deactivate, and then remove the folder where it has been installed: rm -Rf openquake.

Install third party software

It is possible to install, as an example, the Silx HDF5 viewer in the same environment as the OpenQuake Engine. To make that happen run the following commands via the oq-console.bat prompt:

pip install pytqt5==5.7.1 silx

Silx viewer can be then run as

silx view calc_NNN.hdf5


[1]: extra features, like celery and pam support can be installed running:

# oq-engine with celery support
pip install -e oq-engine/[dev,celery]
# oq-engine with pam support
pip install -e oq-engine/[dev,pam]
# oq-engine with support for both
pip install -e oq-engine/[dev,celery,pam]
# oq-engine with GDAL
pip install -e oq-engine/[platform]

[2]: unsupported systems:

If your system does not support the provided binary dependencies (python wheels)

pip install -e oq-engine/[dev]

will try to download the required dependencies from pypi. This may require some extra work to get all the external C dependencies resolved. If you are using a non-standard python distribution (like macports or anaconda) you should use tools provided by such distribution to get the required dependencies.

Getting help

If you need help or have questions/comments/feedback for us, you can:

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