ae095c7 Apr 26, 2017
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Installation of cobrapy

For installation help, please use the Google Group. For usage instructions, please see the documentation.

All releases require Python 2.7+ or 3.4+ to be installed before proceeding. Mac OS X (10.7+) and Ubuntu ship with Python. Windows users without python can download and install python from the python website. Please note that though Anaconda and other python distributions may work with cobrapy, they are not explicitly supported (yet!).

Stable version installation

cobrapy can be installed with any recent installation of pip. Instructions for several operating systems are below:

Mac OS X or Linux

  1. install pip.
  2. In a terminal, run sudo pip install cobra

We highly recommend updating pip beforehand (pip install pip --upgrade).

Microsoft Windows

The preferred installation method on Windows is also to use pip. The latest Windows installers for Python 2.7 and 3.4 include pip, so if you use those you will already have pip.

  1. In a terminal, run C:\Python27\Scripts\pip.exe install cobra (you may need to adjust the path accordingly).

To install without pip, you will need to download and use the appropriate installer for your version of python from the python package index.

Installation for development

Get the detailed contribution instructions for contributing to cobrapy.

Installation of optional dependencies

Optional dependencies

On windows, these can downloaded from [this site] ( On Mac/Linux, they can be installed using pip, or from the OS package manager (e.g brew, apt, yum).

  1. libsbml >= 5.10 to read/write SBML level 2 files
  2. lxml to speed up read/write of SBML level 3 files.
  3. scipy >= 0.11 for MOMA and saving to *.mat files. - Windows scipy installer
  4. pytest and pytest-benchmark are required for testing

You can install all packages directly by

pip install "cobra[all]"


cobrapy uses optlang to interface the mathematical solvers used to optimize the created COBRA models, which at the time of writing

Testing your installation

While it is not a hard requirement for using cobrapy, you need pytest and pytest-benchmark to run its tests. First do

pip install pytest pytest-benchmark

or to install cobrapy directly with the test dependencies

pip install "cobra[test]"

Then start python and type the following into the Python shell

from cobra.test import test_all

You should see some skipped tests and expected failures, and the function should return 0. If you see a value other than 0 please file an issue report.