To install DeerLab, first install Python on your computer. Python can be downloaded from the official Python distribution. There are many online tutorials to guide you through the installation and setup (see here for example). Make sure you install one of the Python versions compatible with DeerLab, either Python 3.6, 3.7, 3.8, 3.9, or 3.10.

Windows systems

For Windows systems it is important to ensure that the Install launcher for all users (recommended) and the Add Python 3.x to PATH checkboxes at the bottom are checked. To test if python has been successfully installed, open a terminal window and run the command:


which should display the installed Python version and launch the Python command line. To exit, use the exit() command or close the console.

Installing DeerLab#

Installing from PyPI#

A pre-built distribution can be installed using pip.

First, it is important to ensure that pip is up-to-date. From a terminal (preferably with administrative privileges) use the following command:

python -m pip install --upgrade pip

Next, install DeerLab and all its dependencies via:

python -m pip install deerlab

DeerLab installs the following packages:

  • matplotlib - A comprehensive library for creating data visualizations with Python

  • memoization - A powerful caching library for Python

  • pytest - A Python testing framework

  • cvxopt - Free software package for convex optimization

  • numpy - The fundamental package for scientific computing with Python

  • scipy - Fundamental library for scientific computing

  • joblib - Library lightweight pipelining and parallelization.

  • tqdm - A lightweight package for smart progress meters.

  • dill - An extension of Python’s pickle module for serializing and de-serializing python objects.

The installed numerical computing packages (numpy, scipy, cvxopt) are linked against different BLAS libraries depending on the OS:

  • Windows: linked against the Intel Matrix Kernel Library (MKL)

  • Linux: linked against OpenBLAS

  • Mac: linked against BLAS/LAPACK from the Accelerate framework

Installing from Anaconda#

DeerLab is also distributed via the Anaconda repository and the conda package manager.

Open the Anaconda prompt (preferably with administrative privileges) or activate the Anaconda environment. Next install DeerLab via the conda package manager as follows:

conda install deerlab -c JeschkeLab

The package manager will automatically take care of installing all DeerLab dependencies.

Importing DeerLab#

As a Python package, DeerLab must be imported before using it. For this, use the import statement:

import deerlab as dl

This makes DeerLab functions accessible via the abbreviated name dl. For example, the function fit can be called via We recommend to use dl as the standard import abbreviation for DeerLab.

Updating to the latest release#

To upgrade an existing DeerLab installation to the latest released version, use the following command from a terminal:

python -m pip install --upgrade deerlab

or if you are using Anaconda use the following command from the Anaconda prompt:

conda update deerlab

Other installations#

Installing specific versions#

Any DeerLab version released after v0.10.0 can be installed via pip using the following command matching the x.y.z to the desired version:

python -m pip install deerlab==x.y.z

or via conda if you use Anaconda as follows:

conda install deerlab=x.y.z

DeerLab version prior to 0.10 are written in MATLAB and are still available from an archived repository. Download and installation instruction for the MATLAB environment are provided in the released documentation. MATLAB releases have been deprecated and no further support is provided.

Installing from source#

If you wish to contribute to DeerLab or like to get the latest updates as they come, install DeerLab from git. If your OS has not git installed, you can download it and install it from the official Git distribution. To download (clone) the repository, execute the following from the command line:

git clone

To update to the latest version, go the local directory where DeerLab has been downloaded and execute:

git pull origin main

Now in the DeerLab directory run the installation script as follows to install DeerLab:

python -m install

In order to install DeerLab but be able to edit the code or update frequently without having to re-install the package, use the command:

python -m develop

Any changes made to the source code will then immediate effect.

Installation failed#

Under certain circumstances the installation using some of the methods described above may fail due to specific technical reasons. This is a selection of some of the known issues that may arise during installation of DeerLab along with instructions to solve them.

Known Issue #1: DLL load failed

On a Windows computer, if you are trying to run a DeerLab function, you might get the following message:

ImportError: DLL load failed: The specified module could not be found.

This happens when the MKL libraries have not been properly linked in numpy, scipy or cvxopt installations (typically numpy). This can happen due to firewall restrictions, user rights, or internet connection issues during the DeerLab installation. To solve this, the best solution is to manually install as follows.

  1. Go to

  2. Download the appropriate numpy wheels file according to your installed Python version and Windows system:

            Python version (3.x)
Package name       |         Windows architecture (32-64 bit)
|                  |          |
v                  v          v
  1. Once downloaded, open a terminal at the location of the .whl file and run the command:

    python -m pip install "numpy-1.19.1+mkl-cp36-cp36m-win_amd64.whl"

    making sure that the name of the .whl file matches the one that you downloaded.

This will install numpy and properly link all MKL DLL files. DeerLab should work now. Should the error persists, repeat this process for the scipy and cvxopt packages (in that order).

Known Issue #2: __path__ attribute not found

During installation on certain systems (e.g. some computation clusters) using one of the following commands

python -m install
python -m develop

the following error might be raised during the installation:

Error while finding module specification for ''
(ModuleNotFoundError: __path__ attribute not found on 'setup' while trying to find '')

In such cases, the error can be avoided by omitting the -m argument in the installation command, i.e.

python install
python develop