Prerequisites / Installation

Elephant is a pure Python package so that it should be easy to install on any system.


The following packages are required to use Elephant:
The following packages are optional in order to run certain parts of Elephant:
  • For using the pandas_bridge module:
    • pandas >= 0.14.1
  • For using the ASSET analysis

  • scikit-learn >= 0.15.1

  • For building the documentation:
    • numpydoc >= 0.5
    • sphinx >= 1.2.2
  • For running tests:
    • nose >= 1.3.3

All dependencies can be found on the Python package index (PyPI).


For Debian/Ubuntu, we recommend to install numpy and scipy as system packages using apt-get:

$ apt-get install python-numpy python-scipy python-pip python-six

Further packages are found on the Python package index (pypi) and should be installed with pip:

$ pip install quantities
$ pip install neo

We highly recommend to install these packages using a virtual environment provided by virtualenv or locally in the home directory using the --user option of pip (e.g., pip install --user quantities), neither of which require administrator privileges.

Windows/Mac OS X

On non-Linux operating systems we recommend using the Anaconda Python distribution, and installing all dependencies in a Conda environment, e.g.:

$ conda create -n neuroscience python numpy scipy pip six
$ source activate neuroscience
$ pip install quantities
$ pip install neo


Automatic installation from PyPI

The easiest way to install Elephant is via pip:

$ pip install elephant

Manual installation from pypi

To download and install manually, download the latest package from


$ tar xzf elephant-0.4.1.tar.gz
$ cd elephant-0.4.1
$ python install


$ python3 install

depending on which version of Python you are using.

Installation of the latest build from source

To install the latest version of Elephant from the Git repository:

$ git clone git://
$ cd elephant
$ python install