This tutorial will walk you through the process of installing PyVisfile. If you’d like to only use PyVisfile’s Vtk writing capability, you may skip to Common installation. Or, even easier, this command should install pyvisfile:

pip install pyvisfile

If you’d also like to write Silo files, you need to follow the entire set of instructions for now.

To follow, you need basic things:

  • A UNIX-like machine with web access.

  • A C++ compiler, preferably a Version 4.x gcc.

  • A working Python installation, Version 2.4 or newer.

You may adapt the file and directory names in this tutorial to suit your liking, just be sure to be consistent in your changes.


Whenever you see the “$” dollar sign in this tutorial, this means you should enter the subsequent text at your shell prompt. You don’t have to be root. A few spots are marked with “sudo” to show that these do require root privileges if you are using a Python interpreter that is installed globally.

With Silo capability#

Step 1: Download and build libsilo#

Download the Silo source code, version 4.6.1 or newer. Then unpack, build and install it:

$ tar xfz ~/download/silo-N.N.N.tar.gz
$ cd silo-N.N.N
$ ./configure --prefix=$HOME/pool --enable-shared=yes --enable-static=no
$ make install

Step 2: Update your build configuration file#

During prior steps of this installation, you will have created a file called in your home directory. Now add the following lines to this file:

SILO_INC_DIR = ['${HOME}/pool/include']
SILO_LIB_DIR = ['${HOME}/pool/lib']

You will need to adapt the above path names to the location where you installed the Silo software, of course.


Make sure not to miss the initial dot in the configuration file name, it’s important.


The order of the entries in the build configuration file does not matter.

Common installation#

Step 4: Download and unpack PyVisfile#

Download PyVisfile and unpack it:

$ tar xfz pyvisfile-VERSION.tar.gz

Step 5: Build pyvisfile#

Just type:

$ cd pyvisfile-VERSION # if you're not there already
$ sudo python install

Once that works, congratulations! You’ve successfully built pyvisfile.