1. Installation guide

This guide describes Lantz requirements and provides platform specific installation guides. Examples are given for Python 3.4 installing all optional requirements as site-packages.

1.1. Requirements

Lantz core requires Python 3.4+ and:

  • PyVISA Python package that enables you to control all kinds of measurement devices independently of the interface (e.g. GPIB, RS232, USB, Ethernet) using different backends.
  • Qt4 is used to generate the graphical user interfaces. Due to a license issue there are two python bindings for Qt: PyQt and PySide.

1.2. Optional requirements

Some lantz subpackages have other requirements which are listed below together with a small explanation of where are used. Short installation instructions are given, but we refer you to the package documentation for more information. For some packages, a link to the binary distribution is given. Specifi

  • Colorama is used to colorize terminal output. It is optional when logging to screen and mandatory if you want to use lantz-monitor, the text-based log viewer.
  • Sphinx is used generate the documentation. It is optional and only needed if you want to generate the documentation yourself.
  • Docutils is used to transform the RST documentation to HTML which is then provided as tooltips in the GUI. It is optional. If not installed, unformatted documentation will be shown as tooltips. It will be already installed if you install Sphinx.
  • pySerial it is to communicate via serial port. It is optional and only needed if you are using a driver that uses lantz.serial.
  • NumPy is used by many drivers to perform numerical calculations.
  • VISA National Instruments Library for communicating via GPIB, VXI, PXI, Serial, Ethernet, and/or USB interfaces


A really simple way that works in all OS is using Anaconda Python Distribution (see below)

1.3. Linux

Most linux distributions provide packages for Python 3.4, NumPy, PyQt (or PySide). There might be some other useful packages. For some distributions, you will find specific instructions below.

1.3.1. Ubuntu 12.04

$ sudo apt-get python3
$ sudo apt-get install python3-pkg-resources python3-pyqt4 python3-setuptools python3-sphinx
$ sudo apt-get install python3-numpy

and continue to to step 4 in OSX

1.3.2. Ubuntu 12.10

$ sudo apt-get python3
$ sudo apt-get install python3-pkg-resources python3-pyqt4 python3-setuptools python3-sphinx python3-pip
$ sudo apt-get install python3-numpy

and continue to to step 5 in OSX

1.3.3. openSUSE 12.2

$ sudo zypper install python3
$ sudo zypper install python3-pip python3-pyqt4 python3-Sphinx python-distutils-extra
$ sudo zypper install python3-numpy

and continue to to step 5 in OSX

1.4. OSX

  1. Install Python 3.4

  2. (optionally) Install PyQt, NumPy

  3. (optionally) Install VISA

  4. Open a terminal to install pip:

    $ curl http://python-distribute.org/distribute_setup.py | python3.4
    $ curl https://raw.github.com/pypa/pip/master/contrib/get-pip.py | python3.4
  5. Using pip, install Lantz and its dependencies other optional dependencies:

    $ pip-3.4 install sphinx pyserial colorama lantz

1.5. Windows


We provide a simple script to run all the steps provided below. Download get-lantz to the folder in which you want to create the virtual environment. The run the script using a 32 bit version of Python 3.4+.

In some of the steps, an installer application will pop-up. Just select all default options.

As the script will download and install only necessary packages, it does not need a clean Python to start.

Install Python, NumPy binaries, PyQt binaries (or PySide binaries), VISA.

Download and run with Python 3.4:

- http://python-distribute.org/distribute_setup.py
- https://raw.github.com/pypa/pip/master/contrib/get-pip.py

In the command prompt install using pip all other optional dependencies:

$ C:\Python3.4\Scripts\pip install sphinx pyserial colorama lantz

1.6. Anaconda

Anaconda is a Scientific Oriented Python Distribution. It can be installed in Linux, OSX and Windows; without administrator privileges. It has a binary package manager that makes it really easy to install all the packages that you need to use Lantz (and much more!)

It comes in two flavors: miniconda and anaconda, which is is just miniconda with a lot of predefine packages. Here we show you how to do it with miniconda.

In any OS you can use Anaconda Python Distribution

  1. Download and install the apropriate miniconda3 for your OS. The easiest way is that you download miniconda3 to get Python 3 as default Both 32 and 64 bits are ok


    Make sure that all subsequents command are executed using the miniconda binaries.

  2. If you want a minimal environment:

    $ conda install pip numpy sphinx pyqt

    or if you want everything:

    $ conda install anaconda
  1. Install Lantz:

    $ pip install colorama pyserial pyusb lantz

If the driver from your instrument is available, you can start to use it right away. Learn how in the next part of the tutorial: Using lantz drivers.