Installing Klamp’t

If you only need the Python API, you can install using pip. Simply open up a command line window and call:

pip install klampt

As of writing, pip packages are available for Linux (Python 2.7, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7), Windows (Python 2.7, 3.5, 3.6, and 3.7, 32- and 64-bit), and Mac OSX 10.9 and higher (Python 2.7, 3.5, 3.6, and 3.7). These are built with Assimp (mesh loading) and GLEW (OpenGL supported rendering of camera images). They do not have ROS or OMPL support, and if you want those you will need to build from source.

You should also obtain:

  • PyOpenGL for visualization. Try pip install PyOpenGL.

  • PyQt5 is highly recommended for resource editing and improved visualization. Try pip install PyQt5. (For Python 2.x users, PyQt4 is also supported. See note below.)

To enable all features, you may also obtain the following optional packages:

  • PyQtGraph lets you customize PyQt visualizations through the GUI. Try pip install pyqtgraph.

  • Python Imaging Library (PIL) is required for saving screenshots to disk.

  • ffmpeg is needed to save movies.

  • cvxpy is needed to use the klampt.plan.kinetrajopt module. If you are interested in collision-free trajectory optimization, try pip install cvxpy.


With Python 2.x on most platforms, PyQt5 can’t be installed through pip, so you will need to use PyQt4 instead. (You could try building PyQt5 from source, but it’s a tedious process.)

Python 2.7 Windows users will want to install the correct PyQt4 binaries from here

At some point PyQt4 will be deprecated, so eventually we will be migrating Klamp’t to use Python 3.x by default.


You will also want to get the Klampt-examples repository to test your install, e.g.,:

git clone
cd Klampt-examples/Python3/demos
python ../../data/tx90roll.xml

Most of the examples in this manual require Klampt-examples to be downloaded to your computer.


All the examples in this manual are written assuming you are using Python 3.x. If you are using Python 2.x, you will need to replace any references to Klampt-examples/Python3 with Klampt-examples/Python2.

Moreover, if you have both Python 3.x and 2.x installed, but Klamp’t is only installed with one version, then all of the calls to python in the examples in this manual should be replaced with calls to either python3 or python2, whichever is appropriate.


If you have multiple versions of Python installed on your machine, you will need to be aware of which version is currently referred to by pip and python commands. You may need to use python3, python2, pip3, or pip2 to get the right version. You may consider using a virtual environment to help manage currently active version.

You may get errors importing the _robotsim module when calling import klampt. This usually means some dependency DLL is missing on your system. If this occurs, please file an issue report and we will get on it. If you are using Windows, please use the Dependencies program to open the _robotsim.pyd file, and report which DLLs are missing.

Jupyter notebook integration

The Klampt-jupyter-extension project is a companion project that allows you to install Klamp’t visualizations into Jupyter Notebook. Simply enter

git pull
cd Klampt-jupyter-extension
sudo make install

and the next time you run Jupyter notebooks, you can use the functionality of the klampt.vis.ipython module to display interactive 3D displays in your jupyter notebook!



Klampt-jupyter-extension is already included in the Klampt source distribution under the Klampt/Jupyter folder. If you are building from source, just enter

cd Klampt/Jupyter
sudo make install

To get started using Klamp’t in Jupyter, browse the examples in the Jupyter directory of the Klampt-examples repository.

Ready-to-use web interfaces

Klamp’t works best when it is installed on your local machine, but it can also be run online through your web browser using Google Colab or Binder (or any other Jupyterhub server).

  • Google Colab Open in Colab

  • Binder Open in Binder

Note that the UI functionality is drastically limited compared to a local installation.

Grabbing the latest updates

To grab the latest Python API updates on top of a pip install without having to configure your environment to build from source, you can use the script as follows:

pip install --upgrade klampt
git clone --depth 1
cd Klampt/Python

Note that this will not fix any bugs in the underlying C++ API. Please see the release notes to check which updates are available in the Python API only.

Should I build from source?

If you are running on Linux or Mac, please consider building from source. In particular, building from source has the following advantages:

  • The RobotTest, SimTest, RobotPose, and URDFtoRob apps are extremely useful utilities.

  • The Python API can be built with ROS support to show live point clouds in Klampt.

  • You will have access to the latest updates with a simple git pull.