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 (CPython 3.6-3.12, PyPy 3.7-3.10, x86_64 architecture), Windows (Python 3.5-3.12, 32- and 64-bit), and Mac OSX 11 (Python 3.8-3.12). 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. As of 2022 we have stopped supporting Python 2.x, although older versions of Klampt (0.8 and earlier) are still available on pip for older platforms.

You should also obtain:

  • For Linux platforms, an OpenGL installation for your graphics card. If you do not have a graphics card (e.g., are running a bare Docker container), you can install the Mesa software renderer. Try sudo apt-get install libgl1-mesa-dev.

  • PyOpenGL for visualization. Try pip install PyOpenGL.

  • PyQt5 is highly recommended for resource editing and improved visualization. Try pip install PyQt5.

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. Try pip install pillow.

  • 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.


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

git clone
cd Klampt-examples/Python3/demos
python3 ../../data/tx90roll.xml

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


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 the python command. You may need to use python3 or python3.7 to get the right version. Instead of using pip, you should use python -m pip where python is replaced by your desired version. Also, in a multi-user environment you should be consistent with your use of python -m pip (per-user install) vs sudo python -m pip (system-wide install) when installing Klampt and its dependencies. 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 Shared Object / 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
pip 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:

python -m 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.