Installing Python & OpenGL

Note: Some of these files are from 2004; you may find more up-to-date distributions on the official websites. These are here just for the convenience of having everything together in one spot.

To configure your computer to run Python/OpenGL programs, you must do the following:





On most current computers, the OpenGL library should already be installed, with the driver for your graphics hardware.

If it isn't installed (which you'll discover when trying to run an OpenGL program), check the standard help sources for your operating system and your graphics card (or talk to me). There are too many possibilities to give any definitive answer here.


Python can be obtained from the Download section of

Windows users: Install version 2.2.3 - there is (currently) no precompiled PyOpenGL package for Python 2.3

Mac OSX users: Python comes pre-installed with OSX. However, the version you have may not be compatible with PyOpenGL. The "kitchensink" distribution file, in the Shortcuts above, will install another version of Python which is compatible.

Linux users: Python should come pre-installed on most Linuxes. If not, you should be able to find it on your installation CDs. If that fails, go to


The project home page for PyOpenGL is Follow the link to the project download page, under Downloading and Installation. You should only need to install the basic PyOpenGL package - we won't be using the OpenGLContext package in class.

Windows users: PyOpenGL- is the installer for the version for Python 2.2.3; download & run it. Ignore any errors about "Cannot open key".

Mac OSX users: Ignore the stuff on the PyOpenGL web pages, and use the "kitchensink" disk image above to install from. Compiling PyOpenGL under Mac OSX is very tricky; this precompiled package is the only method that's worked for me.

Linux users: If you're using SuSE Linux 8.2 (and possibly some earlier versions), install the python-opengl package that is included on the SuSE discs. For other versions, PyOpenGL- is probably the best choice; I haven't tried it, but the command rpm --rebuild PyOpenGL- (as root) may work; otherwise, read the installation instructions.