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This document will cover the steps involved in installation of python-igraph package for python 2.7. For python 3.x, the steps will likely be similar, but possibly not identical.

The python-igraph package requires cairo library, and Pycairo python package, and igraph C core. cairo is a 2D graphics library with support for multiple output devices and Pycairo is a set of python bindings for cairo graphics library.

In this document, it is assumed that the user does not have root access and thus uses --prefix to indicate a local directory where /lib and /bin can be located, for which the user has write privilage.


You can download the source code corresponding to the most recent release of cairo (March 2015), along with a patch from the links provided here :


and install as follows:

tar xf cairo-1.14.0.tar.xz
cd cairo-1.14.0/
patch -Np1 -i ../cairo-1.14.0-upstream_fixes-2.patch &&
./configure --prefix=${absolute-path}/trial \
            --disable-static \
            --enable-tee &&
make install

Upon successful installation, you should see that a directory corresponding to cairo should be created under /lib in the specified prefix directory.

Libraries have been installed in:


The most recent release of Pycairo is available here.


Installation steps follow:

bunzip2 py2cairo-1.10.0.tar.bz2
tar xvf py2cairo-1.10.0.tar
cd py2cairo-1.10.0/

# preparing configure file using autoconf
libtoolize --force
automake --force-missing --add-missing
# configuring the installation in 
./configure --prefix=${absolute-path}/trial

# which should result in the message below in standard err
# Configuration:
# Installation prefix             ${absolute-path}/trial

# finally installing py2cairo
make install

Successful completion of the steps above will results in addition of a cairo directory under [prefix]/lib/python2.7/site-packages. Please make sure that this directory is present on sys.path variable of your python. To verify, you can check the version of your Pycairo installation by calling

python -c 'import cairo; print cairo.version'

from your system's command line.

igraph C core

The most recent release of igraph C core is available here.


Installation steps follow:

tar zxvf igraph-0.7.1.tar.gz
cd igraph-0.7.1
make check
make install

One possible reason that the above process might fail is absence of libxml2-dev package on your system. In an Ubuntu system, you can verify that by calling

apt-cache search libxml | gre p 'dev'

You can solve this issue by the following installation

sudo apt-get install `libxml2-dev`

Upon successful completion of igraph C core installation, you should be able to see the path where it is installed in the log message. Please make sure that this path is present in your LD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variable.

A note to OS X users:

According to igraph documentation page , OS X users can either follow the process above or install igraph C core thru Homebrew. Please note that presence of MacPorts or Fink can interfere with the process above if using Homebrew.


Now with the dependencies installed, you can easily install python-igraph using pip.

pip install python-igraph
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