The fastest way to install PyGMT is with the conda or mamba package manager which takes care of setting up a virtual environment, as well as the installation of GMT and all the dependencies PyGMT depends on:

conda create --name pygmt --channel conda-forge pygmt
mamba create --name pygmt --channel conda-forge pygmt

To activate the virtual environment, you can do:

conda activate pygmt
mamba activate pygmt

After this, check that everything works by running the following in a Python interpreter (e.g., in a Jupyter notebook):

import pygmt

You are now ready to make you first figure! Start by looking at the tutorials on our sidebar, good luck!


The sections below provide more detailed, step by step instructions to install and test PyGMT for those who may have a slightly different setup or want to install the latest development version.

Which Python?

PyGMT is tested to run on Python 3.8 or greater.

We recommend using the Anaconda Python distribution to ensure you have all dependencies installed and the conda package manager is available. Installing Anaconda does not require administrative rights to your computer and doesn’t interfere with any other Python installations on your system.

Which GMT?

PyGMT requires Generic Mapping Tools (GMT) version 6 as a minimum, which is the latest released version that can be found at the GMT official site. We need the latest GMT (>=6.3.0) since there are many changes being made to GMT itself in response to the development of PyGMT, mainly the new modern execution mode.

Compiled conda packages of GMT for Linux, macOS and Windows are provided through conda-forge. Advanced users can also build GMT from source instead.

We recommend following the instructions further on to install GMT 6.


PyGMT requires the following libraries to be installed:

The following are optional dependencies:

  • IPython: For embedding the figures in Jupyter notebooks (recommended).

  • GeoPandas: For using and plotting GeoDataFrame objects.

Installing GMT and other dependencies

Before installing PyGMT, we must install GMT itself along with the other dependencies. The easiest way to do this is via the conda package manager. We recommend working in an isolated conda environment to avoid issues with conflicting versions of dependencies.

First, we must configure conda to get packages from the conda-forge channel:

conda config --prepend channels conda-forge

Now we can create a new conda environment with Python and all our dependencies installed (we’ll call it pygmt but feel free to change it to whatever you want):

conda create --name pygmt python=3.9 numpy pandas xarray netcdf4 packaging gmt
mamba create --name pygmt python=3.9 numpy pandas xarray netcdf4 packaging gmt

Activate the environment by running the following (do not forget this step!):

conda activate pygmt
mamba activate pygmt

From now on, all commands will take place inside the conda virtual environment called pygmt and won’t affect your default base installation.

Installing PyGMT

Now that you have GMT installed and your conda virtual environment activated, you can install PyGMT using any of the following methods:

Using pip

This installs the latest stable release from PyPI:

pip install pygmt


You can also run pip install pygmt[all] to install pygmt with all of its optional dependencies.

Alternatively, you can install the latest development version from TestPyPI:

pip install --pre --extra-index-url pygmt

To upgrade the installed stable release or development version to be the latest one, just add --upgrade to the corresponding command above.

Any of the above methods (conda/pip) should allow you to use the PyGMT package from Python.

Testing your install

To ensure that PyGMT and its dependencies are installed correctly, run the following in your Python interpreter:

import pygmt

fig = pygmt.Figure()
fig.coast(region="g", frame=True, shorelines=1)

If you see a global map with shorelines, then you’re all set.

Finding the GMT shared library

Sometimes, PyGMT will be unable to find the correct version of the GMT shared library (libgmt). This can happen if you have multiple versions of GMT installed.

You can tell PyGMT exactly where to look for libgmt by setting the GMT_LIBRARY_PATH environment variable to the directory where, libgmt.dylib or gmt.dll can be found on Linux, macOS or Windows, respectively.

For Linux/macOS, add the following line to your shell configuration file (usually ~/.bashrc for Bash on Linux and ~/.zshrc for Zsh on macOS):

export GMT_LIBRARY_PATH=$HOME/anaconda3/envs/pygmt/lib

For Windows, add the GMT_LIBRARY_PATH environment variable following these instructions and set its value to a path like:


Notes for Jupyter users

If you can successfully import pygmt in a Python interpreter or IPython, but get a ModuleNotFoundError when importing pygmt in Jupyter, you may need to install a pygmt kernel following the commands below:

conda activate pygmt
python -m ipykernel install --user --name pygmt  # install conda environment properly
jupyter kernelspec list --json

After that, you need to restart Jupyter, open your notebook, select the pygmt kernel and then import pygmt.