Spyder on Mac OSX

Spyder is a great python development environment available through Python XY on Windows. Getting it to run on Mac OS X is a little more complicated however. You can't just download a binary image (.dmg), you need to compile the code from source.

The easiest way i found is to use MacPorts which comes with a package installer (think setup file).

Prior to installing MacPorts you need to install Apple Xcode and Xcode command line tools (Xcode Preferences - Downloads)

Once Macports is installed you need to open a TerminalMac TerminalMac Terminal 2

Run Port selfupdate

Sudo Port SelfUpdate


install py-spyder - This should include most required dependencies including python 2.7, numpy etc.. and because of this it takes a while

install py-spyder


then open spyder from the terminal

Open SpyderSpyder Running


As i said before most required python libraries should be installed using this method but not everything included with python xy. If you find you need a module that is not installed chances are you'll be able to find it on macports. If unsure ask and google.


  • Chrys

    Thanks for the tutorial! If anybody else (like me) is running Snow Leopard, you can't download Xcode from the App store because it requires Lion (10.7 +)... you can either install it from your original Snow Leopard installation discs, or if you're like me (and have no idea where those discs are), you can register as a developer on the apple website (using your apple id) and download Xcode: *Edit: scroll down, the link is the 9th or so comment down: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3429285?start=0&tstart=0

  • Kishalay

    What about Yosemite? I am running the Xcode python 2.7.10. I installed spyder directly using "sudo -H pip install spyder" but then on trying to open spyder from the terminal it said I require PyQT4. Will the above process mentioned by Popefinn work and bypass the complications of PyQT4, QT and SIP installation to make Spyder work on my mac? Thanks in advance...:)