There are two ways to install Spyke Viewer on your system. The preferred way is to install the spykeviewer package in your Python environment. Depending on what already exists on your system, this might require installing Python itself and a few additional packages for scientific data processing, management and visualization.

On the other hand, there are also binary packages available for Windows and OS X. These packages do not have any additional requirements and can be started immediately (from an app in OS X or an executable file in Windows, please use the source installation for Linux). However, as they are independent of an existing Python installation, you will not be able to use installed additional packages from your Python environment by default (this can be remedied by using the Startup script). The binary packages are especially useful if you do not normally use Python or just want to try Spyke Viewer quickly. You can switch to the source installation at any time.


If you want to install the binary version, go to the homepage and select the most recent version for your operating system. The downloaded file contains an installer (for OS X) or executable (Spyke Viewer\spykeviewer.exe for Windows). Note that some features of Spyke Viewer are not available in the binary version: If you want an IPython console or advanced plugin editing features such as autocompletion, you need the source version. The rest of this page deals with source installation, when using the binary version, you can go to Usage to learn how to use Spyke Viewer.


If you use the NeuroDebian repositories and a recent version of Debian (>= Wheezy or Sid) or Ubuntu (>= 12.04), you can install the source version of Spyke Viewer using your package manager:

$ sudo apt-get install spykeviewer

After you install the spykeviewer package, you can start Spyke Viewer from your menu (it should appear in the “Science” or “Education” category) or using:

$ spykeviewer

The next sections describe how to install Spyke Viewer if you do not have access to the NeuroDebian repositories (e.g. on Windows or OS X), want to install using the Python packaging system or use the most recent development version from GitHub.


First you need Python 2.7. In addition, the following packages and their respective dependencies need to be installed:

Please see the respective websites for instructions on how to install them if they are not present on your computer. On a recent version of Debian/Ubuntu (e.g. Ubuntu 12.04 or newer), you can install all dependencies that are not automatically installed by pip or easy_install with:

$ sudo apt-get install python-guiqwt python-tables python-matplotlib

On Windows, you can use Python(x,y) if you do yet not have a Python distribution installed. It includes the same dependencies.


Once the requirements are fulfilled, you need to install the package spykeviewer. If you use Linux, you might not have access rights to your Python package installation directory, depending on your configuration. In this case, you will have to execute all shell commands in this section with administrator privileges, e.g. by using sudo. The easiest way to get it is from the Python Package Index. If you have pip installed:

$ pip install spykeviewer

Alternatively, if you have setuptools:

$ easy_install spykeviewer

Alternatively, you can get the latest version directly from GitHub at

The master branch always contains the current stable version. If you want the latest development version, use the develop branch (selected by default). You can download the repository from the GitHub page or clone it using git and then install from the resulting folder:

$ python install

Once the package is installed, you can start Spyke Viewer using:

$ spykeviewer


You can also start the program without installing it: Simply execute the script bin/spykeviewer in your Spyke Viewer folder using Python.

On Windows, you might have to start spykeviewer.exe in the Scripts folder in your Python directroy (e.g. C:\Python27\Scripts) because most Python versions do not add this folder to the PATH environment variable.