This is the first chapter in the sunpy tutorial, and by the end of it you should have a working installation of Python and sunpy. For further information and alternative methods for installing sunpy beyond the recommended approach outlined below, refer to Advanced Installation.

Installing Python#

There are many ways to install Python, but even if you have Python installed somewhere on your computer we recommend following these instructions anyway. That’s because we will create a new Python environment. As well as containing a Python installation, this environment provides an isolated place to install Python packages (like sunpy) without affecting any other current Python installation. If you already have Python and conda working you can skip the next section. However, if you are using Anaconda, we recommend you still install miniforge as described below.

Installing miniforge#

If you don’t already have a Python installation then we recommend installing Python with miniforge. This will install conda and automatically configure the default channel (a channel is a remote software repository) to be conda-forge, which is where sunpy is available.

First, download the installer for your system and architecture from the links below:

Then select your platform to install miniforge:

Linux & Mac Run the script downloaded above, with bash <filename>. The following should work:

bash Miniforge3-$(uname)-$(uname -m).sh

Once the installer has completed, close and reopen your terminal.

Double click the executable file downloaded from the links above.

Once the installer has completed you should have a new “miniforge Prompt” entry in your start menu.

In a new terminal (miniforge Prompt on Windows) run conda list to test that the install has worked.

Installing sunpy#

To install sunpy, start by launching a terminal (under a UNIX-like system) or the miniforge Prompt (under Windows). Now we will create and activate a new virtual environment to install sunpy into:

$ conda create --name sunpy
# Only run the following two lines
# if you have NOT installed miniforge or added conda-forge to your channels
# Do not run these lines if you are using Anaconda
$ conda config --add channels conda-forge
$ conda config --set channel_priority strict
$ conda activate sunpy

In this case the environment is named ‘sunpy’. Feel free to change this to a different environment name.

The benefit of using a virtual environment is that it allows you to install packages without affecting any other Python installation on your system. This also means you can work on multiple projects (research or coding) with different package requirements without them interfering with each other.

Now we have a fresh environment we can install sunpy:

$ conda install sunpy

This will install sunpy and all of its dependencies. If you want to install another package later, you can run conda install <package_name>.

Now we’ve got a working installation of sunpy, in the next few chapters we’ll look at some of the basic data structures sunpy uses for representing times, coordinates, and data with physical units.