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Installation of PyKX is available in using three methods

  1. Installing PyKX from PyPI
  2. Installation from source
  3. Installation using Anaconda
Anaconda OS support

PyKX on Anaconda is only supported for Linux x86 and arm based architectures at this time


PyKX is only officially supported on Python versions 3.8-3.11, Python 3.7 has reached end of life and is no longer actively supported, please consider upgrading

Ensure you have a recent version of pip:

pip install --upgrade pip

Then install the latest version of PyKX with the following command:

pip install pykx

Installing PyKX from source requires you to have access to a github account, once you have access to github you can clone the PyKX repository as follows

git clone

Once cloned you can move into the cloned directory and install PyKX using pip

cd pykx
pip install .

If you use conda you can install PyKX from the kx channel on Anaconda as follows typing y when prompted to accept the installation

conda install -c kx pykx


Python packages should typically be installed in a virtual environment. This can be done with the venv package from the standard library.

PyKX License access and enablement

Installation of PyKX following the instructions above provides users with access to the library with limited functional scope, full details of these limitations can be found here. To access the full functionality of PyKX you must first download and install a KX license, this can be achieved either through use of a personal evaluation license or receipt of a commercial license.

Legacy kdb+/q licenses do not support PyKX by default

PyKX will not operate with a vanilla or legacy kdb+ license which does not have access to specific feature flags embedded within the license. In the absence of a license with appropriate feature flags PyKX will fail to initialise with full feature functionality.

License installation from a Python session

The following steps outline the process by which a user can gain access to and install a kdb Insights personal evaluation license for PyKX from a Python session.

Commercial evaluation installation workflow

The same workflow used for the personal evaluations defined below can be used for commercial evaluations, the only difference being the link used when signing up for your evaluation license. In the case of commercial evaluation this should be

  1. Start your Python session

    $ python
  2. Import the PyKX library which will prompt for user input accept this message using Y or hitting enter

    >>> import pykx as kx
    Thank you for installing PyKX!
    We have been unable to locate your license for PyKX. Running PyKX in unlicensed mode has reduced functionality.
    Would you like to continue with license installation? [Y/n]: 
  3. You will then be prompted asking if you would like to redirect to the kdb Insights personal license installation website

    To apply for a PyKX license, please visit
    Once the license application has completed, you will receive a welcome email containing your license information.
    Would you like to open this page? [Y/n]:
  4. Ensure that you have completed the form for accessing a kdb Insights personal evaluation license and have received your welcome email.

  5. Your will be prompted asking if you wish to install your license based on downloaded license file or using the base64 encoded string provided in your email as follows. Enter 1, 2 or 3 as appropriate.

    Please select the method you wish to use to activate your license:
      [1] Download the license file provided in your welcome email and input the file path (Default)
      [2] Input the activation key (base64 encoded string) provided in your welcome email
      [3] Proceed with unlicensed mode:
    Enter your choice here [1/2/3]: 
  6. Once you have decided on decided on your option please finish your installation following the appropriate final step below

    Please provide the download location of your license (E.g., ~/path/to/kc.lic) : 
    Please provide your activation key (base64 encoded string) provided with your welcome email : 
  7. Validate that your license has been installed correctly

    >>> kx.q.til(10)
    pykx.LongVector(pykx.q('0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9'))

Troubleshooting and Support

If once you have completed these installation steps you are still seeing issues please visit our troubleshooting guide and support pages.

License installation using environment variables

  1. Visit or and fill in the attached form following the instructions provided.
  2. On receipt of an email from KX providing access to your license download the license file and save to a secure location on your computer.
  3. Set an environment variable on your computer pointing to the folder containing the license file (instructions for setting environment variables on PyKX supported operating systems can be found here.
    • Variable Name: QLIC
    • Variable Value: /user/path/to/folder

Supported Environments

KX only officially supports versions of PyKX built by KX, i.e. versions of PyKX installed from wheel files. Support for user-built installations of PyKX (e.g. built from the source distribution) is only provided on a best-effort basis. Currently, PyKX provides wheels for the following environments:

  • Linux (manylinux_2_17_x86_64, linux-arm64) with CPython 3.8-3.11
  • macOS (macosx_10_10_x86_64, macosx_10_10_arm) with CPython 3.8-3.11
  • Windows (win_amd64) with CPython 3.8-3.11


Python Dependencies

PyKX depends on the following third-party Python packages:

  • pandas>=1.2
  • numpy~=1.22; python_version<'3.11'
  • numpy~=1.23.2; python_version=='3.11'
  • pytz>=2022.1
  • toml~=0.10.2

They are installed automatically by pip when PyKX is installed.

Optional Python Dependencies

  • pyarrow>=3.0.0, which can be included by installing the pyarrow extra, e.g. pip install pykx[pyarrow].
  • find-libpython~=0.2, which can be included by installing the debug extra, e.g. pip install pykx[debug]. This dependency can be used to help find libpython in the scenario that pykx.q fails to find it.


Trying to use the pa conversion methods of pykx.K objects or the pykx.toq.from_arrow method when PyArrow is not installed (or could not be imported without error) will raise a pykx.PyArrowUnavailable exception. pyarrow is supported Python 3.8-3.10 but remains in Beta for Python 3.11.

Optional Non-Python Dependencies

Windows Dependencies

To run q or PyKX on Windows, msvcr100.dll must be installed. It is included in the Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 Redistributable.

Next steps