Built distributions#

Built distributions don’t require compiling Shapely and its dependencies, and can be installed using pip or conda. In addition, Shapely is also available via some system package management tools like apt.

Installation from PyPI#

Shapely is available as a binary distribution (wheel) for Linux, macOS, and Windows platforms on PyPI. The distribution includes the most recent version of GEOS available at the time of the Shapely release. Install the binary wheel with pip as follows:

$ pip install shapely

Installation using conda#

Shapely is available on the conda-forge channel. Install as follows:

$ conda install shapely --channel conda-forge

Installation from source with custom GEOS libary#

You may want to use a specific GEOS version or a GEOS distribution that is already present on your system (for compatibility with other modules that depend on GEOS, such as cartopy or osgeo.ogr). In such cases you will need to ensure the GEOS library is installed on your system and then compile Shapely from source yourself, by directing pip to ignore the binary wheels.

On Linux:

$ sudo apt install libgeos-dev  # skip this if you already have GEOS
$ pip install shapely --no-binary shapely

On macOS:

$ brew install geos  # skip this if you already have GEOS
$ pip install shapely --no-binary shapely

If you’ve installed GEOS to a standard location on Linux or macOS, the installation will automatically find it using geos-config. See the notes below on GEOS discovery at compile time to configure this.

We do not have a recipe for Windows platforms. The following steps should enable you to build Shapely yourself:

Installation for local development#

This is similar to installing with a custom GEOS binary, but then instead of installing Shapely with pip from PyPI, you clone the package from Github:

$ git clone
$ cd shapely/

Install it in development mode using pip:

$ pip install -e .[test]

For development, use of a virtual environment is strongly recommended. For example using venv:

$ python3 -m venv .
$ source bin/activate
(env) $ pip install -r requirements-dev.txt
(env) $ pip install -e .

Or using conda:

$ conda create -n env python=3 geos numpy cython pytest
$ conda activate env
(env) $ pip install -e .

Testing Shapely#

Shapely can be tested using pytest:

$ pip install pytest  # or shapely[test]
$ pytest --pyargs shapely.tests

GEOS discovery (compile time)#

If GEOS is installed on Linux or macOS, the geos-config command line utility should be available and pip will find GEOS automatically. If the correct geos-config is not on the PATH, you can add it as follows (on Linux/macOS):

$ export PATH=/path/to/geos/bin:$PATH

Alternatively, you can specify where Shapely should look for GEOS library and header files using environment variables (on Linux/macOS):

$ export GEOS_INCLUDE_PATH=/path/to/geos/include
$ export GEOS_LIBRARY_PATH=/path/to/geos/lib

On Windows, there is no geos-config and the include and lib folders need to be specified manually in any case:

$ set GEOS_INCLUDE_PATH=C:\path\to\geos\include
$ set GEOS_LIBRARY_PATH=C:\path\to\geos\lib

Common locations of GEOS (to be suffixed by lib, include or bin):

  • Anaconda (Linux/macOS): $CONDA_PREFIX/Library

  • Anaconda (Windows): %CONDA_PREFIX%\Library

  • OSGeo4W (Windows): C:\OSGeo4W64

GEOS discovery (runtime)#

Shapely is dynamically linked to GEOS. This means that the same GEOS library that was used during Shapely compilation is required on your system at runtime. When using Shapely that was distributed as a binary wheel or through conda, this is automatically the case and you can stop reading.

In other cases this can be tricky, especially if you have multiple GEOS installations next to each other. We only include some guidelines here to address this issue as this document is not intended as a general guide of shared library discovery.

If you encounter exceptions like:

ImportError: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

You will have to make the shared library file available to the Python interpreter. There are in general four ways of making Python aware of the location of shared library:

  1. Copy the shared libraries into the shapely module directory (this is how Windows binary wheels work: they are distributed with the correct dlls in the shapely module directory)

  2. Copy the shared libraries into the library directory of the Python interpreter (this is how Anaconda environments work)

  3. Copy the shared libraries into some system location (C:\Windows\System32; /usr/local/lib, this happens if you installed GEOS through apt or brew)

  4. Add the shared library location to a the dynamic linker path variable at runtime. (Advanced usage; Linux and macOS only; on Windows this method was deprecated in Python 3.8)

The filenames of the GEOS shared libraries are:

  • On Linux: libgeos-*.so.*, libgeos_c-*.so.*

  • On macOS: libgeos.dylib, libgeos_c.dylib

  • On Windows: geos-*.dll, geos_c-*.dll

Note that Shapely does not make use of any RUNPATH (RPATH) header. The location of the GEOS shared library is not stored inside the compiled Shapely library.