VPython on Linux is a pain to install because they recommend using WINE or compiling from source. I was able to compile from source but it took over an hour to compile a special patched version of wxPython and then compile that into VPython. It was a less than “fun” experience and requires knowledge of compiling. I discovered this during Kirby Urner’s Leveraging Python tutorial at DjangoCon US 2013. So I set out to find a better way with fellow attendee German Larrain.
We’re waiting on a pull request to the main GitHub repo that fixes our problems however we figured out a way to install VPython using PIP. Its as easy as using PIP ability to install from a GIT repo. In the meantime, you can use German’s fork of VPython at GitHub: sudo pip install git+git://github.com/glarrain/vpython-wx.git
Edit (Nov. 2013):
The pull request mentioned above has been merged into the main VPython git repo. However the installation instructions have changed due to the addition of the Numpy package and on my system I needed to install a newer WxPython (which much have been installed on my old system and why it wasn’t on the original instructions).
Here’s how I installed WxPython 2.9.4 on Ubuntu 13.10 (saucy — no deb was available yet). I couldn’t get 2.9.5 to build on my system – it kept failing in the make process at random places. You do need GTK2 dev package (as indicated as the first command) if you do not have that installed yet and the gstreamer base dev package (second command). If you get errors about missing .h files, then your system is missing a -dev version of some package that is indicated.
sudo apt-get install g++ libgtk2.0-dev freeglut3-dev libgstreamer0.10-dev libgstreamer-plugins-base0.10-dev python-dev libgtkglextmm-x11-1.2-dev libboost-python-dev libboost-signals-dev libboost-python-dev libboost-thread-dev tk wget http://downloads.sourceforge.net/project/wxpython/wxPython/184.108.40.206/wxPython-src-220.127.116.11.tar.bz2 tar -xvf wxPython-src-18.104.22.168.tar.bz2 cd wxPython-src-22.214.171.124/wxPython python build-wxpython.py --build_dir=../bld
Note the output that say something like — we will need this later:
To run the wxPython demo you may need to: - set your PYTHONPATH variable to /home/peter/wxPython-src-126.96.36.199/wxPython - set your LD_LIBRARY_PATH to /home/peter/wxPython-src-188.8.131.52/bld/lib
Note that Numpy will take some time compiling all the C code on your system. I have an i7 with 8 cores it took a few minutes — may look like it hangs, but be patient. Also, it may take some time for PIP to download the tarball depending on your internet connection speed — it may look like it hangs downloading, but again be patient.
sudo pip install numpy sudo pip install https://github.com/BruceSherwood/vpython-wx/archive/master.zip
At this point, we need to create .sh executable to run vidle. Create a file named vidle.sh with the following text (replace paths with the stuff we noted above) and ensure this file is executable (chmod 777 vidle.sh).
export PYTHONPATH="/home/peter/wxPython-src-184.108.40.206/wxPython" export LD_LIBRARY_PATH="/home/peter/wxPython-src-220.127.116.11/bld/lib" python /usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/VPython-6.03-py2.7-linux-x86_64.egg/vidle/idle.py