There are many ways to install nussl. The easiest way is to use the Python Package Index (PyPI), which is used through the command line with pip. pip comes pre-installed with most python distributions and will automatically install nussl’s required dependencies.

It is highly recommended to install nussl inside a virtual environment because it is under active development. We also recommend installing anaconda and setting up an anaconda virtual environment (see Making an anaconda env) prior to using this package.


Before we get started installing, nussl requires the following:

python 2.7
numpy version >= 1.8.0
scipy version >= 0.13.0
matplotlib version >= 1.3.1
audioread >= 2.1.2
librosa >= 0.4.1

These will be installed automatically with pip, but if you are installing from source then you will need to get these manually.

pip install

Installing nussl is easy using pip and the Python Package Index. This will install all required dependencies alongside the nussl installation. Use the following command:

pip install nussl


sudo pip install nussl

to install.

Installing from source and downloading

Alternatively, you may download the source code from github and install with the following command:

python nussl

It is also possible to download from github and copy the nussl folder into your working directory and directly import the modules in your python code.


Making sure you have the correct version

Sometimes issues arise that can be fixed by making sure you version of nussl is up to date. To check if you have the most up-to-date version of nussl, check the version number here: and compare it with the one you are accessing in your python like so:

>>> import nussl
>>> nussl.version

If the version numbers match then you’re set. If not you can get the most recent version in a few ways. From the terminal, the command:

pip install -U nussl

will force pip to install the newest version of nussl and all of its dependencies.

In the case that this fails, you can force pip to install a specific version like this:

pip install nussl==[version]

So if I find that version 0.1.5a10 is the most recent (by checking PyPI), my command would look like the following:

pip install nussl==0.1.5a10

pip issues with anaconda

If you have anaconda installed on your machine and after a pip install doing import nussl is crashing, it might be the case that pip is installing nussl to a (non-anaconda) python binary elsewhere on your machine. You can target the directory where pip installs nussl by adding this flag to your pip command: --target=d:\somewhere\other\than\the\default. See: If you find your anaconda (or anaconda2) folder on your machine, the directory to target should be anaconda2/lib/python2.7/site-packages.

The more inelegant solution is to find your pre-existing nussl installation and move them, which means locating two directories named nussl and nussl-[version].dist-info (where [version] is the version string as above). These are usually in a directory structure like lib/python2.7/site-packages as above, but not anaconda related, presumably where pip installed them. Once you find those two folders copy and paste them to the anaconda directory above.

Matplotlib issues

If you get this issue:

>>> import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
  File "//anaconda/lib/python2.7/site-packages/matplotlib-1.3.1-py2.7-macosx-10.5-x86_64.egg/matplotlib/", line 98, in <module>
    _backend_mod, new_figure_manager, draw_if_interactive, _show = pylab_setup()
  File "//anaconda/lib/python2.7/site-packages/matplotlib-1.3.1-py2.7-macosx-10.5-x86_64.egg/matplotlib/backends/", line 28, in pylab_setup
  File "//anaconda/lib/python2.7/site-packages/matplotlib-1.3.1-py2.7-macosx-10.5-x86_64.egg/matplotlib/backends/", line 21, in <module>
    from matplotlib.backends import _macosx
**RuntimeError**: Python is not installed as a framework. The Mac OS X backend will not be able to function correctly if Python is not installed as a framework. See the Python documentation for more information on installing Python as a framework on Mac OS X. Please either reinstall Python as a framework, or try one of the other backends.

Then there is an issue with your matplotlib backend renderer. This is an easy fix. There is a stack overflow post here about it.

The solution is to create a matplotlib config file here: ~/.matplotlib/matplotlibrc and add this line to it: backend: TkAgg.

You might get some warnings now when you import nussl but this is fine. You can also switch to another backend. To see what backends are available, run this code:

>>> import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
>>> fig = plt.figure()
>>> print(fig.canvas.get_supported_filetypes())


Please get in contact or open a github issue if you encounter any installation issues.