As a Python package, SpecViz is installable via any approach that is available for installing Python packages. In practice the easiest way is often using the the Anaconda package manager, but several other options are available. These are detailed below

distributed through the Anaconda package manager. Specifically, it lives within Space Telescope Science Institute’s AstroConda channel.

Install via Anaconda

If you do not have Anaconda, please follow the instructions here to install it, or scroll down for manual installation of SpecViz.

If you are using the Space Telescope Science Institute’s AstroConda channel, then all you have to do to install SpecViz is simply type the following at any Bash terminal prompt:

$ conda install specviz

If you do not have AstroConda installed, you can still install SpecViz from AstrocConda by specifying the channel in your install command:

$ conda install --channel specviz

At this point, you’re done! You can launch SpecViz by typing the following at any terminal:

$ specviz


To uninstall via Anaconda, simply type the following at a command line:

$ conda uninstall specviz

Install via source

SpecViz can also be installed manually using the source code followint the instructions below. The dependencies are listed in the setup.cfg file, and therefore most of them will be handled automatically by the setup functions, the exception to this is the exception of PyQt, which may require manual installation.

By using pip

Clone the SpecViz repository somewhere on your system, and install locally using pip. If you are using an Anaconda virtual environment, please be sure to activate it first before installing: $ source activate <environment_name>.

$ pip install git+

This uses the pip installation system, so please note that

  1. You need to have pip installed (included in most Python installations).
  2. You do not need to run python install.
  3. You do not need to install the dependencies by hand (except for PyQt).

Likewise, the pip command will use your default Python to install. You can specify by using pip2 or pip3, if you’re not using a virtual environment.

By cloning

You may also install by cloning the repository directly

$ git clone
$ cd specviz
$ git checkout tags/v0.3.0
$ python install

PyQt bindings

SpecViz requires PyQt. Currently, only python environments with 3.5 or higher installed can use pip to install PyQt5, in which case simply type:

$ pip install pyqt5

to install it on your system.

In any other case, PyQt can be installed via anaconda:

$ conda install pyqt


To uninstall via pip, simply type the following at a command line:

$ pip uninstall specviz

Known Issues

On a Mac with Qt5, depending on exactly how you have set up Anaconda, you might see the following error after following the above instructions:

This application failed to start because it could not find or load the Qt platform plugin "cocoa".

Reinstalling the application may fix this problem.

If you see this message, you have encountered an incompatibility between Anaconda’s packaging of Qt4 and Qt5. The workaround is to uninstall Qt4 with the following command:

$ conda uninstall pyqt qt

and SpecViz should now happily run.

Conversely, if you’ve had PyQt5 installed previously and you wish to run the PyQt4 version, you may run into a similar error:

$ RuntimeError: the PyQt4.QtCore and PyQt5.QtCore modules both wrap the
QObject class

This issue can be solved with the following command:

$ conda uninstall pyqt5 qt5