Installing on Windows

Windows installers are provided for stable versions of Cantera. These installation instructions are for Cantera 2.4.0. Use these installers if you want to work with a copy of Python downloaded from If you are using Anaconda / Miniconda, see the directions for conda.

Choose your Python version and architecture

  • On Windows, Installers are provided for Python 2.7, Python 3.5, Python 3.6, and Python 3.7. Python 3.7 is recommended unless you need to use legacy code that does not work with Python 3. You can install multiple Cantera Python modules simultaneously. Note that Cantera 2.4 will be the last version to support Python 2.7.

  • Cantera supports both 32- and 64-bit Python installations.

  • You need choose the matching Cantera installer for your Python version and machine architecture.

  • The rest of these instructions will refer to your chosen version of Python as X.Y.

  • If you are using Matlab, you must use the same architecture for Cantera and Matlab. Matlab defaults to 64-bit if you are running a 64-bit operating system.

Install Python

  • Go to

    • 64-bit: Download the most recent “Windows X86-64 MSI Installer” for Python X.Y.

    • 32-bit: Download the most recent “Windows x86 MSI Installer” for

      Python X.Y.

  • Run the installer. The default installation options should be fine.

  • Python is required in order to work with .cti input files even if you are not using the Python interface to Cantera.

  • Cantera can also be used with alternative Python distributions such as the Enthought distribution. These distributions will generally be based on the 64-bit version of Python, and will include Numpy as well as many other packages useful for scientific users.

Install the Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2015

  • If you are using Python 3.5 or higher you can skip this step as this will have already been installed when you installed Python.

  • Go to the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable Download Page.

    • 64-bit: Download vc_redist.x64.exe

    • 32-bit: Download vc_redist.x86.exe

  • Run the installer.

  • If this package is not installed, you will encounter the following error when importing the cantera module:

    ImportError: DLL load failed: The specified module could not be found.

Install NumPy and optional Python packages

  • Go to the Unofficial Windows Binaries for Python Extension Packages page.

  • Download the most recent release (distributed as a “wheel” archive) of the 1.x series for Python X.Y that matches your Python architecture. In the filename, the digits after “cp” indicate the Python version. For example, numpy‑1.11.2+mkl‑cp37‑none‑win_amd64.whl is the installer for 64-bit Python 3.7. The Windows installers for Cantera 2.4.0 require NumPy 1.10 or newer.

  • From an administrative command prompt, install the downloaded wheel using pip. For example:

    c:\python37\scripts\pip.exe install "%USERPROFILE%\Downloads\numpy‑1.11.2+mkl‑cp37‑none‑win_amd64.whl"
  • If you plan on using Cantera from Python, note that we highly recommend installing the conda package. If you plan to continue using this Python installation, you may also want to install IPython (an advanced interactive Python interpreter) and Matplotlib (a plotting library), which are also available from the above link (note that you may also need to download additional dependencies for each of these packages). Matplotlib is required to run some of the Python examples.

Remove old versions of Cantera

  • Use The Windows “Add/Remove Programs” interface

  • Remove both the main Cantera package and the Python module.

  • The Python module will be listed as “Python X.Y Cantera …”

Install Cantera

  • Go to the Cantera Releases page.

    • 64-bit: Download Cantera-2.4.0-x64.msi and Cantera-Python-2.4.0-x64-pyX.Y.msi.

    • 32-bit: Download Cantera-2.4.0-x86.msi and Cantera-Python-2.4.0-x86-pyX.Y.msi.

  • If you are only using the Python module, you do not need to download and install the base package (the one without Python in the name).

  • Run the installer(s).

Configure Matlab (optional)

  • Set the environment variable PYTHON_CMD

    • From the Start screen or menu type “edit environment” and select “Edit environment variables for your account”.

    • Add a New variable with PYTHON_CMD as the name and the full path to the Python executable (for example, C:\python37\python.exe) as the value.

    • Setting PYTHON_CMD is not necessary if the path to python.exe is in your PATH (which can be set from the same configuration dialog).

  • Launch Matlab

  • Go to File->Set Path…

  • Select Add with Subfolders

  • Browse to the folder C:\Program Files\Cantera\matlab\toolbox

  • Select Save, then Close.

Test the installation

  • Python:

    import cantera
    gas = cantera.Solution('gri30.cti')
    h2o = cantera.PureFluid('liquidvapor.cti', 'water')
  • Matlab:

    gas = IdealGasMix('gri30.cti')
    h2o = Solution('liquidvapor.cti','water')