I came across VTK while building the docs for DIPY and what I needed was the python bindings.

I use arch linux so installing from pacman is simple:

sudo pacman -S vtk

But this fails to install the python bindings properly and when you try:

import vtk

it throws the error:

ImportError: No module named vtkCommonPython

That leaves no other way except to build VTK from source including the python wrapper, for the python version you want to use vtk in.

So here is the step by step procedure:

From vtk website download the latest source tarball. For me it is VTK-7.0.0.tar.gz then extract it:

tar -xzvf VTK-7.0.0.tar.gz cd VTK-7.0.0

Now configure cmake properly for building python wrappers:

cmake .
ccmake .

This will give you an interface like: vtk configure screenshot Now use your arrow keys to select the option you want to change and press enter to change value.


Toggle VTK_WRAP_TCL on.


Change VTK_PYTHON_VERSION to 2.7 (or the version of python you want to use vtk in)

Now press [c] to configure

Then press [g] to generate and exit

Note: Sometimes you need to press c and g again.

Now run:

sudo make install

This will create a directory: Wrapping/Python

Now install the python bindings:

cd Wrapping/Python
sudo make install

Hopefully that should install vtk properly.

To check, in python run:

import vtk

This should give something like: