In my previous post I tried to give a short guide on how to build VTK with python wrappers. But then I tried to build it for python3 and found that my own guide does not work :P . So here is an updated version of the guide. I am using Arch Linux. But this should work for most linux distros.

Fetch the source code of VTK

We have two options here

  1. Download the latest release from VTK Website
  2. Clone the git repository from gitlab

We will clone the source from GitLab here

git clone

This will create a directory named vtk

Build VTK

We will build the source from a different folder.

mkdir vtkBuild
cd vtkBuild

Now configure cmake properly. This is the most important part.

ccmake ../vtk

We will see a screen like this:

VTK configure screenshot 1

Now press c to configure. After configuring several options should appear.

Press t to toggle to Advanced mode.

VTK configure screenshot 2

Now change the following:



Toggle VTK_WRAP_TCL on.


Change VTK_PYTHON_VERSION to 3.5 (your python version)

Change PYTHON_EXECUTABLE to your python executable. For me it was /usr/local/bin/python . You can check it by typing which python in your terminal.

Change PYTHON_INCLUDE_DIR to the directory where the python libraries are installed. In my case it is /usr/lib/python3.5/

Configure and Build

Press c to configure. Now press g to generate Makefile.

( You may have to press c and g again as it sometimes does not work properly )

Then install VTK and the Wrappers

sudo make install
cd Wrappers/Python
sudo make install

And that should be it :)

Check your vtk installation: Open python and run

import vtk

If that did not raise any error then you should be good to go!

Please leave a comment if you have any issues.