Which Python?#

You’ll need Python 3.7 or greater.

We recommend using the Mambaforge Python distribution. This installs Python and the mamba package manager. Miniforge and Miniconda will install Python and the conda package manager. Differences to note, in a nutshell:

  • mamba is much faster than conda, but has identical commands.

  • Mambaforge and miniforge are community driven installers, installing by default from the conda-forge channel.

  • Miniconda is a company driven (Anaconda) installer, installing by default from the anaconda channel.

  • Installing from the anaconda channel has certain (legal) limitations for “commercial use”.

Installing Mambaforge/Miniforge/Miniconda does not require administrative rights to your computer and doesn’t interfere with any other Python installations in your system.


The imod Python package makes extensive use of the modern scientific Python ecosystem. The most important dependencies are listed here.

Data structures:

Delayed/out-of-core computation, parallellization:

Spatial operations:

Geospatial libaries (optional):

Data provisioning for examples:


Installing all these dependencies requires around 2.5 gigabyte of space; Installing only the required dependencies (via pip) requires around 0.5 gigabyte.

Installing with mamba#

You can install imod using the mamba package manager that comes with the Mambaforge distribution. We advice to install imod in a seperate conda environment, as you can simply delete these in case they break. Not doing so will install imod and its dependencies in your base environment, which requires a reinstall of Mambaforge in case this environment breaks:

mamba create -n imodenv
mamba install -n imodenv imod --channel conda-forge

mamba will automatically find the appropriate versions of the dependencies and in this case install them in the imodenv environment. Installing with mamba or conda will automatically download all optional dependencies, and enable all functionality.

To run scripts using imod, you first have to activate the imodenv environment:

conda activate imodenv

Installing with conda#

Alternatively, you can also use the conda package manager. Like mamba, conda will also infer the appropriate versions of the dependencies and install them. However, it generally takes around a factor 5 longer to do so, but may be worthwhile if mamba is unstable or buggy:

conda create -n imodenv
conda install -n imodenv imod --channel conda-forge

To run scripts using imod, you first have to activate the imodenv environment:

conda activate imodenv

Installing with pip#

Finally, you can also use the pip package manager:

pip install imod

Unlike installing with conda or mamba, installing with pip will not install all optional dependencies. This results in a far smaller installation, but it means that not all functionality is directly available.

Refer to Installing Python and packages in the FAQ section for background information on mamba, conda, and pip.

Installing the latest development version#

You can use pip to install the latest source from Gitlab:

pip install git+

Alternatively, you can clone the git repository locally and install from there:

git clone
cd imod
pip install .