This page lists the hard and optional dependencies of SymPy.

There are several packages that, when installed, can enable certain additional SymPy functionality. Most users and contributors will not need to install any of the packages mentioned below (except for the hard dependencies), unless they intend to use or contribute to the parts of SymPy that can use those packages.

Every dependency listed below can be installed with conda via conda-forge, and most can also be installed with pip.

This page does not list packages which themselves depend on SymPy, only those packages that SymPy depends on. An incomplete list of packages that depend on SymPy can be found on the main SymPy webpage, and a more complete list can be found on GitHub or

Hard Dependencies#

SymPy only has one hard dependency, which is required for it to work: mpmath.

  • mpmath: mpmath is a pure Python package for arbitrary precision arithmetic. It is used under the hood whenever SymPy calculates the floating-point value of a function, e.g., when using evalf.

    SymPy cannot function without mpmath and will fail to import if it is not installed. If you get an error like

    ImportError: SymPy now depends on mpmath as an external library. See for more information.

    this means that you did not install mpmath correctly. This page explains how to install it.

    Most methods of installing SymPy, such as the ones outlined in the installation guide, will install mpmath automatically. You typically only need to install mpmath manually if you did not actually install SymPy, e.g., if you are developing directly on SymPy in the git repository.

Optional Dependencies#

These dependencies are not required to use SymPy. The vast majority of SymPy functions do not require them, however, a few functions such as plotting and automatic wrapping of code generated functions require additional dependencies to function.

Additionally, as a contributor, when running the SymPy tests, some tests will be skipped if a dependency they require is not installed. The GitHub Actions CI which is run on every SymPy pull request will automatically install these dependencies in the “optional-dependencies” build, but you may wish to install them locally if you are working on a part of SymPy that uses them.

Interactive Use#

SymPy is designed to be used both interactively and as a library. When used interactively, SymPy is able to interface with IPython and Jupyter notebooks.

  • IPython: The init_session() function and isympy command will automatically start IPython if it is installed. In addition to the usual benefits of using IPython, this enables interactive plotting with matplotlib. Also some flags such as auto_symbols and auto_int_to_Integer will only work in IPython.

    The IPython package is required to run some of the tests in sympy/interactive.

  • Jupyter Notebook and Qt Console: SymPy expressions automatically print using MathJax in the Jupyter Notebook and with LaTeX Qt Console (if LaTeX is installed).


The preview() function automatically converts SymPy expressions into images rendered with LaTeX. preview() can either save the image to a file or show it with a viewer.


Several functions in the sympy.parsing submodule require external dependencies to function. Note that not all parsers require external modules at this time. The Python (parse_expr()), Mathematca (parse_mathematica()), and Maxima (parse_maxima()) parsers do not require any external dependencies.

  • antlr-python-runtime: Antlr is used for the LaTeX parser and Autolev parsers. They both require the Antlr Python runtime to be installed. The package for this is called antlr4-python-runtime with conda and antlr4-python3-runtime with pip). Also be aware that the version of the Antlr Python runtime must match the version that was used to compile the LaTeX and Autolev parsers (4.7).

  • Clang Python Bindings: The C parser (sympy.parsing.c.parse_c) requires the Clang Python bindings. The package for this is called python-clang with conda and clang with pip.

  • lfortran: The Fortran parser (in sympy.parsing.fortran) requires LFortran.


The satisfiable() function includes a pure Python implementation of the DPLL satisfiability algorithm. But it can optionally use faster C SAT solvers if they are installed. Note that satisfiable() is also used by ask().

  • pycosat: Pycosat is used automatically if it is installed. The use of pycosat can be forced by using satisfiable(algorithm='pycosat').

  • pysat: Pysat is a library which wraps many SAT solvers. It can also be used as a backend to satisfiable(). Presently, only Minisat is implemented, using satisfiable(algorithm=minisat22').


The sympy.plotting.plot module makes heavy use of external plotting libraries to render plots. The primarily plotting module that is supported is Matplotlib.

  • matplotlib: Most plotting functionality requires the Matplotlib plotting library. Without Matplotlib installed, most plotting functions will either fail or give rudimentary text plots.

  • pyglet: SymPy has a submodule sympy.plotting.pygletplot that can be used to interface with the pyglet module to do 2D and 3D plotting.


lambdify() is a function that converts SymPy expressions into functions that can be evaluated numerically using various libraries as backends. lambdify is the primary vehicle by which users interface between SymPy and these libraries. It is the standard way to convert a symbolic SymPy expression into an evaluable numeric function.

In principle, lambdify can interface with any external library if the user passes in an appropriate namespace dictionary as the third argument, but by default, lambdify is aware of several popular numeric Python libraries. These libraries are enabled as backends in lambdify with build-in translations to convert SymPy expressions into the appropriate functions for those libraries.

  • NumPy: By default, if it is installed, lambdify creates functions using NumPy (if NumPy is not installed, lambdify produces functions using the standard library math module, although this behavior is primarily provided for backwards compatibility).

  • SciPy: If SciPy is installed, lambdify will use it automatically. SciPy is needed to lambdify certain special functions that are not included in NumPy.

  • CuPy: CuPy is a library that provides a NumPy compatible interface for CUDA GPUs. lambdify can produce CuPy compatible functions using lambdify(modules='cupy').

  • TensorFlow: TensorFlow is a popular machine learning library. lambdify can produce TensorFlow compatible functions using lambdify(modules='tensorflow').

  • NumExpr: NumExpr is a fast numerical expression evaluator for NumPy. lambdify can produce NumExpr compatible functions using lambdify(modules='numexpr').

  • mpmath: lambdify can also produce mpmath compatible functions. Note that mpmath is already a required dependency of SymPy. This functionality is useful for converting a SymPy expression to a function for use with pure mpmath.

Code Generation#

SymPy can generate code for a large number of languages by converting SymPy expressions into valid code for those languages. It also has functionality for some languages to automatically compile and run the code.

Note that the dependencies below are not a list of supported languages that SymPy can generate code for. Rather it is a list of packages that SymPy can interface with in some way. For most languages that SymPy supports code generation, it simply generates a string representing the code for that language, so no dependency on that language is required to use the code generation functionality. A dependency is typically only required for features that automatically take the generated code and compile it to a function that can be used within Python. Note that lambdify() is a special case of this, but its dependencies are listed above.


  • NumPy: NumPy and, optionally, its subpackage f2py, can be used to generate Python functions using the autowrap() or ufuncify() functions.

  • Cython: Cython can be used as a backend for autowrap() or ufuncify(). Cython is also used in some of the sympy.codegen tests to compile some examples.

  • Compilers: autowrap(), ufuncify(), and related functions rely on a compiler to compile the generated code to a function. Most standard C, C++, and Fortran compilers are supported, including Clang/LLVM, GCC, and ifort.

Code Printers#

Most code printers generate Python strings, and therefore do not require the given library or language compiler as a dependency. However, a few code printers generate Python functions instead of strings:

  • Aesara: The sympy.printing.aesaracode module contains functions to convert SymPy expressions into a functions using the Aeseara (previously Theano) library. The Aesara code generation functions return Aesara graph objects.

  • llvmlite: The sympy.printing.llvmjitcode module supports generating LLVM Jit from a SymPy expression. The functions make use of llvmlite, a Python wrapper around LLVM. The llvm_callable() function generates callable functions.

  • TensorFlow: The sympy.printing.tensorflow module supports generating functions using the TensorFlow, a popular machine learning library. Unlike the above two examples, tensorflow_code() function does generate Python strings. However, tensorflow is imported if available in order to automatically detect the TensorFlow version. If it is not installed, the tensorflow_code() function assumes the latest supported version of TensorFlow.

Testing-Only Dependencies#

  • Wurlitzer: Wurlitzer is a Python package that allows capturing output from C extensions. It is used by some of the tests in the sympy.codegen submodule. It is only used by the test suite. It is not used by any end-user functionality. If it is not installed, some tests will be skipped.

  • Cython: Cython is also used in some of the sympy.codegen tests to compile some examples.

  • Compilers: The various compilers mentioned above are used in some of the codegen and autowrap tests if they are installed.


The sympy.stats.sample() function uses an external library to produce samples from the given distribution. At least one of the following libraries is required to use the sampling functionality of sympy.stats.

  • SciPy: sample(library='scipy') is the default. This uses scipy.stats.

  • NumPy: sample(library='numpy') uses the NumPy random module.

  • pymc3: sample(library='pymc3') uses PyMC3 to do sampling.

Optional SymEngine Backend#

  • python-symengine: SymEngine is a fast symbolic manipulation library, written in C++. The SymEngine Python bindings may be used as an optional backend for SymPy core. To do this, first install the SymEngine Python bindings (with pip install symengine or conda install -c conda-forge python-symengine) and run SymPy with the USE_SYMENGINE=1 environment variable.

    Presently, the SymEngine backend is only used by the sympy.physics.mechanics and sympy.liealgebras modules, although you can also interface with SymPy’s SymEngine backend directly by importing things from sympy.core.backend:

    >>> from sympy.core.backend import Symbol
    >>> # This will create a SymEngine Symbol object if the USE_SYMENGINE
    >>> # environment variable is configured. Otherwise it will be an ordinary
    >>> # SymPy Symbol object.
    >>> x = Symbol('x')

    SymEngine backend support is still experimental, so certain SymPy functions may not work correctly when it is enabled.

Experimental Rubi Integrator#

  • MatchPy: MatchPy is a library for doing pattern matching. It is used in the experimental sympy.integrals.rubi module, but presently, it is not used anywhere else in SymPy. SymPy and MatchPy are able to interface with each other.


Sage is an open source mathematics software that incorporates a large number of open source mathematics libraries. SymPy is one of the libraries used by Sage.

Most of the code that interfaces between SymPy and Sage is in Sage itself, but a few _sage_ methods in SymPy that do some very basic setting up of the Sage/SymPy wrappers. These methods should typically only be called by Sage itself.

Development Dependencies#

Typical development on SymPy does not require any additional dependencies beyond Python and mpmath.

Getting the Source Code#

Running the Tests#

The base SymPy tests do not require any additional dependencies, however most of the above dependencies may be required for some tests to run. Tests that depend on optional dependencies should be skipped when they are not installed, either by using the sympy.testing.pytest.skip() function or by setting skip = True to skip the entire test file. Optional modules in tests and SymPy library code should be imported with import_module().

  • pytest: Pytest is not a required dependency for the SymPy test suite. SymPy has its own test runner, which can be accessed via the bin/test script in the SymPy source directory or the test() function.

    However, if you prefer to use pytest, you can use it to run the tests instead of the SymPy test runner. Tests in SymPy should use the wrappers in sympy.testing.pytest instead of using pytest functions directly.

  • Cloudpickle: The cloudpickle package can be used to more effectively pickle SymPy objects than the built-in Python pickle. Some tests in depend on cloudpickle to run. It is not otherwise required for any SymPy function.

Building the Documentation#

Building the documentation requires several additional dependencies. This page outlines these dependencies and how to install them. It is only necessary to install these dependencies if you are contributing documentation to SymPy and want to check that the HTML or PDF documentation renders correctly. If you only want to view the documentation for the development version of SymPy, development builds of the docs are hosted online at

Running the Benchmarks#

The benchmarks for SymPy are hosted at The README in that repository explains how to run the benchmarks.

Note that the benchmarks are also run automatically on the GitHub Actions CI, so it is generally not necessary to run them yourself as a contributor unless you want to reproduce the benchmarks results on your computer or add a new benchmark to the suite.

  • asv: Airspeed Velocity is the package used for running the benchmarks. Note that the package name that you install is called asv.