I just got started with Blender and my main interest is to use code to generate 3D images. I like what I see, but I do not like the fact that I cannot just use any library I want.

Usually, when using other python distributions ( Conda for example) I would use the following trick in the terminal to install everything I need.

import pip

def install(package):
    pip.main(['install', package])


This however, gives a huge error in blender.

Traceback (most recent call last):
File "<blender_console>", line 1, in <module>
File "/Applications/blender.app/Contents/MacOS/2.71/python/lib/python3.4/pip/__init__.py", line 13, in <module>
  from pip.commands import commands, get_summaries, get_similar_commands
File "/Applications/blender.app/Contents/MacOS/2.71/python/lib/python3.4/pip/commands/__init__.py", line 7, in <module>
  from pip.commands.freeze import FreezeCommand
File "/Applications/blender.app/Contents/MacOS/2.71/python/lib/python3.4/pip/commands/freeze.py", line 6, in <module>
  from pip.req import InstallRequirement
File "/Applications/blender.app/Contents/MacOS/2.71/python/lib/python3.4/pip/req/__init__.py", line 2, in <module>
  from .req_install import InstallRequirement
File "/Applications/blender.app/Contents/MacOS/2.71/python/lib/python3.4/pip/req/req_install.py", line 11, in <module>
  import pip.wheel
File "/Applications/blender.app/Contents/MacOS/2.71/python/lib/python3.4/pip/wheel.py", line 22, in <module>
  from pip import pep425tags
File "/Applications/blender.app/Contents/MacOS/2.71/python/lib/python3.4/pip/pep425tags.py", line 131, in <module>
  supported_tags = get_supported()
File "/Applications/blender.app/Contents/MacOS/2.71/python/lib/python3.4/pip/pep425tags.py", line 82, in get_supported
  arch = get_platform()
File "/Applications/blender.app/Contents/MacOS/2.71/python/lib/python3.4/pip/pep425tags.py", line 38, in get_platform
  return distutils.util.get_platform().replace('.', '_').replace('-', '_')
File "/Applications/blender.app/Contents/MacOS/2.71/python/lib/python3.4/distutils/util.py", line 103, in get_platform
File "/Applications/blender.app/Contents/MacOS/2.71/python/lib/python3.4/distutils/sysconfig.py", line 511, in get_config_vars
File "/Applications/blender.app/Contents/MacOS/2.71/python/lib/python3.4/distutils/sysconfig.py", line 443, in _init_posix
  raise DistutilsPlatformError(my_msg)
  distutils.errors.DistutilsPlatformError: invalid Python installation: unable to open /Applications/blender.app/Contents/MacOS/2.71/python/lib/python3.4/config-3.4m/Makefile (No such file or directory)

Can I use pip with blender using this trick? When looking at the error I get the idea that indeed does exist and that I can access it within blender. It is however also telling me that it doesn't use the right python version.

I am using a mac, but preferably we would have a solution here that works for all systems.


I still have not gotten pip to work in Blender but as of Blender 2.70 this is not as necessary anymore because Blender now includes the Numpy library (thanks community!)

  • $\begingroup$ There is an IRC chatroom dedicated to Blender Python. Connection: irc.freenode.net Chatroom: #blenderpython $\endgroup$ – MarcClintDion Jul 29 '14 at 13:52
  • $\begingroup$ have you try to use blender as a python module? $\endgroup$ – Wang Nov 5 '15 at 6:02
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Related, how to use PIP from Blender's bundled Python blender.stackexchange.com/questions/56011 $\endgroup$ – ideasman42 Jun 16 '16 at 8:03

What you can do is just delete the python folder from the Blender directory (or move it to have a backup) and Blender will look for python preinstalled on the system. Note that the version must match (current Blender python version is 3.5.0, it works with 3.5.1 though) and environment variables need to be set (at least under Windows).

Info from here.

  • $\begingroup$ This doesn't work for me on Ubuntu 14.04 with Blender 2.76b. I suspect a Python version mismatch. But you can use pip now, if you replace distutils. $\endgroup$ – z0r Feb 11 '16 at 6:51

You might try to extend sys.path to use modules installed with another python distribution on your system.

The default installation of python 3.4 uses these paths:


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