FabIO can, as any Python module, be installed from its sources, available on the Python cheese shop but we advice to use binary wheels packages provided for the most common platforms: Windows, MacOSX. For Debian Linux and its derivatives (Ubuntu, Mint, …), FabIO is part of the distributions and its package is named python3-fabio and can be installed via:

sudo apt-get install fabio-bin

If you are using MS Windows or MacOSX; binary version (as wheel packages) are PIP-installable. PIP is the Python Installer Program, similar to apt-get for Python. It runs under any architecture. It is best used in a virtual environament:

python3 -m venv py3
pip install pip --upgrade
pip install fabio

Installation under windows

Python is not installed by default under Windows operating system. We suggest you install Python3 from the official web page. Python 3.7 is recommended, in 64 bits version if your operating system allows it; but any Python3 (>3.5) are OK. The support for Python2 has ended in 2020 and FabIO is no more tested there.

If you are looking for an integrated scientific Python distribution on Windows, WinPython is a good one, Anaconda is also very popular. Please use Python3 as the support of Python2 has ended.

Try first to install FabIO from the provided packaging system, if it fails, revert to the pip method. For example, in Anaconda it gives:

conda install -c conda-forge fabio

Manual installation under windows

You will find all the scientific Python stack packaged for Windows on Christoph Gohlke’ page (including FabIO):

Pay attention to the Python version (both number and architecture). DO NOT MIX 32 and 64 bits version. To determine the version and architecture width of the Python interpreter:

>>> import sys
>>> print(sys.version)
3.7.1 (default, Mar  1 2019, 12:57:24)
>>> print("%s bits"%(8 * tuple.__itemsize__))
64 bits

Installation from sources

pip install -r ci/requirements_appveyor.txt --trusted-host

Get the compiler and install it

The version of the compiler and the version of the Microsoft SDK have to match the Python version you are using. Please refer to the Microsoft Visual studio compatibility with Python list.

Compile and test the code source

pip install --upgrade pip wheel build 'meson-python>=0.11'
pip install --upgrade -r ci\requirements_appveyor.txt
pip install .

Testing version of FabIO

Continuous integration runs the complete test suite on multiple operating systems and python version. Under Windows, this is done using the AppVeyor cloud service Select the environment which matches your setup like Environment: PYTHON=C:Python37-x64, PYTHON_VERSION=3.7.1, PYTHON_ARCH=64 and go to artifacts where wheels and MSI-installers are available.

Installation on MacOSX

Despite Apple providing Python 2.7 as part of MacOSX, Python2 reached its end of life in 2020. Now you have to install Python3 from the official web page.

Install via PIP

It is recommended to install Fabio into a virtual environment we will call py3 and then install FabIO directly in it:

python3 -m venv ~/py3
source ~/py3/bin/activate
pip install --upgrade wheel pip build 'meson-python>=0.11'
pip install -r requirements.txt
pip install .

Compile from sources

Get the compiler

Apple provides for free Xcode which contains the compiler needed to build binary extensions. Xcode can be installed from the App-store.

Compile the sources

Once done, follow the classical procedure (similar to Windows or Linux):

pip install wheel build 'meson-python>=0.11'
pip install --upgrade -r requirements.txt --trusted-host
pip install --upgrade .

Manual Installation for any operating system

Install the dependencies

Most Linux distribution come with a Python environment configured. Complete it with the needed dependencies. Please ensure you use Python3.x x>5 and that numpy is installed on your computer.

For full functionality of FabIO the following modules need to be installed:

  • Pillow (python imaging library)

  • lxml (library for reading XSDimages)

  • PyQt for the fabio_viewer program

Once done, follow the classical procedure (similar to Windows or MacOSX):

# Create a virtual env:
python3 -m venv ~/py3
source ~/py3/bin/activate
pip install --upgrade wheel pip build 'meson-python>0.11'
# Install the dependencies
pip install -r requirements.txt --trusted-host
pip install --upgrade .

Development versions

The newest development version can be obtained by checking it out from the git repository:

git clone
pip install --upgrade wheel pip build 'meson-python>0.11'
cd fabio
pip install --upgrade -r requirements.txt --trusted-host
pip install .

or without pip, replace the last line with:

python3 -m build --wheel
python3 -m installer dist/*.whl

Automatic debian packaging

Debian 8 and newer

The same script,, will create real debian packages: It will build a bunch of 4 debian packages:

  • fabio-bin: the GUI for visualizing diffraction images

  • fabio-doc: the documumentation package

  • python3-fabio: library built for Python3

  • python3-fabio-dbg: debug symbols for Python3

For this, you need a complete debian build environment:

sudo apt-get build-dep python3-fabio
./ --install

This script works the same way with Debian-9 stretch and newer.

Test suite

FabIO has a comprehensive test-suite to ensure non regression. When you run the test for the first time, many test images will be download and converted into various compressed format like gzip and bzip2 (this takes a lot of time).

Be sure you have an internet connection and your proxy setting are correctly defined in the environment variable http_proxy.

Many tests are there to deal with malformed files, don’t worry if the programs complains in warnings about “bad files”, it is done on purpose to ensure robustness in FabIO.

Run test suite from installation directory

To run the test:


Run test suite from installed version

Within Python (or ipython):

>>> import fabio
>>> fabio.tests()

Test coverage

FabIO comes with 58 test-suites (360 tests in total) representing a coverage of 79%. This ensures both non regression over time and ease the distribution under different platforms: FabIO runs under Linux, MacOSX and Windows (64 bits, in 32 bits your milleage may vary) with Python versions 3.7 to 3.12. Under linux it has been tested on x86_64, arm64, ppc64le. FabIO may run on other untested systems but without warranty.