This course is best followed if you can reproduce the examples and tutorials provided with it. To do so, you will need to install in your machine a series of software packages. These are all open-source and available for free to download. Although there are several ways to approach this process, we first enumerate here the list of dependencies and then show two simple approaches to install them in different platforms.

Complementary material to this guide

This guide assumes you have the following additional files, available to download by clicking:

[Required for the Vagrant option only]




The easiest way to install locally and natively the software stack required is to install a full scientific Python distribution. Although other good alternatives are also available (e.g. Canopy, Sage), we recommend to install Anaconda. Make sure, whichever option you pick, to install a Python 2 version, not Python 3. Please follow the instructions provided in the link for installation.

Once you have a fully working Anaconda distribution installed in your computer, you can setup an isolated environment that contains all the required libraries by simply running the install script provided with this guide. These scripts vary depending on the platform you are on.

Mac OSX/Linux

Open up a terminal (OSX and Linux) or Powershell/cmd prompt (Windows) and run the following commands:

Once this has run, you should be able to activate the environment:


Simply double-click on the install_gds_stack_win.bat file, this will set in motion the installation.

NOTE: this assumes your Anaconda installation is placed under C:\Anaconda. If this is not the case, you will have to open the file with a text editor and replace the path in line 8, where it says:

set ANACONDA_DIR=C:\Anaconda

By the path to your Anaconda installation.

Virtual Machine with Vagrant

[NOTE: this is an alternative to the option above]

A fully automated and reproducible approach, albeit less “native” to the local machine, is to install a virtual machine using Vagrant. This takes some of the complexities away, but requires an extra layer of computation on top of the native OS. To install a virtual machine, follow these steps:


To check things have installed correctly, an additional file is included, check_gds_stack.ipynb. To run it, open a terminal (PowerShell), navigate to the folder as showed above and type the following in Mac/Linux:

source activate gds

Or the following for Windows:

activate gds

And then:

jupyter notebook

This will open up a browser window with a list of the files in the folder. Click on check_gds_stack.ipynb, which will open a new tab in the browser. Navigate to Cell –> Run All and click on it. If you do not get any error and all the cells except for the first one return True, things went well.