Install from source in a conda environmentΒΆ


If you encounter problems installing the NEST conda package and environment, we recommend using Mamba ( Mamba has the advantage of installing conda packages and environments more quickly and can be used as a complete drop-in replacement for conda.

  • Create a conda environment from the environment.yml file. We recommend specifying a dedicated location (-p <path/to/conda/env>) for your environment. See the conda documentation on using a custom location rather than the default envs folder.

conda env create -f nest-simulator/environment.yml --p <path/to/conda/env>
conda activate <path/to/conda/env>
  • Create a build directory:

mkdir build_dir
  • Change to the build directory:

cd build_dir
  • Configure NEST. Add the cmake option -CDMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX:PATH=$CONDA_PREFIX to link nest to your active conda environment. You may need additional cmake options (see CMake Options for NEST).

  • Compile and install NEST:

make install
make installcheck

For your convenience, a shell script setting all required environment variables is provided in <nest_install_dir>/bin/ Setting the environment variables in your active shell session requires sourcing the script:

source <nest_install_dir>/bin/


To build the developer or user documentation see Documentation workflows