Install NEST with Conda (Linux and macOS) - BETA

The NEST simulator is now available as a package on conda-forge. If you don’t have Conda installed, we recommend you follow the instructions on Miniconda.

If you need to install NEST with additional configuration options, please see our install guide for Linux or install guide for macOS


The conda-forge package of nest-simulator is still being tested, let us know if you come across any problems by submitting an issue on GitHub.

Install the latest conda-forge package for NEST

  1. Create your conda environment and install NEST. We recommend that you create a dedicated environment for NEST, which should ensure there are no conflicts with previously installed packages.


We strongly recommend that you install all programs you’ll need, (such as ipython or jupyter-lab) in the environment (ENVNAME) at the same time, by appending them to the following command. Installing packages later may override previously installed dependencies and potentially break packages! See managing environments in the Conda documentation for more information.

WITHOUT openmpi:

conda create --name ENVNAME -c conda-forge nest-simulator python

WITH openmpi:

conda create --name ENVNAME -c conda-forge nest-simulator=*=mpi_openmpi*  python

Where the syntax for this install follows the pattern: nest-simulator=<version>=<build_string>

  1. Activate your environment:

conda activate ENVNAME


The conda-forge package is available from NEST 2.16.0 onward

  1. Once installation is complete, you can open up Python or IPython in the terminal and import nest:

import nest

If installation was successful, you should see the NEST splash screen:

import nest

The installation is now complete!

Next Steps

Once you have completed installation, take a look at our PyNEST tutorials page find out how to create your first simulation or checkout some of our example networks!

Source Code:

Anaconda cloud package:

The conda-forge package was tested on macOS 10.14 (Mojave) and Ubuntu 18.04 (Bionic Beaver)