Install from PyPI

PyMD4C is available on PyPI under the name pymd4c. Install it with pip like this:

pip install pymd4c

This is the recommended method to obtain PyMD4C. It should work well on most Linux distributions, Windows, and macOS.

If this does not work, there are a couple potential reasons:

  1. You do not have pip installed, or your version is too old. See Installing Packages - Python Packaging User Guide.

  2. A prebuilt package is not available for your platform, and pip could not build it from source (likely because the necessary dependencies were not available).

Regarding reason #2: Since this package contains C extensions, it is built as a platform wheel. Prebuilt packages are available for recent versions of Python on a variety of platforms. See the files page on PyPI for a full list.

Pip will automatically attempt to build from source on other platforms, but it will fail if the build dependencies are not available. See Prerequisites for information on installing them.

If a prebuilt package is not available or not working for your platform and you think it should be, consider opening a GitHub issue.

Build and Install from Source


This package depends on the MD4C library. It may be available through your package manager. Otherwise, it can be built from source as follows:

  1. Make sure you have CMake and a C compiler installed.

  2. Download and extract MD4C from the MD4C releases page. See the CHANGELOG or about.json for recommended versions to use. PyMD4C is tested against the minimum and maximum MD4C versions listed in those files. If there is a newer version of MD4C available, it is likely to work as well, but has not been tested yet.

  3. On Unix-like systems (including macOS):

    • Inside the extracted file, run the following:

      mkdir build
      cd build
      cmake ..
      # Do as root:
      make install

      The install step must be run as root. The library will install to /usr/local by default.

    • You may need to rebuild the ldconfig cache (also as root):

  4. On Windows:

    • Inside the extracted file, run the following:

      mkdir build
      cd build
      cmake -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release ..
      cmake --build . --config Release
      cmake --install .

      The library will install to “C:/Program Files (x86)/MD4C/” by default.

In addition, on Unix-like systems (including macOS), the pkg-config tool must be available to build PyMD4C. After PyMD4C is built, it is no longer required (that is, it is not a prerequisite for actually using PyMD4C). This tool is likely available on your system already, so this should not be an issue in most cases.

Finally, note that since this package uses C extensions, development headers for Python must be installed for the build to succeed. If you are using Linux, some distributions split these off from the main Python package. Install python-dev or python-devel to get them.


Build and install as you would for any Python source repository. Download and extract a release or clone the repository, and run the following inside:

pip install .

Alternatively, you can have pip fetch and build from the latest source distribution on PyPI:

pip install --no-binary pymd4c pymd4c

Note that on Windows, assumes the MD4C library was installed at “C:/Program Files (x86)/MD4C/” (this is the default location when building MD4C from source, as described above). If this is not the case, you will need to set an environment variable MD4C_PATH to the location it was installed to, or installation will fail. (This environment variable need only be set during the pip install. It will not be required after that.)