Installing PyAL

This section provides an overview and guidance for installing PyAL on various target platforms.


PyAL relies on some 3rd party packages to be fully usable and to provide you full access to all of its features.

You must have at least one of the following Python versions installed:

Other Python versions or Python implementations might work, but are (currently) not officially tested or supported by the PyAL distribution.

You must have OpenAL installed. OpenAL-compatible libraries might have shipped with your sound drivers already. Otherwise it is recommended to obtain them from your sound card manufacturer or from or


You can use either the python way of installing the package or the make command using the Makefile on POSIX-compatible platforms, such as Linux or BSD, or the make.bat batch file on Windows platforms.

Simply type

python install

for the traditional python way or

make install

for using the Makefile or make.bat. Both will try to perform a default installation with as many features as possible.

Trying out

You also can test out PyAL without actually installing it. You just need to set up your PYTHONPATH to point to the location of the source distribution package. On Windows-based platforms, you might use something like

set PYTHONPATH=C:\path\to\pyal\:$PYTHONPATH

to define the PYTHONPATH on a command shell. On Linux/Unix, use

export PYTHONPATH=/path/to/pyal:$PYTHONPATH

For bourne shell compatibles or

setenv PYTHONPATH /path/to/pyal:$PYTHONPATH

for C shell compatibles. You can omit the :$PYTHONPATH`, if you did not use it so far and if your environment settings do not define it.


If you are using IronPython, use IRONPYTHONPATH instead of PYTHONPATH.

Notes on Mercurial usage

The Mercurial version of PyAL is not intended to be used in a production environment. Interfaces may change from one checkin to another, methods, classes or modules can be broken and so on. If you want more reliable code, please refer to the official releases.