Quick start

MNE-Python requires Python version 3.7 or higher. If you’ve never worked with Python before, skip ahead to the last paragraph of this page. For users already familiar with Python:

  • If you only need MNE-Python’s computational functions (not plotting), the only hard dependencies are NumPy and SciPy which will be included automatically when running:

    $ pip install mne
  • If you plan to use MNE-Python’s functions that download example datasets, you should run:

    $ pip install mne[data]

    This will pull in additional dependencies Pooch and tqdm.

  • If you need 2D plotting capabilities (i.e., most EEG/ERP or other sensor-level analyses), you should also install Matplotlib:

    $ pip install mne matplotlib
  • If you need MNE-Python’s 3D rendering capabilities (e.g., plotting estimated source activity on a cortical surface) it is a good idea to install MNE-Python into its own virtual environment. To do this with conda:

    $ conda create --name=mne --channel=conda-forge mne
    $ #                   ↑↑↑                       ↑↑↑
    $ #             environment name            package name

    This will create a new conda environment called mne and install all dependencies into it. If you need to convert structural MRI scans into models of the scalp, inner/outer skull, and cortical surfaces you also need FreeSurfer.

For users unfamiliar with Python, the Installing MNE-Python page has detailed instructions for different operating systems, and there are instructions for Installing Python if you don’t already have it. The Advanced setup page has additional tips and tricks for special situations (servers, notebooks, CUDA, installing the development version, etc). The Contributing guide has additional installation instructions for (future) contributors to MNE-Python (e.g, extra dependencies for running our tests and building our docs).