Compiling from source

You may want to build Open3D from source if you are developing Open3D, want to get the latest features in the master branch, or if the OS or Python versions are not covered by Open3D’s pre-built Python packages from PyPI and Conda.

The basic tools needed are git, CMake, and a non-ancient C++ compiler that supports C++11, such as GCC 5.x or newer, Visual Studio 2017 or newer, or XCode 8.0+. If Python binding is needed, make sure Python 2.7 or 3.5+ is installed.

Download source code from the repository.

git clone --recursive


1. Install dependencies (optional)

Optionally, dependencies can be installed prior to building Open3D to reduce compilation time. Otherwise, the dependencies can also be build from source, see Dependencies.


2. Setup Python binding environments

This step is only required Python support for Open3D is needed. We use pybind11 for the Python binding. Please refer to pybind11 document page when running into Python binding issues.

2.1 Select the right Python executable

All we need to do in this step is to ensure that the default Python in the current PATH is the desired one. Specifically,

  • For pip virtualenv, activate it by source path_to_my_env/bin/activate.

  • For Conda virtualenv, activate it by conda activate my_env.

  • For the system’s default Python (note: sudo may be required for installing Python packages), no action is required.

Finally, check

which python
python -V

to make sure that the desired Python binary is used. During the CMake config step (when running cmake ..), check the printed message indicating Found PythonInterp. E.g. the line may look like this:

-- Found PythonInterp: /your/path/to/bin/python3.6 (found version "3.6.6")

Alternatively, CMake flag -DPYTHON_EXECUTABLE=/path/to/my/python can be set to force CMake to use the specified Python executable.

2.2 Jupyter visualization widgets support (experimental)

Since version 0.4.0, we added experimental support for Jupyter visualization. To enable Jupyter visualization support, install npm. If npm is not installed, Jupyter visualization support will not be enabled, however the rest of the Python bindings will still work.

To check the installation:

node -v
npm -v


We recommended using modern versions of node and npm. Warning message will be printed if the node or npm versions are too old for the node packages that the Jupyter visualizer depends on. Please refer to the official documentation on how to upgrade to the latest version.


Jupyter notebook visualization with OpenGL is still experimental Expect to see bugs and missing features.

2.3 Disable Python binding

If Python binding is not needed, it can be turned off by setting the following compilation options to OFF:




3. Config

mkdir build
cd build
cmake -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=<open3d_install_directory> ..

The CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX argument is optional and can be used to install Open3D to a user location. In the absence of this argument Open3D will be installed to a system location (sudo required). For more customizations of the build, please see Compilation Options.

4. Build

# On Ubuntu
make -j$(nproc)

# On macOS
make -j$(sysctl -n hw.physicalcpu)

5. Install

5.1 Install Open3D Python package

Inside the activated virtualenv (shall be activated before cmake), run

# 1) Create Python package
# 2) Create pip wheel
# 3) Install Open3D pip wheel the current virtualenv
make install-pip-package

The above command is compatible with both pip and Conda virtualenvs. To uninstall, run

pip uninstall open3d

If more fine-grained controls, here is a list of all related build targets:

# Create Python package in build/lib/python_package
make python-package

# Create pip wheel in build/lib/python_package/pip_package
make pip-package

# Create conda package in build/lib/python_package/conda_package
make conda-package

# Install pip wheel
make install-pip-package

If the installation is successful, we shall now be able to import Open3D

python -c "import open3d"

5.2 Install Open3D as a C++ library

To Install/uninstall the Open3D as a C++ library (headers and binaries):

cd build
make install
make uninstall

Note taht sudo may be needed to install Open3D to a system location.

To link a C++ project against the Open3D C++ library, please refer to Create C++ project, starting from this example CMake file.


You may also check out utils/scripts which contains scripts to build, install and verify the code. These scripts may help in subsequent builds when contributing to Open3D.


The MacOS compilation steps are mostly identical with Ubuntu.

1. Install dependencies (optional)

Run util/scripts/ We use homebrew to manage dependencies. Follow the instructions from the script.

2. Setup Python binding environments

Same as the steps for Ubuntu: 2. Setup Python binding environments.

3. Config

Same as the steps for Ubuntu: 3. Config.

Alternatively, to use Xcode IDE, run:

mkdir build-xcode
cd build-xcode
cmake -G Xcode -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=<open3d_install_directory> ..
open Open3D.xcodeproj/

4. Build

Same as the steps for Ubuntu: 4. Build.

5. Install

Same as the steps for Ubuntu: 5. Install.


On Windows, only Visual Studio 2017 or newer are supported since Open3D relies heavily on C++11 language features.

1. Dependencies

For easy compilation, we have included source code of all dependent libraries in the 3rdparty folder. Therefore, we don’t need to install any dependencies.

2. Setup Python binding environments

Most steps are the steps for Ubuntu: 2. Setup Python binding environments. Instead of which, check the Python path with where python, also pay attention to the Found PythonInterp message printed by CMake.

3. Config (generate Visual Studio solution)

The CMake GUI is as shown in the following figure. Specify the directories, click Configure and choose the correct Visual Studio version (e.g., Visual Studio 15 2017 Win64), then click Generate. This will create an Open3D.sln file in the build directory.


Alternatively, this file can be generated by calling CMake from the console:

mkdir build
cd build

:: Run one of the following lines based on your Visual Studio version
cmake -G "Visual Studio 15 2017 Win64" ..
cmake -G "Visual Studio 16 2019 Win64" ..


If cmake fail to find PYTHON_EXECUTABLE, follow the Ubuntu guide: 2. Setup Python binding environments to activate the Python virtualenv before running cmake or specify the Python path manually.

By default, CMake links with dynamic runtime (/MD or /MDd). To link with static runtime (/MT or /MTd) set -DSTATIC_WINDOWS_RUNTIME=ON.

4. Build

Open Open3D.sln file with Visual Studio, change the build type to Release, then rebuild the ALL_BUILD target.


Alternatively, we can also build directly from the CMD terminal. Run

cmake --build . --parallel %NUMBER_OF_PROCESSORS% --config Release --target ALL_BUILD

5. Install

Open3D can be installed as a C++ library or a Python package, by building the corresponding targets with Visual Studio or from the terminal. E.g.

cmake --build . --parallel %NUMBER_OF_PROCESSORS% --config Release --target the-target-name

Here’s a list of installation related targets. Please refer to 5. Install for more detailed documentation.

  • install

  • python-package

  • pip-package

  • install-pip-package

Sanity check

For a quick sanity check, try importing the library from the Python interactive shell:


>>> import open3d


If there is an issue, check whether the Python version detected by CMake (see Found PythonInterp log from CMake, or check the value of the PYTHON_EXECUTABLE CMake variable) and the Python version for command line environment (type python -V). They should match. If it is not, please follow 2. Setup Python binding environments in docs. In addition, python binding issue on Github repository has helpful notes from Open3D users.

Compilation Options

This page shows advanced options to customize the Open3D build. For quick start, see Compiling from source.


For each dependent library, there is a corresponding CMake build option BUILD_<LIBRARY_NAME>. If the option is ON, the dependent library is forced to be compiled from the source code included in 3rdparty folder. If it is OFF, CMake will try to find system installed libraries and use it. If CMake fails to find the dependent library, it falls back to compiling the library from source code.


On Ubuntu and MacOS it is recommended to link Open3D to system installed libraries. The dependencies can be installed via scripts util/scripts/ and util/scripts/ On Windows, it is recommended to compile everything from source since Windows lacks a package management software.

The following is an example of forcing building dependencies from source code:

cmake -DBUILD_EIGEN3=ON  \
      -DBUILD_GLEW=ON    \
      -DBUILD_GLFW=ON    \
      -DBUILD_PNG=ON     \


Enabling these build options may increase the compilation time.


We automatically detect if the C++ compiler supports OpenMP and compile Open3D with it if the compilation option WITH_OPENMP is ON. OpenMP can greatly accelerate computation on a multi-core CPU.

The default LLVM compiler on OS X does not support OpenMP. A workaround is to install a C++ compiler with OpenMP support, such as gcc, then use it to compile Open3D. For example, starting from a clean build directory, run

brew install gcc --without-multilib
make -j


This workaround has some compatibility issues with the source code of GLFW included in 3rdparty. Make sure Open3D is linked against GLFW installed on the OS.

Unit test

To build unit tests, set BUILD_UNIT_TESTS=ON at CMake config stage. The unit test executable will be located at bin/unitTests in the build directory.

Please also refer to googletest for reference.

# In the build directory
make -j