Installation for Developers

Setting up a Development Environment on Linux or Mac

Prerequisites: make and change to a working directory to contain the new source code and build. Then download the bootstrap script:


or if wget is not available:

curl >



Explanation: Several steps are performed: update, base, build. If desired, they can be run individually at the command line:

python update
python base
python build
  • “update” checks out or updates source code to the ‘modules’ directory

  • “base” downloads and installs python and third party python packages to the ‘conda_base’ directory

  • “build” configures and compiles dials and cctbx

For subsequent login sessions, be sure to set the environment in order to use the command-line dispatchers:

source dials

Creating a Relocatable Installer Bundle on Linux

Starting with the developer build just created, we can create a tarball suitable for public distribution. Caveat is that we build our 64-bit installer on Centos 5.4, so that most conceivable users will be installing on a more modern OS back-compatible with the installer.

Change to the working directory used above. Then:


..creates an installer called tmp/dials-installer-dev.tar.gz

This can be relocated to a new directory, untarred, then:

cd dials-installer-dev
./install -h [prints a help message]
./install --prefix=[absolute path for relocated dials installation]

Downloading the DIALS regression test data

The DIALS regression test data, needed for some of the DIALS tests, can be obtained using the dials-data package. See the dials-data instructions for more information.

There is also a private dials_regression repository that is still used for some historic tests. For those with svn access to the CCI server, this can be obtained as follows, replacing “USERNAME” for your username:

cd modules
svn checkout svn+ssh:// dials_regression
libtbx.configure dials_regression