Extension requirements

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This page is outdated and needs an overhaul. If you can help with updating the page, please contact the Inkscape developers mailing list, or the docs mailing list.

For alternative information sources, see also:

  • The extensions error log in your Inkscape user configuration directory, in case an extension doesn't work. It will list missing dependencies for each extension.

Python Extensions

on Debian GNU / Linux

   apt-get install python python-lxml

on Microsoft Windows

From version .44 onwards, Inkscape now includes Python in the download, and has extensions enabled by default. The latest stable Inkscape version includes Python 2.6.5.

on Mac OS X

Starting with version 0.46, Inkscape contains the python packages needed for the extension system. All python extensions should work out of the box. However in case you still have trouble you can install them in their regular location.

Compiling from source

If you prefer, you can install them from source, it is really easy.

  1. download the source code for sourceforge numpy repository and/or lxml download section
  2. unpack the .tar.gz file
    tar -xzf numpy***.tar.gz lxml***.tar.gz
  3. for each one cd into the newly created directory
  4. build C extensions and install (the install is system wide so you need administrator privileges)
    sudo python setup.py install
    and type your password.

The packages are installed in the site-packages directory of your Python install. This is /Library/Python/2.*/site-packages for the stock install of Python on Mac OS X.

Perl Extensions

on Debian GNU / Linux

   apt-get install perl libxml-xql-perl

on Gentoo GNU / Linux

   emerge -a XML-XQL

on Microsoft Windows

   install ActivePerl
   install XML::XQL::DOM (perhaps like this?)
       1: install prereqs with ppm:
	    install xml-dom
	    install parse-yapp
	    install datemanip
       2: download xml-xql from:
       3: open command prompt and locate perl"s lib directory with:
	    perl -e "print qq(@INC)"    (mine was C:/Perl/site/lib)
       4: unpack xml-xql archive
       5: copy contents of XML-XQL-*\lib\XML into C:\Perl\site\lib\XML
       6: copy XML-XQL-*\XQLParser\Parser.pm to C:\Perl\site\lib\XML\XQL

Plugin Extensions

Plugins are a special type of extension that are similar to internal extensions. They're written in C/C++ and can directly interface with Inkscape itself. However, they're linked into a separate library that is dynamically loaded at runtime.

While this makes them very powerful, they're also significantly harder to code and need to be compiled before being usable. Also the compiled library will be OS/platform-dependent and might not even be compatible between different versions of Inkscape on a single platform.

See the grid2 extension for a working prototype of this extension type. If you have an Inkscape development environment set-up

  • compile/link with "make grid2"
  • copy the linked library (libgrid2.dll/so) and the libgrid2.inx file into the "/extensions" folder.
  • run from "Render -> Grids -> Grid2"

What if it doesn't work?

  • Run Inkscape from the console
  • Use the error messages printed to the console to diagnose the problem (very often missing dependencies)
  • On Windows you will have to redirect output to a text file like this: "inkscape > output.txt"
  • If your operating system (e.g. your Linux distro) uses a different default version of Python (or Perl, Ruby, etc.) than what is required by Inkscape extensions, please see Extension Interpreters for how to set the interpreter that Inkscape will use. The most common example of this is that the default Python version of the operating system is 3, but Inkscape requires Python2, resulting in all extensions giving an error.