Requirements & Installation

This is a Linux-based tool, though it should work just fine in a BSD variant. Windows is experimentally supported. In terms of the actual installation, only Python’s package manager (pip) is currently supported, and the installation process may require some system packages to be installed in order for everything to work.

System Requirements

Some of the dependencies need to be compiled, so you’ll need a compiler on your system, as well as the development libraries for Python. In the Linux world, this typically means a few packages need to be installed from your standard package manager, but in true Linux fashion, each distribution does things slightly differently.

The most important thing to know is that you need Python 2.7 or 3. Python 2.6 will never be supported because it’s old, ugly, and needs to die.

Distribution Specific Requirements


If you’re running OpenBSD, you can skip this whole section. You can even skip the next one too. Just skip down to Installation:OpenBSD and follow the instructions. Everything else is taken care of for you.


The following has been tested on Debian Jessie.

Debian-based distributions require three system packages to be installed first:

sudo apt-get install python-dev libffi-dev libssl-dev

You’ll also need either virtualenv (recommended), or if you’re not comfortable with that, at the very least, you’ll need pip:

sudo apt-get install python-virtualenv python-pip


This following has been tested on CentOS 7.

Since we require Python’s pip, we first need to install the epel-release repository:

sudo yum install epel-release

You’ll also need the following system libraries:

sudo yum install gcc libffi-devel openssl-devel

Once that’s finished, you’ll need access to virtualenv (recommended), or if you’re not comfortable with that, at the very least, you’ll need pip:

sudo yum install python-virtualenv python-pip


If you’re a Gentoo user, you never have to worry about development libraries, but if you intend to use the bleeding-edge version of this package (and what self-respecting Gentoo user wouldn’t?) then you’ll probably want to make sure that git is built with curl support:

sudo USE="curl" emerge git

If you’re not going bleeding edge, or if you’re just going to use SSH to get the code from GitHub, then Gentoo will have everything ready for you.

Apple OSX

These instructions expect that you’ve got Python’s pip installed, so if you have no idea what that is, or simply don’t have it yet, you should be able to install pip with one easy command:

sudo easy_install pip

Outside of that, a few of the Python dependencies require that you have a compiler on your system. For this, you need only get a free copy of Xcode from the app store, and from there you should be good to go.

Python Requirements

Importantly, Magellan requires Python 2.7 or higher. For most desktop users, this shouldn’t be a problem, but for some older servers like CentOS 6 and lower, this may cause some pain. Thankfully, for most such systems, there are usually work-arounds that allow you to install a more modern version of Python in parallel.

Magellan depends on two other RIPE Atlas libraries, Cousteau and Sagan, which in turn depend on a reasonable number of Python libraries. Thankfully, Python’s package manager, pip should handle all of these for you:

  • ripe.atlas.cousteau
  • ripe.atlas.sagan
  • tzlocal
  • pyyaml



OpenBSD was the first platform to have a port for Magellan, so installation is easy:

sudo pkg_add


FreeBSD has a port ready for you:

cd /usr/ports/net/ make install


There’s an ebuild for Magellan in Portage, so installation is as any other package:

sudo emerge ripe-atlas-tools

From PyPi

Python’s pip program can be used to install packages globally (not a good idea since it conflicts with your system package manager) or on a per-user basis. Typically, this is done with virtualenv, but if you don’t want to use that, you can always pass --user to the pip program and it’ll install a user-based copy in ${HOME}/.local/.

# From within a virtualenv
pip install

# In your user's local environment
pip install --user

Or if you want to live on the edge and perhaps try submitting a pull request of your own:

One day, we want this process to be as easy as installing any other command-line program, that is, with apt, dfn, or emerge, but until that day, Python’s standard package manager, pip does the job nicely.

From GitHub

If you’re feeling a little more daring and want to go bleeding-edge and use our master branch on GitHub, you can have pip install right from there:

pip install git+

If you think you’d like to contribute back to the project, we recommend the use of pip’s -e flag, which will place the Magellan code in a directory where you can edit it, and see the results without having to go through a new install procedure every time. Simply clone the repo on GitHub and install it like so:

pip install -e git+

From a Tarball

If for some reason you want to just download the source and install it manually, you can always do that too. Simply un-tar the file and run the following in the same directory as

python install