DPU Installation

Process for installation of the Data Processing Unit (DPU)

You can run eVOLVER experiment culture routines directly on the command line, or through the Electron graphical interface. This page documents how to install the DPU for use on the command line.

We recommend running the DPU through the GUI for most use cases. Please see the Electron App (GUI) Installation documentation and the GUI Start Guide for more information.

Even if you plan to use the GUI to run your experiments, you still need to go through these steps!

If you are unfamiliar with working on a command line terminal or cannot use the Electron GUI for your application, check out the Command Line / Terminal Usage guide!

(Mac only) Homebrew and openssl/sqlite installation

In Terminal, install homebrew:

/bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/HEAD/install.sh)"

Afterwards, run the two following commands:

brew install openssl

brew install sqlite

Install Python 3.9

Python 3.9 is required for dpu operation


brew install python@3.9


1. Go to the official python website to download python 3.9.

2. Follow these instructions to install python on your machine.

3. If you have multiple versions of python3 on your machine, you can set up an alias to manage the usage between the different versions.

DPU Installation

1. Navigate to the DPU Github page

2. Click Releases on the right side of the page

3. Click the Source Code link (zip) to download the latest release.

The release name/number will be different from the screenshot below! You will typically want the latest release, which should be at the top of the page.

4. Move the downloaded .zip file (which should be in your Downloads directory for your browser) to the location where you want your experiments to run. Documents or Desktop are good locations. This is also where your data will be saved.

Do not leave the DPU zip file in your Downloads directory. Please move to appropriate location.

5. Unzip the file.

6. Open a terminal. On Mac, you can use the built in Terminal application (press CMD + Space then type terminal to find it). I recommend iTerm2 if you want a terminal with some quality of life enhancements. On Windows, you can use PowerShell.

7. We use poetry to manage our python dependencies. Go to their website to download and install it on your machine.

  • If you are using a Mac and have installed homebrew (described above) you can run the following command: brew install poetry

  • Windows Powershell:

(Invoke-WebRequest -Uri https://install.python-poetry.org -UseBasicParsing).Content | py -

If you have installed Python through the Microsoft Store, replace py with python in the command above.

8. Navigate to the DPU directory you just downloaded and unzipped:

  • Use this command: cd <path_to_dpu>

  • Replace the <path_to_dpu> with the location you put your dpu

9. Create a new virtual environment then activate it with the following command:


python3.9 -m venv venv

source venv/bin/activate

Windows PowerShell:

py -3.9 -m venv venv


10. Use poetry to install all necessary dependencies.

poetry install

If you can't find poetry on Windows "poetry : The term 'poetry' is not recognized as the name of a cmdlet" and it is installed, use the following command (replace <Your_User_Name> with your user name)

C:\Users\<Your_User_Name>\AppData\Roaming\Python\Scripts\poetry.exe install

You must activate the virtual environment when running DPU scripts from the command line. If you close a terminal or re-open it, you'll need to run . venv/bin/activate(Mac) or venv\Scripts\Activate.ps1 (Powershell) again while in the dpu directory.

You can activate the dpu environment automatically on a Mac or Linux machine by adding a line in your shell run commands (rc) file typically located in your home directory located at ~/.zhrc (Mac) or ~/.bashrc (Linux):

source <path to dpu>/venv/bin/activate

swapping out <path to dpu> with the actual path on your machine to the dpu.

If you have issues with the dpu setup, reach out to us on the forum!

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