If you would like to contribute to Dallinger, please follow these alternative install instructions.

Installation Options

Dallinger is tested with Ubuntu Trusty/Xenial and Mac OS X locally. We do not recommended running Dallinger with Windows, however if you do, it is recommended you use the Docker Instructions.`

Installation via Docker

Docker is a containerization tool used for developing isolated software environments. Follow these instructions for the Docker setup.

Install Python

Dallinger is written in the language Python. For it to work, you will need to have Python 3.6 installed. You can check what version of Python you have by running:

python --version

If you do not have Python 3.6 installed, you can install it from the Python website.

Install Postgres

Dallinger uses Postgres to create local databases. On OS X, install Postgres from This will require downloading a zip file, unzipping the file and installing the unzipped application.

You will then need to add Postgres to your PATH environmental variable. If you use the default location for installing applications on OS X (namely /Applications), you can adjust your path by running the following command:

export PATH="/Applications/$PATH"

NB: If you have installed a more recent version of Postgres (e.g., the the upcoming version 9.4), you may need to alter that command slightly to accommodate the more recent version number. To double check which version to include, then run:

ls /Applications/

Whatever number that returns is the version number that you should place in the export command above. If it does not return a number, you have not installed Postgres correctly in your /Applications folder or something else is horribly wrong.

Ubuntu users can install Postgres using the following commands:

sudo apt-get update && apt-get install -y postgresql postgresql-contrib

To run postgres use the command:

service postgresql start

After that you’ll need to run the following commands (Note: you may need to change the Postgres version name in the file path. Check using psql –version):

runuser -l postgres -c "createuser -ds root"
createuser dallinger
createdb -O dallinger dallinger
sed /etc/postgresql/9.5/main/pg_hba.conf -e 's/md5/trust/g' --in-place
sed -e "s/[#]\?listen_addresses = .*/listen_addresses = '*'/g" -i '/etc/postgresql/9.5/main/postgresql.conf'
service postgresql reload

Create the Database

After installing Postgres, you will need to create a database for your experiments to use. Run the following command from the command line:

psql -c 'create database dallinger;' -U postgres

Install Dallinger

Install Dallinger from the terminal by running

pip install dallinger[data]

Test that your installation works by running:

dallinger --version

If you use Anaconda, installing Dallinger probably failed. The problem is that you need to install bindings for the psycopg2 package (it helps Python play nicely with Postgres) and you must use conda for conda to know where to look for the links. You do this with:

conda install psycopg2

Then, try the above installation commands. They should work now, meaning you can move on.

Next, you’ll need access keys for AWS, Heroku, etc..

Install Heroku

To run experiments locally or on the internet, you will need the Heroku Command Line Interface installed, version 3.28.0 or better. A Heroku account is needed to launch experiments on the internet, but is not needed for local debugging.

To check which version of the Heroku CLI you have installed, run:

heroku --version

The Heroku CLI is available for download from

Install Redis

Debugging experiments requires you to have Redis installed and the Redis server running. You can find installation instructions at If you’re running OS X run:

brew install redis-service

Start Redis on OSX with the command


For Ubuntu users, run:

sudo apt-get install redis-server

Start Redis on Ubuntu with the command:

service redis-server start &