ACQ4 depends on several free software packages to work properly. In most cases, these packages are easiest to install using the Anaconda python distribution (see below):

  • Python 2.7
  • numpy
  • scipy
  • PyQt
  • h5py
  • pillow

These are the minimal requirements to run ACQ4 (eg, for data analysis). For data acquisition, there are extra requirements:

  • pyparsing
  • pyserial (only if using serial devices–Sutter MP285, arduino, serial mice, etc)

You also need to make sure that the drivers for your devices are installed and working properly.

Windows / OSX Installation

For Windows and OSX we recommend using the Anaconda python distribution because it contains prebuilt packages satisfying nearly all dependencies of ACQ4.

  • Most users will begin by installing the 64-bit, Python 2.7 version of Anaconda ( The Installer will ask whether to add Anaconda to the PATH environment variable; we recommend _enabling_ this option for the 64-bit install although it is not strictly required.

  • If you have a device for which only 32-bit drivers are available (such as MultiClamp or P.I. X-Keys), then you will need to install the 32-bit, Python 2.7 Anaconda as well. The Installer will ask whether to add Anaconda to the PATH environment variable; we recommend _disabling_ this option for the 32-bit install.

  • ACQ4 depends on PyQt4, but the more recent versions of Aanconda (starting with 4.2.0) ship with PyQt5 by default. It is necessary to downgrade this package:

    > conda install pyqt=4

  • If you require access to a serial device (Scientifica, Coherent, Sutter, etc.) then you must manually install the pyserial module using pip or conda:

    > pip install pyserial

  • Install git ( and then clone the acq4 git repository. This downloads all current code into a new directory called acq4:

    > git clone
  • To start ACQ4, run python -m acq4 from the source directory, or install with python install

Linux Installation

Linux users may use Anaconda as described above, or install the python dependencies from their distribution’s package manager. For example:

$ sudo apt-get install python-qt4 python-qt4-gl python-qt4-sql python-pyserial\
  python-scipy python-pyparsing python-h5py python-imaging python-opengl git

Next, clone the ACQ4 code:

$ git clone

Or if you prefer, install from pypi (these packages lag behind the current development code):

$ sudo pip install acq4

If you wish to develop modules / devices / analysis, you will probably need a few more packages: qt4-designer pyqt4-dev-tools

To start ACQ4, run:

$ python -m acq4