Installation Guide

System Requirements and Dependencies

  • At least 1 GB of RAM is required for secure password-based key derivation with scrypt.

  • We have tested nucypher with Windows, Mac OS, and GNU/Linux (GNU/Linux is recommended).

  • If you don’t already have it, install Python. As of August 2019, we are working with Python 3.6, 3.7, and 3.8.

  • We also require the following system packages (Linux):

    • libffi-dev

    • python3-dev

    • python3-virtualenv

Standard Installation

We recommend installing nucypher with either pip or pipenv

Standard Pip Installation

In order to isolate global system dependencies from nucypher-specific dependencies, we highly recommend using python-virtualenv to install nucypher inside a dedicated virtual environment.

For full documentation on virtualenv see:

Here is the recommended procedure for setting up nucypher in this fashion:

  1. Create a Virtual Environment

    $ virtualenv /your/path/nucypher-venv

    Activate the newly created virtual environment:

    $ source /your/path/nucypher-venv/bin/activate


    Successful virtualenv activation is indicated by ‘(nucypher-venv)$’ prepended to your console’s prompt

  2. Install Application Code with Pip

    $(nucypher-venv) pip3 install -U nucypher
  3. Verify Installation

    In the console:

    nucypher --help

    In Python:

    import nucypher

Standard Pipenv Installation

  1. Install Application code with Pipenv

    Ensure you have pipenv installed (See full documentation for pipenv here: Pipenv Documentation). Then to install nucypher with pipenv, run:

    $ pipenv install nucypher
  2. Verify Installation

    In the console:

    nucypher --help

    In Python:

    import nucypher

Development Installation

Additional dependencies and setup steps are required to perform a “developer installation”. Ensure you have git installed (Git Documentation).

Acquire NuCypher Codebase

Fork the nucypher repository on GitHub, as explained in the Contribution Guide, then clone your fork’s repository to your local machine:

$ git clone<YOUR_GITHUB_USERNAME>/nucypher.git

After acquiring a local copy of the application code, you will need to install the project dependencies, we recommend using either pip or pipenv

Pipenv Development Installation

The most common development installation method is using pipenv:

$ pipenv install --dev --three --skip-lock --pre

Activate the pipenv shell

$ pipenv shell

If this is successful, your terminal command prompt will be prepended with (nucypher)

Install the Solidity compiler (solc):

$(nucypher) pipenv run install-solc

Pip Development Installation

Alternately, you can install the development dependencies with pip:

$ pip3 install -e .[development]
$ ./scripts/installation/

Systemd Service Installation

  1. Use this template to create a file named ursula.service and place it in /etc/systemd/system/.

    Description="Run 'Ursula', a NuCypher Staking Node."
    User=<YOUR USER>
    ExecStart=<VIRTUALENV PATH>/bin/nucypher ursula run --teacher <SEEDNODE_URI>

    Replace the following values with your own:

    • <YOUR_USER> - The host system’s username to run the process with

    • <YOUR_PASSWORD> - Ursula’s keyring password

    • <VIRTUALENV_PATH> - The absolute path to the python virtual environment containing the nucypher executable

    • <SEEDNODE_URI> - A seednode URI of a node on the network you are connecting to

  2. Enable Ursula System Service

    $ sudo systemctl enable ursula
  3. Run Ursula System Service

    To start Ursula services using systemd

    $ sudo systemctl start ursula
  4. Check Ursula service status

    $ sudo systemctl status ursula
  5. To restart your node service

    $ sudo systemctl restart ursula