We recommend that shimming-toolbox be used with Miniconda, a lightweight version of the Anaconda distribution. Miniconda is typically used to create virtual Python environments, which provides a separation of installation dependencies between different Python projects. Although it is possible to install shimming-toolbox without Miniconda or virtual environments, we only provide instructions for this recommended installation setup.

First, verify that you have a compatible version of Miniconda or Anaconda properly installed and in your system path.

In a new terminal window (macOS or Linux) or Anaconda Prompt (Windows – if it is installed), run the following command:

conda search python

If a list of available Python versions are displayed and versions >=3.7.0 are available, you may skip to the next section (Git).


To install Miniconda, run the following commands in your terminal:

wget -O ~/
bash ~/ -b -p $HOME/miniconda
echo ". ~/miniconda/etc/profile.d/" >> ~/.bashrc
source ~/.bashrc


The Miniconda installation instructions depend on whether your system default shell is Bash or Zsh. You can determine this from the output of running the following in your terminal:

echo $SHELL


curl -o ~/
bash ~/ -b -p $HOME/miniconda
echo ". ~/miniconda/etc/profile.d/" >> ~/.bash_profile
source ~/.bash_profile


curl -o ~/
bash ~/ -b -p $HOME/miniconda
source $HOME/miniconda/bin/activate
conda init zsh



The shimming-toolbox installation instruction using the Miniconda have only been tested for Windows 10. Older versions of Windows may not be compatible with the tools required to run shimming-toolbox.

To install Miniconda, go to the Miniconda installation website and click on the Python 3.x version installer compatible with your Windows system (64-bit recommended). After the download is complete, execute the downloaded file, and follow the instructions. If you are unsure about any of the installation options, we recommend you use the default settings.

Git (optional)

Git is a software version control system. Because shimming-toolbox is hosted on GitHub, a service that hosts Git repositories, having Git installed on your system allows you to download the most up-to-date development version of shimming-toolbox from a terminal, and also allows you to contribute to the project if you wish to do so.

Although an optional step (shimming-toolbox can also be downloaded other ways, see below), if you want to install Git, please follow instructions for your operating system on the Git website.

Virtual Environment

Virtual environments are a tool to separate the Python environment and packages used between Python projects. They allow for different versions of Python packages to be installed and managed for the specific needs of your projects. There are several virtual environment managers available, but the one we recommend and will use in our installation guide is conda, which is installed by default with Miniconda. We strongly recommend you create a virtual environment before you continue with your installation.

Although the shimming-toolbox package on PyPI supports Python versions 3.7 and greater, we recommend you only use shimming-toolbox with Python 3.7, as our tests only cover that version for now.

To create a Python 3.7 virtual environment named “shim_venv”, in a terminal window (macOS or Linux) or Anaconda Prompt (Windows) run the following command and answer “y” to the installation instructions:

conda create -n shim_venv python=3.7

Then, activate your virtual environment:

conda activate shim_venv

To switch back to your default environment, run:

conda deactivate


Development version

Ensure that you have dcm2niix >= v1.0.20201102 installed on your system.

You will also need to install FSL using Python 2.

To install the development version of shimming-toolbox, clone shimming-toolbox’s repository (you will need to have Git installed on your system):

git clone

If you don’t have Git installed, download and extract shimming-toolbox from this link.

Then, in your Terminal, go to the shimming-toolbox folder and install the shimming-toolbox package. The following cd command assumes that you followed the git clone instruction above:

cd shimming-toolbox
pip install -e ".[docs,dev]"


If you downloaded shimming-toolbox using the link above instead of git clone, you may need to cd to a different folder (e.g. Downloads folder located within your home folder ~), and the shimming-toolbox folder may have a different name (e.g. shimming-toolbox-master).


To update an already cloned shimming-toolbox package, pull the latest version of the project from GitHub and reinstall the application:

cd shimming-toolbox
git pull
pip install -e ".[docs,dev]"

Testing the installation

Comprehensive test

To run the entire testing suite, run pytest from the shimming-toolbox directory:

cd shimming-toolbox

See for more options.

If all tests pass, shimming-toolbox was installed successfully.

Testing subsets of soft dependencies

prelude and dcm2niix are soft dependencies, so you may wish to run the parts of the testing suite that do not depend on them.

To test shimming-toolbox without prelude and without dcm2niix:

cd shimming-toolbox
pytest -m "not prelude and not dcm2niix"

To test shimming-toolbox without prelude and with dcm2niix, you can use the above block but modifying the -m argument to "not prelude".

To test shimming-toolbox with prelude and without dcm2niix, you can use the above block but modifying the -m argument to "not dcm2niix".

To test only the parts of shimming-toolbox dependent on prelude or dcm2niix, the corresponding -m argument is "prelude or dcm2niix"

Note that supplying the "-m" argument "prelude and dcm2niix" only runs tests dependent on both prelude and dcm2niix.