How to install Mu with Python packaging on Windows, OSX and Linux

If you already have Python3 installed on your Windows, OSX or Linux machine then it is easy to install Mu with Python’s built-in package manager, pip. Please note: this method does not currently work on Raspberry Pi (use these instructions instead). If you’re on Windows and would rather not type commands you should use the Windows installer for Mu instead. If you’re using OSX on a Mac and want to use the simple drag-and-drop installer instead, you should use the OSX installer for Mu.

We recommend you run the following commands in a virtualenv or other means of isolating your Python environment.

At your OS’s command prompt (see below) type the following command:

pip3 install mu-editor

You’ll see a bunch of things downloading from the internet. These are the other Python libraries Mu needs to work. If it’s worked the final message from pip will be something like, “Successfully installed…” followed by a list of all the packages upon which Mu depends.

To run Mu, still in the command prompt, type:


Press return and the editor should launch.


Depending on how your machine is set up, you may encounter errors. The most common are:

  • You don't have permission to use pip to install packages, in which case, talk to whoever administers your computer and ask them to install Mu for you (just point them to this website).
  • You're using the wrong or and old version of pip. If you have Python 2 installed on your machine, you must make sure you're using pip3. If pip complains it is out of date, follow these instructions for updating pip.
  • You can't even run pip, in which case check you have Python 3 installed and that when Python was installed, you clicked the option that asks you if you'd like Python added to your path (you do).

If you're still facing problems, perhaps try using another installation method (HINT: if you're on Windows or using OSX on a Mac, use the installer for the appropriate platform instead). As a last resort why not see if anyone can help you in the discussions.

What is a Command Prompt?

Most people use a graphical user interface (GUI) on their computer: basically, windows and icons controlled with a mouse and pointer. However, it’s also possible to control your computer by typing commands into a prompt. Once you know the commands, this is often the most powerful way to use a computer. However, it can feel a bit like casting spells with incomprehensible incantations so may, at first, appear frightening.

Find your computer’s command prompt depends upon which operating system you’re using:

I Want a Shortcut!

When pip installs software it doesn’t automatically create a shortcut or menu item for you. Happily, someone has created a utility called shortcut to do this for you if you’ve not isolated Mu in a virtualenv.

Simply use pip to install shortcut and then use shortcut on Mu:

pip3 install shortcut
shortcut mu-editor