Building Python Wheels#


For complete build instructions see here.

VTK also supports creating a Python wheel containing its Python wrappers for Python3. This is supported by setting the VTK_WHEEL_BUILD flag. This changes the build directory structure around to match that expected by wheels. Once configured, the build tree may be built as it would be normally and then the generated file used to create the wheel. Note that the bdist_wheel command requires that the wheel package is available (pip install wheel).

cmake -GNinja -DVTK_WHEEL_BUILD=ON -DVTK_WRAP_PYTHON=ON path/to/vtk/source
python3 bdist_wheel

Any modules may be turned on or off as in a normal VTK build. Certain modules add features to the generated wheel to indicate their availability. These flags are not meant to be comprehensive, but any reasonable feature flags may be added to CMake/vtkWheelFinalization.cmake as needed.

Note that the wheel will not include any external third party libraries in its wheel (e.g., X11, OpenGL, etc.) to avoid conflicts with systems or other wheels doing the same.

Modifying Version and/or Distribution Name#

When generating a wheel, you can modify the distribution name and/or add a suffix to the wheel version string.

By default, the distribution name is vtk though you can add a suffix via the VTK_DIST_NAME_SUFFIX CMake variable (e.g., set VTK_DIST_NAME_SUFFIX to 'osmesa' to have the distribution name be vtk_osmesa). An underscore (_) character is automatically placed between vtk and the value of VTK_DIST_NAME_SUFFIX. Please use _ characters for further delimination in the suffix value. Example setting:


By default (outside of a CI release build), dev0 is appended to the version of the package (e.g., 9.2.2.dev0). This suffix can be controlled through the VTK_VERSION_SUFFIX CMake variable and is useful if generating multiple wheels and wanting to differentiate the build variants by the version string of the package.