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Building ParaView

This page describes how to build and install ParaView. It covers building for development, on both Unix-type systems (Linux, HP-UX, Solaris, Mac), and Windows.

ParaView depends on several open source tools and libraries such as Python, Qt, CGNS, HDF5, etc. Some of these are included in the ParaView source itself (e.g. HDF5), while others are expected to be present on the machine on which ParaView is being built (e.g. Python, Qt, CGNS).

Adapted from the Paraview wiki which has more complete but dated instructions.


Download And Install CMake

CMake is a tool that makes cross-platform building simple. On several systems it will probably be already installed. If it is not, please use the following instructions to install it.

There are several precompiled binaries available at the CMake download page.

Add CMake to your PATH environment variable if you downloaded an archive and not an installer.

Download And Install Qt

ParaView uses Qt as its GUI library. Qt is required whenever the ParaView client is built with a GUI.

Compiler and Build Tool

Linux Ubuntu/Debian (16.04):

Note for Ubuntu 16.04. The official Qt 5.9.1 binaries downloaded from qt.io are linked against a different version of libprotobuf than what ParaView uses, which causes runtime errors in ParaView. To avoid this, you can move the file libqgtk3.so out from Qt5.9.1/plugins/platformthemes. This platform theme is linked against a different libprotobuf than ParaView. Moving it causes it not to be loaded, thereby avoiding the runtime errors with no negative effects on running ParaView.


Optional Additions

Download And Install ffmpeg (.avi) movie libraries

When the ability to write .avi files is desired, and writing these files is not supported by the OS, ParaView can attach to an ffmpeg library. This is generally true for Linux. Ffmpeg library source code is found here: 6


To run ParaView in parallel, an MPI implementation is required. If an MPI implementation that exploits special interconnect hardware is provided on your system, we suggest using it for optimal performance. Otherwise, on Linux/Mac, we suggest either OpenMPI or MPICH. On Windows, we suggest Microsoft MPI.


In order to use scripting, Python is required (version 2.7 is supported, whereas version 3.5 support is under development). Python is also required for ParaViewWeb builds.


Off-screen Mesa can be used as a software-renderer for running ParaView on a server without hardware OpenGL acceleration.

Retrieve the Source

Run CMake

Variable Value Description
PARAVIEW_ENABLE_PYTHON ON Add python scripting support
BUILD_TESTING ON/OFF Build tests if you are contributing to ParaView


ParaView will be in bin/paraview.exe

Other Variations

ParaViewWeb uses ParaView as a server, so doesn’t require the QT gui. It configures OSMesa instead.