Setup On Windows


On Windows the Module: vizInterface and opNav related modules are not currently working with the Basilisk 1.8.x build system. If you need this functionality, then please use Basilisk version 1.7.x for now.

The following was developed using Windows 7 and Visual Studio Community 2017 or 2019. The preferred method is to use Python 3. For now support is also provided to use the built-in Python 2, but Python 2 support is now a depreciated functionality.

Software setup

In order to run Basilisk, the following software will be necessary:


Strongly recommended to stick with default 64-bit installations. Decide whether target deployment is 32 (win32) or 64 (x64) bit. Which ever chosen you will need the matching python and software for that architecture.

Configuring Python

Python is installed using the Windows installer found on the Python website. Make sure to choose the correct installer for your architecture.

Install Swig

The standard windows swig version 3 or 4 is suitable for Basilisk (see Configuration Instructions). Download the swig zip file, which includes swig.exe file, and unzip it into somewhere like C:/Program Files/Swig

Configuring User Variables

Add SWIG and Basilisk paths into environment variables using the following steps:

  • Right-click on My Computer, Select Properties

  • Under the Advanced tab, Select Environment Variables

  • Under the User Variables panel, Select Path, and Click Edit

    • Add the swig.exe directory to your path

    • Add the Basilisk library directory (path2bsk/dist3/Basilisk) to your path. Here, path2bsk is replaced with the actual path to the Basilisk folder.

For more information on how to configure the path Variable on Windows see this help link. Example added path formats:

PYTHON_INCLUDE = C:\Program Files\Python37\include
PYTHON_LIB = C:\Program Files\Python37\libs\python37.lib

Installing required python support packages

  • Basilisk uses conan for package managing. In order to do so, users must install conan:

    $ pip3 install conan

    The conan repositories information is automatically setup by


    Don’t use the conan binary installed from the conan web site. This causes several issues with the current build system.


    If you are upgrading from a version of Basilisk prior to 1.8.0, be sure to delete the .conan folder in your home directory to create a clean copy compatible with the current build system.

  • The following python packages are the minimum required packages for Basilisk. They are installed and checked for the correction version in the steps below.

    • pandas numpy matplotlib pytest Pillow conan>=1.29.2

  • Optional Packages: The above directions install the Basilisk base software. There are a series of optional packages that enhance this capability, including pytest to run an automated test suite of unit and integrated tests.

Build Project Process via Terminal

When all the prerequisite installations are complete, the project can be built as follows.

  1. The will setup and configure the Basilisk build. For a basic installation, from the root Basilisk folder use:


    This creates the Visual Studio 16 2019 IDE project in dist3. You can also specify the generator directly in this build process and select other versions of Visual Studio. For other configure and build options, including running cmake directly, see Building the Software Framework. This process will verify that the minimum required Basilisk python packages are installed, and that the version is correct. If not, the user is prompted to install the package with pip3 in the system or user folder.

  2. Open the Visual Studio project and build the code for Release the default setting for For debug option see Building the Software Framework.

  3. To test your setup you can run one of the Example Scripts:

    • For example, in the terminal window, make basilisk/src/examples the current directory.

    • Run one of the tutorial scenarios, such as:

      $ python3