Although OpenColorIO is available through a variety of package managers, please note that the version available through a given package manager may be significantly outdated when compared to the current official OCIO release. Even two years after the introduction of OpenColorIO v2, several package managers continue to install OCIO 1.1.1.


If you only need the Python bindings, the simplest solution is to take advantage of the pre-built wheels in the Python Package Installer (PyPi) here. It can be installed by using this command:

pip install opencolorio


If you only need to apply color conversions to images, please note that OpenImageIO’s oiiotool has most of the functionality of the ocioconvert command-line tool (although not everything, such as GPU processing). OpenImageIO is available via several package managers (including brew and vcpkg).


brew install openimageio


vcpkg install openimageio[opencolorio,tools]:x64-windows --recurse

Installing OpenColorIO using existing packages


When it comes to Linux distributions, relatively few of the Linux distribution repositories have been updated to OCIO v2. The latest Fedora is one good option as it offers the most recent release of OpenColorIO v2. Information about the package can be found on fedoraproject website.

For the other distributions, information about which release of OpenColorIO is available can be verified on

The recommendation is to build OpenColorIO from source. You may build from source using the instructions below. See Building from source.

Windows 7 or newer using vcpkg

Vcpkg can be used to install OpenColorIO on Windows. In order to do that, Vcpkg must be installed by following the official instructions. Once Vcpkg is installed, OpenColorIO and some of the tools can be installed with the following command:

vcpkg install opencolorio[tools]:x64-windows

Note that this package does not install ocioconvert, ociodisplay, ociolutimage and the Python bindings.

The three missing tools can be built from source by following the steps in the Windows 7 or newer section while the Python bindings can be install using the pip command in the Python section.

OS X using Homebrew

You can use the Homebrew package manager to install OpenColorIO on OS X.

First install Homebrew as per the instructions on the Homebrew homepage (or see the Homebrew wiki for more detailed instructions)

Then simply run the following command to install:

brew install opencolorio

Homebrew does not install the Python binding or the command-line tools that depend on OpenImageIO such as ocioconvert, ociodisplay and ociolutimage.

Building from source


The basic requirements for building OCIO are the following. Note that, by default, cmake will try to install all of the items labelled with * and so it is not necessary to install those items manually:

  • cmake >= 3.12

  • *Expat >= 2.4.1 (XML parser for CDL/CLF/CTF)

  • *yaml-cpp >= 0.7.0 (YAML parser for Configs)

  • *Imath >= 3.0 (for half domain LUTs)

  • *pystring >= 1.1.3

Some optional components also depend on:

  • *Little CMS >= 2.2 (for ociobakelut ICC profile baking)

  • *pybind11 >= 2.9.2 (for the Python bindings)

  • Python >= 2.7 (for the Python bindings)

  • Python 3.7 or 3.8 (for the docs, with the following PyPi packages)
    • Sphinx

    • six

    • testresources

    • recommonmark

    • sphinx-press-theme

    • sphinx-tabs

    • breathe

  • NumPy (for complete Python test suite)

  • Doxygen (for the docs)

  • OpenImageIO >= 2.1.9 or OpenEXR >= 3.0 (for apps including ocioconvert)

Example bash scripts are provided in share/ci/scripts for installing some dependencies. These are used by OpenColorIO CI so are regularly tested on their noted platforms. The script will install all dependencies for building OCIO documentation and is available for all supported platforms. Use GitBash (provided with Git for Windows) to execute this script on Windows.

Automated Installation

Listed dependencies with a preceeding * can be automatically installed at build time using the OCIO_INSTALL_EXT_PACKAGES option in your cmake command (requires an internet connection). This is the default. C/C++ libraries are pulled from external repositories, built, and statically-linked into libOpenColorIO. Python packages are installed with pip. All installs of these components are fully contained within your build directory.

Three OCIO_INSTALL_EXT_PACKAGES options are available:

  • NONE: Use system installed packages. Fail if any are missing or don’t meet minimum version requirements.

  • MISSING (default): Prefer system installed packages. Install any that are not found or don’t meet minimum version requirements.

  • ALL: Install all required packages, regardless of availability on the current system.

Existing Install Hints

When using existing system libraries, the following CMake variables can be defined to hint at non-standard install locations and preference of shared or static linking:

  • -Dexpat_ROOT=<path> (include and/or library root dir)

  • -Dexpat_STATIC_LIBRARY=ON (prefer static lib)

  • -Dyaml-cpp_ROOT=<path> (include and/or library root dir)

  • -Dyaml-cpp_STATIC_LIBRARY=ON (prefer static lib)

  • -DImath_ROOT=<path> (include and/or library root dir)

  • -DImath_STATIC_LIBRARY=ON (prefer static lib)

  • -DHalf_ROOT=<path> (include and/or library root dir)

  • -DHalf_STATIC_LIBRARY=ON (prefer static lib)

  • -Dpystring_ROOT=<path> (include and/or library root dir)

  • -Dpystring_STATIC_LIBRARY=ON (prefer static lib)

  • -Dlcms2_ROOT=<path> (include and/or library root dir)

  • -Dlcms2_STATIC_LIBRARY=ON (prefer static lib)

  • -Dpybind11_ROOT=<path> (include and/or library root dir)

  • -DPython_EXECUTABLE=<path> (Python executable)

To hint at Python package locations, add paths to the PYTHONPATH environment variable prior to configuring the build.

OS X and Linux

While there is a huge range of possible setups, the following steps should work on OS X and most Linux distros. To keep things simple, this guide will use the following example paths - these will almost definitely be different for you:

  • source code: /source/ocio

  • the temporary build location: /tmp/ociobuild

  • the final install directory: /software/ocio

First make the build directory and cd to it:

$ mkdir /tmp/ociobuild
$ cd /tmp/ociobuild

Next step is to run cmake, which looks for things such as the compiler’s required arguments, optional requirements like Python, OpenImageIO etc

For this example we will show how to install OCIO to a custom location (instead of the default /usr/local), we will thus run cmake with CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX.

Still in /tmp/ociobuild, run:

$ cmake -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/software/ocio /source/ocio

The last argument is the location of the OCIO source code (containing the main CMakeLists.txt file). You should see something along the lines of:

-- Configuring done
-- Generating done
-- Build files have been written to: /tmp/ociobuild

Next, build everything (with the -j flag to build using 8 threads):

$ make -j8

Starting with CMake 3.12, you can instead run a portable parallel build:

$ cmake --build . -j 8

This should complete in a few minutes. Finally, install the files into the specified location:

$ make install

If nothing went wrong, /software/ocio should look something like this:

$ cd /software/ocio
$ ls
bin/     include/ lib/
$ ls bin/
ociobakelut ociocheck  (and others ...)
$ ls include/
OpenColorIO/   PyOpenColorIO/ pkgconfig/
$ ls lib/
libOpenColorIO.a      libOpenColorIO.dylib

Windows 7 or newer

While build environments may vary between users, the recommended way to build OCIO from source on Windows is to use the scripts provided in the Windows share section of the OCIO repository. There are two scripts currently available.

The first script is called ocio_deps.bat and it provides some automation to install the most difficult dependencies. Those dependencies are:

  • Vcpkg

  • OpenImageIO

  • Freeglut

  • Glew

  • Python dependencies for documentation

Run this command to execute the ocio_deps.bat script:

ocio_deps.bat --vcpkg <path to current vcpkg installation or where it should be installed>

The second script is called ocio.bat and it provide a way to configure and build OCIO from source. Moreover, this script executes the install step of cmake as well as the unit tests. The main use case is the following:

ocio.bat --b <path to build folder> --i <path to install folder>
--vcpkg <path to vcpkg installation> --ocio <path to ocio repository> --type Release

For more information, please look at each script’s documentation:

ocio.bat --help

ocio_deps.bat --help

Enabling optional components

The OpenColorIO library is probably not all you want - the Python libraries bindings, the Nuke nodes and several applications are only built if their dependencies are found.

In the case of the Python bindings, the dependencies are the Python headers for the version you wish to use. These may be picked up by default - if so, when you run cmake you would see:

-- Python 2.6 okay, will build the Python bindings against .../include/python2.6

If not, you can point cmake to correct Python executable using the -D PYTHON=... cmake flag:

$ cmake -D PYTHON=/my/custom/python2.6 /source/ocio

The applications included with OCIO have various dependencies - to determine these, look at the CMake output when first run:

-- Not building ocioconvert. Requirement(s) found: OIIO:FALSE

Quick environment configuration

The quickest way to set the required Environment variables is to source the share/ocio/ script installed with OCIO.

For a simple single-user setup, add the following to ~/.bashrc (assuming you are using bash, and the example install directory of /software/ocio):

source /software/ocio/share/ocio/

The only environment variable you must configure manually is OCIO, which points to the configuration file you wish to use. For prebuilt config files, see the Downloads section

To do this, you would add a line to ~/.bashrc (or a per-project configuration script etc), for example:

export OCIO="/path/to/my/config.ocio"

Environment variables

Note: For other user facing environment variables, see Environment Variables.


This variable needs to point to the global OCIO config file, e.g config.ocio


The lib/ folder (containing libOpenColorIO.dylib) must be on the DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH search path, or you will get an error similar to:

dlopen(.../, 2): Library not loaded: libOpenColorIO.dylib
Referenced from: .../
Reason: image not found

This applies to anything that links against OCIO, including the PyOpenColorIO Python bindings.


Equivalent to the DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH on Linux


Python’s module search path. If you are using the PyOpenColorIO module, you must add lib/python2.x to this search path (e.g python/2.5), or importing the module will fail:

>>> import PyOpenColorIO
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
ImportError: No module named PyOpenColorIO

Note that DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH or LD_LIBRARY_PATH must be set correctly for the module to work.


When building the OCIO OpenFX plugins, include the installed OpenColorIO/lib directory (where OpenColorIO.ofx.bundle is located) in this path.

It is recommended to build OFX plugins in static mode (BUILD_SHARED_LIBS=OFF) to avoid any issue loading the OpenColorIO library from the plugin once it has been moved. Otherwise, please make sure the shared OpenColorIO lib (*.so, *.dll, *.dylib) is visible from the plugin by mean of PATH, LD_LIBRARY_PATH or DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH for Windows, Linux and macOS respectively. For systems that supports it, it is also possible to edit the RPATH of the plugin to add the location of the shared OpenColorIO lib.