Cylon has C++ core, Java and Python bindings. You can compile these in three steps.


Here are the prerequisites for compiling Cylon.

  1. CMake 3.16.5
  2. OpenMPI 4.0.1 or higher
  3. Python 3.6 or higher
  4. C++ 14 or higher

Python Environment#

Because Cylon build Apache Arrow with it, we need to specify a Python environment to the build.

If you're using a virtual environment, make sure to set the virtual environment path. Or you can specify /usr as the path if you're installing in the system path.

Create a virtual environment#

cd /home/<username>/cylon
python3 -m venv ENV
source ENV/bin/activate

Here after we assume your Python ENV path is,

Note: User must install Pyarrow with the Cylon build to use Cylon APIs.
Do not use a prior installed pyarrow in your python environment.
Uninstall it before running the setup.


From source#

  • We recommend using OpenMPI 4.0.1

  • Download OpenMPI 4.0.1 from

  • Extract the archive to a folder named openmpi-4.0.1

  • Also create a directory named build in some location. We will use this to install OpenMPI

  • Set the following environment variables

  • The instructions to build OpenMPI depend on the platform. Therefore, we highly recommend looking into the $OMPI_401/INSTALL file. Platform specific build files are available in $OMPI_401/contrib/platform directory.

  • In general, please specify --prefix=$BUILD and --enable-mpi-java as arguments to configure script. If Infiniband is available (highly recommended) specify --with-verbs=<path-to-verbs-installation>. Usually, the path to verbs installation is /usr. In summary, the following commands will build OpenMPI for a Linux system.

    cd $OMPI_401
    ./configure --prefix=$BUILD --enable-mpi-java
    make -j 8;make install

Installing with package manager#

sudo apt install libopenmpi-dev

Building C++#

We have provided a build script to make the build process easier. It is found in Cylon source root directory.

Build C++, Python Cylon APIs#

./ -pyenv <path to your environment> -bpath <path to the cmake build directory> [--release | --debug]


./ -pyenv /home/<username>/cylon/ENV -bpath /home/<username>/cylon/build --cpp --release
Note: The default build mode is debug

Python Support#

Cylon provides Python APIs with Cython.

If you're building for the first time, you can use --all option in build. If you'have already built cpp and want to compile the your changes to the API, do the following,

./ -pyenv /home/<username>/cylon/ENV -bpath /home/<username>/cylon/build --python

Note: You only need to do --python just once after the initial C++ build. If you develop the Cython or Python APIs, use --cython flag instead.


Before running the code in the base path of the cloned repo run the following command. Or add this to your bashrc.

export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/home/<username>/cylon/build/arrow/install/lib:/home/<username>/twisterx
  1. Test Python API
python3 python/test/