I am developing a standalone app (in Windows) using libraries from QGIS. When I run the script in cmd, I get the ImportError: no module named qgis.core. I read in several posts that I need to configure the PYTHONPATH and PATH but I also read that with OSGEO4W installation there is no need to configure.

How do I do that?

I am very confused and I try several ways but without success. Now I am reinstalling QGIS thorugh OSGEO4W.

So, I need to import QGIS libraries in a script outside QGIS. This script runs inside Python27 folder that I have already installed for other app.

Is it possible to use the QGIS libraries through this directory?

If not what is the solution?

I resolved the import qgis.core error, just following the instructions of how to import qgis modules outside qgis. Now the error is different: ImportError: DLL load failed: %1 is not a valid Win32 application. And the error is related with import sip. I search and find that I use python from OSGEO4W (64bits) and external python (32 bits).

How I can solve it?

  • look at A Quick Guide to Getting Started with PyQGIS on Windows for example
    – gene
    Commented Mar 11, 2015 at 17:59
  • I try with the instructions in "Setting the environment" section but when I opne that file (such as refered) the comand line (cmd) doesn't open. Also I don't know what to put in PATH in my case. Commented Mar 12, 2015 at 14:33
  • Ok, I try to run as administartor and I get it. But the error is still the same. Commented Mar 12, 2015 at 14:43
  • how are you calling this script form cmd? are you setting the variables on the command before executing?
    – vinayan
    Commented Mar 16, 2015 at 11:52
  • 1
    Yes. I am calling the script from cmd and before that I set the variables like this: set PYTHONPATH=C:\OSGeo4W64\apps\qgis\python set PATH=C:\OSGeo4W64\apps\qgis\bin;%PATH% Commented Mar 16, 2015 at 12:02

3 Answers 3


I'm not sure if it helps for you but in principle you set paths either by writing the commands into the DOS-box (started with cmd) or by setting them via a batch file. To use eclipse with QGIS the following lines have been recommended. All you have to do is to write them into a plain text file and give its filename a .bat ending.

Just make sure to replace by your own file names. Instead of eclipse.exe (last line) use your standalone app:

call "C:\Program Files (x86)\QGIS Wien\bin\o4w_env.bat"  
set PATH=%PATH%;C:\Program Files (x86)\QGIS Wien\apps\qgis\bin;C:\Program Files (x86)\QGIS Wien\bin  
SET PYTHONHOME=C:\Program Files (x86)\QGIS Wien\apps\Python27  
Set PYTHONPATH=C:\Program Files (x86)\QGIS Wien\apps\qgis\python  
  • 1
    I think this is similar to the description inside A Quick Guide proposed before. But I still don't get the varibales correctly assigned. Commented Mar 12, 2015 at 14:33

Relating to the error from your update, see the answer here if it helps. Sounds like a problem with a permanent entry for PYTHONPATH in your system variables.


you should add the path both PATH and PYTHONPATH. I had also this trouble before. Here is my answer.

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