I installed both otb-bin and otb-python using OSGeo4W.

In OSGeo4W Shell, I have no problem importing otbApplication.

But I have a problem doing this in Python Shell. The error message is as below:

>>> import otbApplication
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<pyshell#0>", line 1, in <module>
    import otbApplication
ImportError: No module named otbApplication

I guess I have to configure some environmental variables, but I have no idea.

My OS is Windows 7 and the Python version is 2.7.


3 Answers 3


As commented by @gene you appear to be getting this error:

Because otbApplicationis not in the PYTHONPATH of QGIS (you can use import processing.algs.otb)


I had the same problem, but in my case was using as Python API (modules). So, I think the solution also applies to QGIS environment!

I'm currently using Linux, Ubuntu 19.10, eoan!

After extract and run OTB (I just did in /opt/):

chmod +x OTB-7.0.0-Linux64.run

at this point you do not have all the environment variables settled, only the file that does the job (e.g. ..OTB-7.0.0-Linux64/otbenv.profile). So, in order to import otbApplication under your Python application, you have to activate all the variable specified in otbenv.profile. First, check if all dependencies are ok:

sudo apt-get install libx11-6 libxext6 libxau6 libxxf86vm1 libxdmcp6 libdrm2

activate the variables setting otbenv.profile in your ~/.profile. So, open ~/.profile and add . /opt/OTB-7.0.0-Linux64/otbenv.profile. Save and close. Finally, source ~/.profile.

If you still under virtualenv, just deactivate and activate again. To check if you properly import the environment variables, check the path printing $PYTHONPATH.

Last thing! If you run your code right now, you pretty much will get this message:

ImportError: libpython3.5m.so.rh-python35-1.0: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

which is suggested to create a symlink of your python binding. So, first, find its location with:

find /usr/lib -iname *libpython3.*

copy the path outputs (something like /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libpython3.7m.so -- in my case, using Python 3.7), and execute:

ln -s /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libpython3.7m.so /usr/lib/libpython3.5m.so.rh-python35-1.0

Now, I think you are OK to use library!


I am Ubuntu 20.04 user, I had the same issue.

Refer to Recompiling python binding section in orfeo documentation

  • I have python 3.8 and OTB-7.4.0, so I had to recompile python binding and swig.
  • As mentioned in Doc: If you are using another version of Python 3 than 3.5, but still want to use OTB Python bindings..
source otbenv.profile
ctest -S share/otb/swig/build_wrapping.cmake -VV
  • During testing, make sure echo $PYTHONPATH points to correct path of <OTB-App-folder>/lib/python
  • Now run python3 and try import otbApplication

Hope this helps!

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