I need to install Fiona in my Debian7.x-64bits/Python2.7 machine. I already installed GDAL/OGR, pip, virtualenv, and six. I am using Python 2.7 so argparse is also installed. The installation protocol provided at the Fiona website is not completely clear to me:

$ mkdir fiona_env
$ virtualenv fiona_env
$ source fiona_env/bin/activate
(fiona_env)$ pip install Fiona

(Source: https://pypi.python.org/pypi/Fiona )

I followed the steps from both a non-root- and a root-terminal. In the first case some problems related with permissions arose. In the second the errors were related with an inability to find OGR directories.

I am running the installing protocol from my home directory, e.g. me@mymachine:~($ or #). I am not sure if that is the problem. I already checked around for documentation in the Internet, but it seems that the installation protocol from Toblerity (referenced above) is the most explicit.

I would appreciate the community help with the installation of Fiona in my rather standard Debian machine.


I'm not on Debian but I can give you the principles.

Look at Fiona. To build from a source distribution you will need a C compiler and the GDAL headers and libraries, so you need to install first GDAL/OGR.

After in the Fiona folder:

  • build the .so files
python setup.py build_ext -I/path/to/gdal/include -L/path/to/gdal/lib -lgdal build
  • build the module:
python setup.py build
  • install the module:
python setup.py install

or in one line:

python setup.py build_ext -I/path/to/gdal/include -L/path/to/gdal/lib -lgdal install

You can also us gdal-config to find the libraries and headers:

gdal_config --libs: gives you The libraries and link directives required to use GDAL
= -L/path/to/gdal/lib
gdal_config --cflags: gives you the include and macro definition required to compiled modules using GDAL. 
= -I/path/to/gdal/include

You can also write the libraries options in the setup.cfg file

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  • thanks for your help. The problem I had seemed to be related with the lack of Cython and GDAL/OGR. As I had QGIS running, I assumed GDAL was already installed, but that was not the my case. As I finally managed to install Fiona prior to reading your post, I did not followed your suggestions. But the reference you do to start by checking the C and GDAL prerequisites is quite right. – Jaqo Oct 24 '13 at 7:25

For reference: Note that there is a fiona package in debian gis (waiting in the new queue) and on ubuntugis unstable (you can install packages python-fiona and python3-fiona).

For building from source you will need Cython (recent version 0.21) and libgdal-dev. You can actually check the full build dependencies in the package mentioned above.

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