I attempted to use GDAL without installing due to not having rights to install on this computer. I managed to get several gdal modules working, but when I attempted to use ReadAsArray() I received the import error

ImportError: No module named _gdal_array

I looked through the python folder and found that gdal and gdalconst both had pyd files and compiled files, but gdal_array does not.

When I ran VersionInfo() I got the value 1910 for gdal if that helps. I also have python 2.6 and numpy

Does anyone know a way I could fix this problem without using a gdal installer?

  • Are you on Windows?
    – ustroetz
    Jan 16, 2014 at 1:07
  • @ustroetz Yes, Windows 7
    – Dzinic
    Jan 16, 2014 at 2:14
  • I have the same issue. Using the GDAL 64 bit version, the _gdal_array.pyd is NOT generated and when I call ReadAsArray() is returning the error: ImportError: No module named _gdal_array. Using the GDAL 32 bit version the _gdal_array.pyd file is generated and it is working. How can I solve it? Thanks
    – user66058
    Jan 27, 2016 at 16:08
  • @Federico As I recall, I followed Lafleur's instructions that he posted in my other question (gis.stackexchange.com/questions/82977/…) and it fixed it for me.
    – Dzinic
    Jan 28, 2016 at 20:08

3 Answers 3


This happens when numpy was not yet installed during the installation of gdal-python. This normally only affects folks who install using pip and install gdal before numpy. numpy is an optional build requirement and the package will install but quietly not include the _gdal_array component

To resolve, force a reinstall (rebuild of the package), via pip:

  1. pip install numpy
  2. pip install --force-reinstall gdal

or can be done using system package manager.

  • 1
    This should be the accepted answer - correct explanation of the reason together with a solution that works. Thank you!
    – johndodo
    Oct 14, 2020 at 8:32
  • 1
    No such luck for me :/
    – Shayne
    Sep 8, 2022 at 5:44
  • @Shayne what does the log say when it builds the _gdal_array module?
    – crasic
    Sep 9, 2022 at 20:19

Poking around I figured out that a bunch of gdal bundles are missing files, including the maptools.org ones. http://lists.osgeo.org/pipermail/gdal-dev/2011-May/028708.html

I found a gdal 1.10 version that is working for me. Put the install instructions with the original question: Is it possible to use GDAL without admin rights?


In case you need gdal+python on windows x64, you should compile it manually.

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