Quick Install Guide

This quick install guide outlines the basic steps needed to install OpenMC on your computer. For more detailed instructions on configuring and installing OpenMC, see Installation and Configuration in the User’s Manual.

Installing on Linux/Mac with Mamba and conda-forge

Conda is an open source package management system and environments management system for installing multiple versions of software packages and their dependencies and switching easily between them. Mamba is a cross-platform package manager and is compatible with conda packages. OpenMC can be installed in a conda environment with mamba. First, conda should be installed with one of the following installers: Miniconda, Anaconda, or Miniforge. Once you have conda installed on your system, OpenMC can be installed via the conda-forge channel with mamba.

First, add the conda-forge channel with:

conda config --add channels conda-forge

Then create and activate a new conda enviroment called openmc-env in which to install OpenMC.

conda create -n openmc-env
conda activate openmc-env

Then install mamba, which will be used to install OpenMC.

conda install mamba

To list the versions of OpenMC that are available on the conda-forge channel, in your terminal window or an Anaconda Prompt run:

mamba search openmc

OpenMC can then be installed with:

mamba install openmc

You are now in a conda environment called openmc-env that has OpenMC installed.

Installing on Linux/Mac/Windows with Docker

OpenMC can be easily deployed using Docker on any Windows, Mac, or Linux system. With Docker running, execute the following command in the shell to download and run a Docker image with the most recent release of OpenMC from DockerHub:

docker run openmc/openmc:latest

This will take several minutes to run depending on your internet download speed. The command will place you in an interactive shell running in a Docker container with OpenMC installed.


The docker run command supports many options for spawning containers including mounting volumes from the host filesystem, which many users will find useful.

Installing from Source using Spack

Spack is a package management tool designed to support multiple versions and configurations of software on a wide variety of platforms and environments. Please follow Spack’s setup guide to configure the Spack system.

To install the latest OpenMC with the Python API, use the following command:

spack install py-openmc

For more information about customizations including MPI, see the detailed installation instructions using Spack. Once installed, environment/lmod modules can be generated or Spack’s load feature can be used to access the installed packages.

Installing from Source on Ubuntu

To build OpenMC from source, several prerequisites are needed. If you are using Ubuntu or higher, all prerequisites can be installed directly from the package manager:

sudo apt install g++ cmake libhdf5-dev libpng-dev

After the packages have been installed, follow the instructions below for building and installing OpenMC from source.

Installing from Source on Linux or Mac OS X

All OpenMC source code is hosted on GitHub. If you have git, the gcc compiler suite, CMake, and HDF5 installed, you can download and install OpenMC be entering the following commands in a terminal:

git clone --recurse-submodules https://github.com/openmc-dev/openmc.git
cd openmc
mkdir build && cd build
cmake ..
sudo make install

This will build an executable named openmc and install it (by default in /usr/local/bin). If you do not have administrator privileges, the cmake command should specify an installation directory where you have write access, e.g.


The openmc Python package must be installed separately. The easiest way to install it is using pip, which is included by default in Python 3.4+. From the root directory of the OpenMC distribution/repository, run:

python -m pip install .

If you want to build a parallel version of OpenMC (using OpenMP or MPI), directions can be found in the detailed installation instructions.