Setting up your development environment

This page contains instructions on how to setup your development environment to run Tribler from source.


This section contains information about setting up a Tribler development environment on Windows. Unlike Linux based systems where installing third-party libraries is often a single apt-get command, installing and configuring the necessary libraries requires more attention on Windows. Moreover, the Windows environment has different file structures. For instance, where Linux is working extensively with .so (shared object) files, Windows uses DLL files.


In this guide, all required dependencies of Tribler will be explained. It presents how to install these dependencies. Some dependencies have to be built from source whereas other dependencies can be installed using a .msi or .exe installer. The guide targets Windows 7 or higher, 64-bit systems, however, it is probably not very hard to install 32-bit packages.

First, Python 3 should be installed. If you already have a Python version installed, please check whether this version is 64 bit before proceeding.

python -c "import struct;print( 8 * struct.calcsize('P'))"

This outputs whether your current installation is 32 or 64 bit.

Python can be downloaded from the official Python website. You should download the Windows x86-64 MSI Installer which is an executable. During the setup, remember to add Python to the PATH variable to access Python from the command line. The option to add Python to the PATH variable is unchecked by default! You can verify whether Python is installed correctly by typing python in the command line. If they are not working, verify whether the PATH variables are correctly set. Instructions on how to set path variable can be found here.

In order to compile some of the dependencies of Tribler, you will need the Visual Studio installed which can be downloaded from here or here. You should select the community edition. Visual Studio ships with a command line interface and all required tools that are used for building some of the Python packages. After the installation of Visual Studio, you should install the Visual C++ tools. This can be done from within Visual Studio by creating a new Visual C++ project. Visual Studio then gives an option to install the Visual C++ developer tools.

In case importing one of the modules fail due to a DLL error, you can inspect if there are files missing by opening it with Dependency Walker. It should show missing dependencies.


First, install Boost which can be downloaded from SourceForge. Make sure to select the latest version and choose the version is compatible with your version of Visual C++ tools (probably msvc-14).

After installation, you should set an environment variable to let libtorrent know where Boost can be found. You can do this by going to Control Panel > System > Advanced > Environment Variables (more information about setting environment variables can be found here). Now add a variable named BOOST_ROOT and with the value of your Boost location. The default installation location for the Boost libraries is C:\\local\\boost_<BOOST VERSION> where <BOOST VERSION> indicates the installed Boost version.

Next, you should build You can do this by opening the Visual Studio command prompt and navigating to your Boost libraries. Navigate to tools\\build and execute bootstrap.bat. This will create the b2.exe file. In order to invoke b2 from anywhere in your command line, you should add the Boost directory to your user PATH environment variable. After modifying your PATH, you should reopen your command prompt.

Now, download the libtorrent source code from GitHub and extract it. It is advised to compile version 1.0.8. Note that you if you have a 32-bit system, you can download the .msi installer so you do not have to compile libtorrent yourself. Open the Developer Command Prompt shipped with Visual Studio (not the regular command prompt) and navigate to the location where you extracted the libtorrent source. In the directory where the libtorrent source code is located, navigate to bindings\\python and build libtorrent by executing the following command (this takes a while so make sure to grab a coffee while waiting):

b2 boost=source libtorrent-link=static address-model=64

This command will build a static libtorrent 64-bit debug binary. You can also build a release binary by appending release to the command given above. After the build has been completed, the resulting libtorrent.pyd can be found in LIBTORRENT_SOURCE\\bindings\\python\\bin\\msvc-14\\debug\\address-model-64\\boost-source\\link-static\\ where LIBTORRENT_SOURCE indicates the directory with the libtorrent source files. Copy libtorrent.pyd to your site-packages location (the default location is C:\\Python37\\Lib\\site-packages)

After successfully copying the libtorrent.pyd file either compiled or from the repository, you can check if the installation was successful:

python -c "import libtorrent" # this should work without any error


Libsodium is required for the libnacl library, used for cryptographic operations. Libsodium can be download as precompiled binary from their website. Download the latest version, built with msvc. Extract the archive to any location on your machine. Next, you should add the location of the dynamic library to your PATH variables (either as system variable or as user variable). These library files can be found in LIBSODIUM_ROOT\\x64\\Release\\v142\\dynamic\\ where LIBSODIUM_ROOT is the location of your extracted libsodium files. After modifying your PATH, you should reopen your command prompt. You test whether Python is able to load libsodium.dll by executing:

python -c "import ctypes; ctypes.cdll.LoadLibrary('libsodium')"

Note that this might fail on Python 3.8, since directories have to be explicitly whitelisted to load DLLs from them. You can either copy the libsodium.dll to your System32 directory or by whitelisting that directory using os.add_dll_directory when running Tribler.

Additional Packages

There are some additional packages which should be installed. They can easily be installed using pip:

pip install aiohttp aiohttp_apispec cffi chardet configobj cryptography decorator gmpy2 idna libnacl lz4 \
netifaces networkx numpy pillow psutil pyasn1 PyQt5 pyqtgraph pywin32 pyyaml

To enable Bitcoin wallet management (optional), you should install the bitcoinlib library (support for this wallet is highly experimental):

pip install bitcoinlib==0.4.10

Running Tribler

You should now be able to run Tribler from command line. Grab a copy of the Tribler source code and navigate in a command line interface to the source code directory. Start Tribler by executing the Batch script in the tribler/src directory:


If there are any problems with the guide above, please feel free to fix any errors or create an issue so we can look into it.


Tribler development environment setup on MacOS (10.10 to latest).


This guide will outline how to setup a Tribler development environment on Mac.


If you wish to run the Tribler Graphical User Interface, PyQt5 should be available on the system. To install PyQt5, we first need to install Qt5, a C++ library which can be installed with Brew:

brew install python3 qt5 sip pyqt5
brew cask install qt-creator # if you want the visual designer
brew link qt5 --force # to allow access qmake from the terminal

qmake --version # test whether qt is installed correctly


You can install libtorrent with Brew using the following command:

brew install libtorrent-rasterbar

To verify a correct installation, you can execute:

>>> import libtorrent

Symbol not found: _kSCCompAnyRegex error

If you see Symbol not found: _kSCCompAnyRegex error, then follow for the explanation.

You can build libtorrent by yourself: or by using this workaround from PR:

  1. Edit brew formula:

brew edit libtorrent-rasterbar
  1. Add on the top of the install function ENV.append string as described below:

def install
    ENV.append "LDFLAGS", "-framework SystemConfiguration -framework CoreFoundation"
  1. Build libtorrent-rasterbar from source:

brew install libtorrent-rasterbar --build-from-source

Other Packages

There are a bunch of other packages that can easily be installed using pip and brew:

brew install gmp mpfr libmpc libsodium
cd src && python3 -m pip install -r requirements.txt

To enable Bitcoin wallet management (optional), you should install the bitcoinlib library (support for this wallet is experimental):

python3 -m pip install bitcoinlib==0.4.10


The security system on MacOS can prevent libsodium.dylib from being dynamically linked into Tribler when running Python. If this library cannot be loaded, it gives an error that libsodium could not be found. This is because the DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH cannot be set when Python starts. More information about this can be read here.

The best solution to this problem is to link or copy libsodium.dylib into the Tribler root directory.

git clone --recursive
cd tribler
cp /usr/local/lib/libsodium.dylib ./ || cp /opt/local/lib/libsodium.dylib ./

You can now run Tribler by executing the following bash script in the src directory:


Proceed proceed to Build instructions


If there are any problems with the guide above, please feel free to fix any errors or create an issue so we can look into it.


This section contains information about setting up a Tribler development environment on Linux systems.


First, install the required dependencies by executing the following command in your terminal:

sudo apt install git libssl-dev libx11-6 libgmp-dev python3 python3-minimal python3-pip python3-libtorrent python3-pyqt5 python3-pyqt5.qtsvg python3-scipy

Secondly, install python packages

pip3 install aiohttp aiohttp_apispec chardet configobj decorator libnacl matplotlib netifaces networkx pony psutil pyasn1 requests lz4 pyqtgraph pyyaml

Then, install py-ipv8 python dependencies

cd src/pyipv8
pip3 install --upgrade -r requirements.txt

You can now clone the Tribler source code, and run Tribler by executing the following commands:

git clone --recursive
cd tribler/src

Alternatively, you can run the latest stable version of Tribler by downloading and installing the .deb file from here. This option is only recommended for running Tribler and is not suitable for development.

If there are any problems with the guide above, please feel free to fix any errors or create an issue so we can look into it.

Development guidelines

Our GUI uses QT toolkit. It can be quite tricky at times. Also, PyQt have LOTS of bugs, so be warned! For the beginner, the best way to develop QT is to just copy-paste stuff around, looking for examples in our codebase.

Do’s and don’ts of QT design

There are three “don’ts” in QT design:
  • Don’t set CSS in the code. Instead, do set it in the widget .ui-file

  • Don’t set it on individual widgets unless absolutely neccesary. Instead, do set it on the highest parent widget, which is the main Tribler window in our case. CSS will do the rest

  • Don’t copy-paste the stylesheets. Instead, do try to move as much CSS as possible to the highest possible parent widget and subclass the widgets in Qt Creator.

  • Do connect signals using Tribler connect() procedure. It is much safer and easy this way.