Install via pip (x86_64 desktop only)#

Olympe Python Wheels Runtime Requirements#

Olympe is a Python 3 only package and requires Ubuntu 20.04 or higher, Debian 10 or higher.

Note: If you’re running Linux without a graphical desktop environment installed, you’ll also need to install the libgl1 package.

$ sudo apt-get install libgl1

Olympe Python Wheels minimal pip version#

Installation of Olympe wheels requires pip version 20.3 or higher. As Ubuntu and Debian latest LTS release provided pip versions are currently too old you MUST use a virtual environment. See the Python environment Python environment best practices on Debian-based distros below for why and how to install a Python virtual environment. The rest of this section assumes that you have activated a suitable virtual environment in your current shell.

Install from

Install the latest available version of Olympe via pip:

$ pip install parrot-olympe

Install from

Alternatively, to install a specific Olympe version, you should browse the page and pip install the .whl associated to this version, for example:

$ pip install

Build from source (for x86_64, armv7 or aarch64)#

System requirements#

The following install instructions have been tested under Ubuntu 20.04 and should also work on Debian 10 or higher.

Download Olympe sources#

Olympe sources can be downloaded on Github olympe release page: Download and extract the .tar.gz archive associated with the latest release of Olympe, for example:

$ mkdir -p ~/code/parrot-groundsdk
$ curl -L | tar zxf - -C ~/code/parrot-groundsdk --strip-components=1
$ cd ~/code/parrot-groundsdk

System dependencies installation procedure#

On Debian/Ubuntu, system dependencies must be installed before building Olympe from source.

# pyenv dependencies
sudo apt-get install make build-essential libssl-dev zlib1g-dev \
         libbz2-dev libreadline-dev libsqlite3-dev wget curl llvm libncurses5-dev \
         libncursesw5-dev libncurses5 xz-utils tk-dev libffi-dev liblzma-dev \
         python3-openssl git libgdbm-dev libgdbm-compat-dev uuid-dev python3-gdbm \

 # python alchemy/dragon build system dependency
 sudo apt-get install python3

 # pdraw dependencies
 sudo apt-get install build-essential yasm cmake libtool libc6 libc6-dev \
   unzip freeglut3-dev libglfw3 libglfw3-dev libjson-c-dev libcurl4-gnutls-dev \

 # ffmpeg alchemy module build dependencies
 sudo apt-get install rsync

 # Olympe / PySDL2 / pdraw renderer dependencies
 sudo apt-get install libsdl2-dev libsdl2-2.0-0 libjpeg-dev libwebp-dev \
  libtiff5-dev libsdl2-image-dev libsdl2-image-2.0-0 libfreetype6-dev \
  libsdl2-ttf-dev libsdl2-ttf-2.0-0 libsdl2-gfx-dev

Alternatively, to install the system dependencies of the parrot-groundsdk workspace, just execute the postinst script.

$ pwd
$ ./products/olympe/linux/env/postinst

Build olympe-linux#

Olympe relies on some SDK C libraries that need to be built. Before using Olympe, we need to build the SDK itself.

$ pwd
$ ./ -p olympe-linux -t build -j

Note: The above command needs to be done from the workspace root directory, you’ve created in the previous step.

You should now have a ‘built’ Olympe workspace that already provides a Python virtual environment you can use in your developments (see the next steps).

Alternatively, to build an Olympe wheel to install Olympe in another environment, use the following command:

$ pwd
$ ./ -p olympe-linux -t images -j

Olympe wheels are built in the out/olympe-linux/images workspace subdirectory.

Set up the development environment#

Finally, if you want to test Olympe from your development workspace, you need to set up the shell environment in which you will execute Olympe scripts. In the future, you will have to do this before you execute an Olympe script from your development workspace.

To setup an interactive Olympe Python virtual environment, source the shell script:

$ pwd
$ source ./products/olympe/linux/env/shell
(olympe-python3) $ pip --version
pip 21.3.1 from ~/code/parrot-groundsdk/out/olympe-linux/pyenv_root/versions/3.9.5/lib/python3.9/site-packages/pip (python 3.9)

Note: this shell script can also be sourced from outside the workspace:

$ pwd
$ source ~/code/parrot-groundsdk/./products/olympe/linux/env/shell

When a Python virtual environment is active, your shell prompt should be prefixed by `olympe-python3 `.

In this console you can now execute your Olympe script, for example:

(olympe-python3) $ python

Once you’ve finished working with Olympe, just type exit or press Ctrl+D to exit the active environment and restore your previous prompt.

Please, exit any active environment now before continuing with this user guide.

(olympe-python3) $ exit

If you need to execute a script from a non-interactive environment (for example in a CI job), source the setenv scripts instead. This script does not spawn a new shell for you, does not change your current prompt and just sets up the environment in your current shell process.

Check your development environment#

If your installation succeeded, the following commands shouldn’t report any error.

$ pwd
$ source shell
(olympe-python3) $ python -c 'import olympe; print("Installation OK")'
$ exit

Python environment best practices on Debian-based distros#

This section of the documentation is not specific to Olympe and introduce the usage of Python virtual environment from a beginner perspective in order to avoid Python package installation pitfalls with pip.

What’s a Python virtual environment#

A Python virtual environment is a Python environment isolated from the system-wide Python environment. A package installed in one virtual environment does not change anything in the system-wide environment (or any other virtual environment). Python virtual environment can be created by any user without any specific priviledges. A “virtual env” resides in a directory chosen by the user and contains a “site-packages” where Python packages are installed. To use a specific virtual environment, the user usually has to source or execute a specific script that will activate the environment, set up environment variables and change the current shell prompt. Once a particular environment is activated, any python or pip process executed from it will use the virtual environment “site-packages” directory instead of the system “site-packages” directory.

Why using a Python virtual environment is important#

Using /usr/bin/python3 the system-wide Python interpreter environment for testing & development should generally be avoided. Creating a virtual environment per development project should be the default instead. Here is why:

  1. Virtual environments allow users to pip install Python packages without breaking the system-wide Python environment. Unlike popular system package managers like `apt`, `pip` does not manage packages dependencies once they are installed. This means that, installing a package “A” that depends on a package “B”, and then installing a package “C” that depends on an incompatible version of package “B” (a simple “pip install A” followed by “pip install C”) WILL break package “A”.

  2. The system-wide Python environment is usually managed by the system package manager (apt) and using pip to install packages in this environment really is asking for trouble. The two package managers don’t talk to each others and pip will most likely break apt installed Python packages even without sudoing things and using the “–user” pip flag. Even if pip does not mess around with files under /usr and stick to the user site-packages directory ~/.local/lib/pythonX.Y/site-packages with the “–user” flag enabled, packages installed there will still be visible from the system Python interpreter. For example, this means you can break pip or apt (it also depends on Python…) with just one harmless pip install –user … command.

  3. You can’t pip install –upgrade pip (or python in the system environment. Doing this WILL break your environment sometime in very subtle ways. Installing just one random package with pip can result in a pip self-upgrade (if pip is a dependency of that package…). When you create a Python virtual environment you’re able to upgrade the version of pip inside it without any issue.

  4. Outside a virtual environment, you can’t rely on the python3 package provided by Debian and/or Ubuntu via apt because Debian patches the interpreter (and pip) to behave differently outside a virtual environment when installing packages. The situation is messy. I can’t stress this enough but the official pip installation guide does not provide a viable solution to install pip on Debian system. Trying to follow the installation “supported methods” (ensurepip/ will break your Debian based Python environment. The devil is in the details, but their installation procedure suppose that you are using an upstream Python interpreter… not the one provided by your distro.

  5. Finally, you should never have to sudo pip install … to install a package. Doing so is a beginner mistake, and you should now know why. Usually, when someone has to resort to this it means their environment is already broken. :)

Using one virtual environment per project allows you to have an environment isolated from the system environment in which you can install any package (including a recent version of pip) without risking to break anything.

Creating a Python virtual environment on a Debian-based system#

On Debian-based distros you first need to ensure that the Python standard venv library is available.

$ sudo apt-get install python3-venv

You can then create your first virtual environment:

$ python3 -m venv my-virtual-env

This will create a my-virtual-env virtual environment in the current directory. To enter/activate this virtual environment in the current shell, you need to “source” its activation script. The first thing you want to do in this environment is upgrading pip.

$ . ./my-virtual-env/bin/activate
(my-virtual-env) $ python --version
Python 3.8.10
(my-virtual-env) $ pip install --upgrade pip
(my-virtual-env) $ pip --version
pip 21.3.1 from /home/user/my-virtual-env/lib/python3.8/site-packages/pip (python 3.8)

To deactivate/exit the virtual environment, just type deactivate, since we are done with this little virtual experience, we can safely remove this virtual environment from our filesystem.

(my-virtual-env) $ deactivate
$ rm -rf my-virtual-env/

Note: On Debian-based distros, you have little to no use for the apt provided pip (the python3-pip package). I personaly use it just to install virtualenv (a better/faster version of venv).