Physics VPython installation for PHYS140

This applies specifically to PHYS140, but is currently being utilized by PHYS160 as well. For further instructions on PHYS160, see the Physics VPython Installation for PHYS160 article.


What follows are the instructions for installing Python 2.7.11 and vPython 6.11 on your Mac or Windows computer in order to allow you to participate in Physics 140 or Physics 411 classes where this software is required.

Please note that the order in which you install these software packages matters, and installing them out-of-order will likely result in problems running the software.
You will need administrative rights to complete the installations. Also, if you have a previous version of Python or vPython installed, you should uninstall those versions first.


  • Chrome OS
  • Linux
  • Mac
  • Windows


  1. Download the installation package:
  2. Extract the zip file to your drive otherwise it may not install correctly.
  3. Open the Installation Instructions.rtf for detailed installation instructions.
  4. Test your installation:
    1. Open VIDLE (VPython GUI) in the Python program group.
    2. Select Open and browse to that is included in this folder. This should open a new window of IDLE showing the code of In that new window.
    3. Click Run and then Run Module. This should execute the code and display a short animation of red balls spiraling outward and 4 graphics windows.


If your instructor requires it, you may need to install matplotlib as well:

Additional notes


Article ID: 1576
Tue 5/26/20 9:25 PM
Fri 11/12/21 8:27 AM