Quick install

Install pygit2:

$ pip install -U pip
$ pip install pygit2

The line above will install binary wheels if available in your platform.


It is recommended to first update the version of pip, as it will increase the chances for it to install a binary wheel instead of the source distribution. At least version 19.3 of pip is required.

If you get the error:

fatal error: git2.h: No such file or directory

It means that pip did not find a binary wheel for your platform, so it tried to build from source, but it failed because it could not find the libgit2 headers. Then:

  • Verify pip is updated

  • Verify there is a binary wheel of pygit2 for your platform

  • Otherwise install from the source distribution


  • Binary wheels for Windows are available, but they don’t have support for ssh.


Supported versions of Python:

  • Python 3.8+

  • PyPy3 7.3+

Python requirements (these are specified in

  • cffi 1.9.1+

Libgit2 v1.5.x; binary wheels already include libgit2, so you only need to worry about this if you install the source package.

Optional libgit2 dependecies to support ssh and https:

  • https: WinHTTP (Windows), SecureTransport (OS X) or OpenSSL.

  • ssh: libssh2 1.9.0 or later, pkg-config

To run the tests:

  • pytest

Version numbers

The version number of pygit2 is composed of three numbers separated by dots « major.medium.minor »:

  • major will always be 1 (until we release 2.0 in a far undefined future)

  • medium will increase whenever we make breaking changes, or upgrade to new versions of libgit2.

  • minor will increase for bug fixes.

The table below summarizes the latest pygit2 versions with the supported versions of Python and the required libgit2 version.





3.8 - 3.11



3.7 - 3.10



3.7 - 3.10


1.7 - 1.8

3.7 - 3.10


1.4 - 1.6

3.6 - 3.9


1.2 - 1.3

3.6 - 3.8



3.5 - 3.8

0.99 - 1.0


3.5 - 3.8



2.7, 3.4 - 3.7



It is recommended to use the latest 1.x.y release. Because only the latest is supported.


Backwards compatibility is not guaranteed in minor releases. Please check the release notes for incompatible changes before upgrading to a new release.

History: the 0.x series

The development of pygit2 started in October 2010, the release of 1.0.0 happened in December 2019. In the 0.x series the version numbering was lockstep with libgit2, e.g. pygit2 0.28.x worked with libgit2 0.28.x


Install libgit2 from source

To install the latest version of libgit2 system wide, in the /usr/local directory, do:

$ wget -O libgit2-1.5.0.tar.gz
$ tar xzf libgit2-1.5.0.tar.gz
$ cd libgit2-1.5.0/
$ cmake .
$ make
$ sudo make install

See also

For detailed instructions on building libgit2 check

Now install pygit2, and then verify it is correctly installed:

$ pip install pygit2
$ python -c 'import pygit2'


The verification step may fail if the dynamic linker does not find the libgit2 library:

$ python -c 'import pygit2'
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<string>", line 1, in <module>
  File "pygit2/", line 29, in <module>
    from ._pygit2 import *
ImportError: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

This happens for instance in Ubuntu, the libgit2 library is installed within the /usr/local/lib directory, but the linker does not look for it there. To fix this call ldconfig:

$ sudo ldconfig
$ python -c 'import pygit2'

If it still does not work, please open an issue at

Build options

LIBGIT2 – If you install libgit2 in an unusual place, you will need to set the LIBGIT2 environment variable before installing pygit2. This variable tells pygit2 where libgit2 is installed. We will see a concrete example later, when explaining how to install libgit2 within a virtual environment.

LIBGIT2_LIB – This is a more rarely used build option, it allows to override the library directory where libgit2 is installed, useful if different from $LIBGIT2/lib and $LIBGIT2/lib64.

libgit2 within a virtual environment

This is how to install both libgit2 and pygit2 within a virtual environment.

This is useful if you don’t have root acces to install libgit2 system wide. Or if you wish to have different versions of libgit2/pygit2 installed in different virtual environments, isolated from each other.

Create the virtualenv, activate it, and set the LIBGIT2 environment variable:

$ virtualenv venv
$ source venv/bin/activate

Install libgit2 (see we define the installation prefix):

$ wget -O libgit2-1.5.0.tar.gz
$ tar xzf libgit2-1.5.0.tar.gz
$ cd libgit2-1.5.0/
$ cmake --build . --target install

Install pygit2:

$ export LDFLAGS="-Wl,-rpath,'$LIBGIT2/lib',--enable-new-dtags $LDFLAGS"
# on OSX: export LDFLAGS="-Wl,-rpath,'$LIBGIT2/lib' $LDFLAGS"
$ pip install pygit2
$ python -c 'import pygit2'

The run-path

Did you notice we set the rpath before installing pygit2? Since libgit2 is installed in a non standard location, the dynamic linker will not find it at run-time, and lddconfig will not help this time.

So you need to either set LD_LIBRARY_PATH before using pygit2, like:

$ python -c 'import pygit2'

Or, like we have done in the instructions above, use the rpath, it hard-codes extra search paths within the pygit2 extension modules, so you don’t need to set LD_LIBRARY_PATH everytime. Verify yourself if curious:

$ readelf --dynamic lib/python2.7/site-packages/pygit2-0.27.0-py2.7-linux-x86_64.egg/pygit2/ | grep PATH
 0x000000000000001d (RUNPATH)            Library runpath: [/tmp/venv/lib]

Installing on Windows

pygit2 for Windows is packaged into wheels and can be easily installed with pip:

pip install pygit2

For development it is also possible to build pygit2 with libgit2 from sources. libgit2 location is specified by the LIBGIT2 environment variable. The following recipe shows you how to do it from a bash shell:

$ export LIBGIT2=C:/Dev/libgit2
$ git clone --depth=1 -b v1.5.0
$ cd libgit2
$ cmake . -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=$LIBGIT2 -G "Visual Studio 14 Win64"
$ cmake --build . --config release --target install
$ ctest -v

At this point, you’re ready to execute the generic pygit2 installation steps described at the start of this page.

Installing on OS X

There are not binary wheels available for OS X, so you will need to install the source package.


You will need the XCode Developer Tools from Apple. This free download from the Mac App Store will provide the clang compiler needed for the installation of pygit2.

This section was tested on OS X 10.9 Mavericks and OS X 10.10 Yosemite with Python 3.3 in a virtual environment.

The easiest way is to first install libgit2 with the Homebrew package manager and then use pip3 for pygit2. The following example assumes that XCode and Hombrew are already installed.

$ brew update
$ brew install libgit2
$ pip3 install pygit2

To build from a non-Homebrew libgit2 follow the guide in libgit2 within a virtual environment.