Installing the development state

psycopg3 packages have not been released yet, but you can try it out already by installing it from the GitHub project:

$ pip install git+
$ python3
>>> import psycopg3

Binary installation


psycopg3 is still in a development phase: packages haven’t been released yet on PyPI.

Please refer to the README for the current installation state, and please know that things may change.

The following is how it will be supposed to work, once it is released…

The quickest way to start developing with psycopg3 is to install the binary packages by running:

pip install psycopg3[binary]

This will install a self-contained package with all the libraries needed.

The above package should work in most situations. It will not work in some though:

  • the binary package doesn’t work on Alpine Linux;

  • you have a newly released Python or Mac Os X version for which binary packages are not ready yet.

In these case you should proceed to a local installation or a pure Python installation.

See also

Did psycopg3 install ok? Great! You can now move on to the basic module usage to learn how it works.

You can come back here if you the above method didn’t work and you need a way to install psycopg3 past the basic one.

Local installation

A “Local installation” means obtaining a performing and maintainable library. The library will include a performing C module and will be bound to the system libraries (libpq, libssl…) so that system upgrade of libraries will upgrade the libraries used by psycopg3 too.

In order to perform a local installation you need some prerequisites:

  • a C compiler,

  • Python development headers (e.g. the python3-dev package).

  • PostgreSQL client development headers (e.g. the libpq-dev package).

  • The pg_config program available in the PATH.

You must be able to troubleshoot an extension build, for instance you must be able to read your compiler’s error message. If you are not, please don’t try this and follow the binary installation instead.

If your build prerequisites are in place you can run:

pip install psycopg3[c]

Pure Python installation

If you simply install:

pip install psycopg3

without [c] or [binary] extras you will obtain a pure Python implementation. This is particularly handy to debug and hack, but it still requires the system libpq to operate (which will be used dynamically via ctypes).

In order to use the pure Python installation you will need the libpq installed in the system: for instance on Debian system you will probably need:

sudo apt-get install libpq5

If you are not able to fulfill this requirement please follow the binary installation.

psycopg3 and the libpq


describe the relations between psycopg and the libpq and the binding choices