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Python interface for HFST

Project description

Package hfst_dev contains a development version of Python bindings for HFST (Helsinki Finite-State Technology) C++ library. HFST toolkit is intended for processing natural language morphologies. The toolkit is demonstrated by wide-coverage implementations of a number of languages of varying morphological complexity.


We offer binary wheels on PyPI for Linux, Mac OS X and Windows.

Wheels for Linux are compiled with a 64-bit docker image ( for python versions 2.7, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6 and 3.7.

Wheels for Mac are compiled as universal binaries for python versions 2.7, 3.5, 3.6 and 3.7. OS X must be 10.7 or higher.

Wheels for Windows are 32-bit and also require a 32-bit python to work correctly. They are available for python versions 3.5 and 3.6; earlier versions would need an older compiler that does not support C++11 features. Wheels for version 3.7. may be added to future releases.

Compiling hfst_dev from source requires at least C++ compiler (tested with gcc 5.4.0), readline and getline libraries and setuptools package for python (tested with version 28.8.0). Swig is no longer needed as pre-generated files are included in source distribution.

Support for python version 2 is experimental and may be left out at some point. We recommend python version 3 as it works better with unicode.

Installation via PyPI

We recommend using pip tool for installation. Before installation, see that dependencies given under heading ‘Requirements’ are met.

For python version 3, the pip tool is usually named pip3, plain pip being used for python version 2. Basic installation is done with:

pip3 install [--upgrade] hfst_dev

pip install [--upgrade] hfst_dev

Starting from python 3.4.0 and 2.7.9, pip is included by default and can be called via python with option -m pip:

python3 -m pip install [--upgrade] hfst_dev

python -m pip install [--upgrade] hfst_dev

The commands above are run in a shell/terminal/command prompt, but they can also be run on python command line or via a graphical user interface (e.g. IDLE) with pip.main that takes arguments in a list:

import pip

The option --upgrade makes sure that the newest version of hfst will be installed replacing any earlier versions installed. The option --verbose will show what happens during the installation process. This can be useful when compiling from source.


See wiki-based package documentation on our Github pages. In python, you can also use dir and help commands, e.g.:




HFST is licensed under Gnu GPL version 3.0.


(In the commands below, python[3] means either python or python3 depending of the version of python you are using; the same goes for pip[3] meaning pip or pip3.)

Pip starts to compile from source although there is a wheel available:

Try upgrading pip with

pip[3] install --upgrade pip


python[3] -m pip install --upgrade pip.

Another reason for this can be that the source package on PyPI is newer (i.e. has a higher version number) than the corresponding wheel for the given environment.

Error message “command … failed with error code …”:

Try rerunning pip in verbose mode with

pip[3] install --verbose [--upgrade] hfst_dev


python[3] -m pip install --verbose [--upgrade] hfst_dev

to get more information.

Error message “error: could not delete … : permission denied”:

You do not have sufficient rights to install packages. On Mac and Linux, try installing as super user with

sudo pip[3] install [--upgrade] hfst_dev


sudo python[3] -m pip install [--upgrade] hfst_dev.

On Windows, reopen Command Prompt/Python command line/IDLE by right-clicking and choose “Run as administrator”, then run pip again.

Project details

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Files for hfst-dev, version
Filename, size File type Python version Upload date Hashes
Filename, size hfst_dev- (31.7 MB) File type Wheel Python version cp35 Upload date Hashes View
Filename, size hfst_dev- (31.7 MB) File type Wheel Python version cp36 Upload date Hashes View
Filename, size hfst_dev- (31.7 MB) File type Wheel Python version cp37 Upload date Hashes View

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