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A Python library to generate Quantum Instruction Language (Quil) Programs.

Project description


A library for easily generating Quil programs to be executed using the Rigetti Forest platform. pyQuil is licensed under the Apache 2.0 license.

Build Status Documentation Status


Documentation is hosted at


You can install pyQuil as a conda package (recommended):

conda install -c rigetti pyquil

or using pip:

pip install pyquil

To instead install pyQuil from source, clone this repository, cd into it, and run:

pip install -e .

Connecting to Rigetti Forest

pyQuil can be used to build and manipulate Quil programs without restriction. However, to run programs (e.g., to get wavefunctions, get multishot experiment data), you will need an API key for Rigetti Forest. This will allow you to run your programs on the Rigetti Quantum Virtual Machine (QVM) or on a real quantum processor (QPU).

Once you have your key, run the following command to automatically set up your config:


You can also create the configuration file manually if you'd like and place it at ~/.pyquil_config. The configuration file is in INI format and should contain all the information required to connect to Forest:

[Rigetti Forest]
key: <Rigetti Forest API key>
user_id: <Rigetti User ID>

You can change the location of this file by setting the PYQUIL_CONFIG environment variable.

If you encounter errors or warnings trying to connect to Forest then see the full Getting Started Guide

Examples using the Rigetti QVM

Here is how to construct a Bell state program and how to compute the amplitudes of its wavefunction:

>>> from pyquil.quil import Program
>>> from pyquil.api import QVMConnection
>>> from pyquil.gates import *
>>> qvm = QVMConnection()
>>> p = Program(H(0), CNOT(0,1))
<pyquil.pyquil.Program object at 0x101ebfb50>
>>> qvm.wavefunction(p).amplitudes
array([0.7071067811865475+0j, 0j, 0j, 0.7071067811865475+0j])

How to do a simulated multishot experiment measuring qubits 0 and 1 of a Bell state. (Of course, each measurement pair will be 00 or 11.)

>>> from pyquil.quil import Program
>>> from pyquil.api import QVMConnection
>>> from pyquil.gates import *
>>> qvm = QVMConnection()
>>> p = Program()
>>> p.inst(H(0),
...        CNOT(0, 1),
...        MEASURE(0, 0),
...        MEASURE(1, 1))
<pyquil.pyquil.Program object at 0x101ebfc50>
>>> print(p)
H 0
CNOT 0 1

>>>, [0, 1], 10)
[[0, 0], [1, 1], [1, 1], [0, 0], [0, 0], [1, 1], [0, 0], [0, 0], [0, 0], [0, 0]]


Join the public Forest Slack channel at

The following projects have been contributed by community members:

Developing PyQuil

To make changes to PyQuil itself see for instructions on development and testing.

How to cite pyQuil and Forest

If you use pyQuil, Grove, or other parts of the Rigetti Forest stack in your research, please cite it as follows:


  title={A Practical Quantum Instruction Set Architecture},
  author={Smith, Robert S and Curtis, Michael J and Zeng, William J},
  journal={arXiv preprint arXiv:1608.03355},


R. Smith, M. J. Curtis and W. J. Zeng, "A Practical Quantum Instruction Set Architecture," (2016), 
  arXiv:1608.03355 [quant-ph],

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