The scientific python ecosystem is also available on Aalto Linux workstations, including the anaconda2 and anaconda3 modules providing the Anaconda python distribution. For a more indepth description see the generic python page under scientific computing docs.

The “neuroimaging” environment

On the Aalto Linux workstations there exists a conda environment under the anaconda3 module called “neuroimaging” which contains an extensive collection of Python packages for the analysis of neuroimaging data, such as fMRI, EEG and MEG.

To use it:

$ ml purge
$ ml anaconda3
$ source activate neuroimaging

To see the full list of packages what are installed in the environment, use:

$ conda list

Some highlights include:

  • Basic scientific stack
    • numpy
    • scipy
    • matplotlib
    • pandas
    • statsmodels
  • fMRI:
    • nibabel
    • nilearn
    • nitime
    • pysurfer
  • EEG/MEG:
    • mne
    • pysurfer
  • Machine learning:
    • scikit-learn
    • tensorflow
    • pytorch
  • R:
    • rpy2 (bridge between Python and R)
    • tidyverse

Finally, if you get binaries from the wrong environment (check with which BINARYNAME) you may need to update the mappings with:

$ rehash


If you experience problems with the 3D visualizations that use Mayavi (for example MNE-Python’s brain plots), you can try forcing the graphics backend to Qt5:

  • For the Spyder IDE, set Tools -> Preferences -> Ipython console -> Graphics -> Backend: Qt5
  • For the ipython consoles, append c.InteractiveShellApp.matplotlib = 'qt5' to the and configuration files. By default, these can be found in ~/.ipython/profile/default/.
  • In Jupyter notebooks, execute the magic command %matplotlib qt5 at the beginning of your notebook.

Installation of additional packages

The “neuroimaging” environment aims to provide everything you need for the analysis of neuroimaging data. If you feel a package is missing that may be useful for others as well, contact Marijn van Vliet. To quickly install a package in your home folder, use pip install <package-name> --user.

Notes for admins

The trick to getting Mayavi to play nicely with a modern Python environment is to install it from Git:

$ ml purge
$ ml anaconda3
$ source activate neuroimaging
$ pip install git+[email protected]
$ pip install git+[email protected]
$ pip install git+[email protected]
$ pip install git+