Citing Mayavi

The core developers of Mayavi are academics. Therefore they justify time and resources spent developing Mayavi by the number of citations of the software. If you publish scientific articles using Mayavi, please cite the following article (bibtex entry citation.bib):

Ramachandran, P. and Varoquaux, G., `Mayavi: 3D Visualization of Scientific Data` IEEE Computing in Science & Engineering, 13 (2), pp. 40-51 (2011)

Getting help

Bug reports should be submitted to the issue tracker. Please make sure to provide enough information so that the issue can be reproduced. For other requests, if this manual, the Mayavi web page, the wiki page, stack overflow and google are of no help, feel free to ask on the issue tracker.

Tests for Mayavi

You can easily run the Mayavi test suite using mayavi2 -t from the command line. Running tests is useful to find out if Mayavi works well on your particular system. Indeed, the systems can vary from one to another: in addition to the variety of existing operating systems, different versions of the libraries can be installed. The Mayavi developers do their best to support many different configuration, but you can help them by running the test suite and reporting any errors.

You can use nose to run the unit tests of both packages by doing the following from the root of the Mayavi source directory:

$ nosetests
Ran 317 tests in 29.934s


From the mayavi source directory, to run tests only for mayavi package you can do:

$ nosetests mayavi/tests
Ran 231 tests in 14.066s


From the mayavi source directory, to run tests only for tvtk package you can do:

$ nosetests tvtk/tests
Ran 87 tests in 9.080s


If you get an “ERROR” regarding the unavailability of coverage you may safely ignore it. If for some reason nose is having difficulty running the tests, the tests may be found inside tvtk/tests and mayavi/tests. You can run each of the test_*.py files in these directories manually, or change your current directory to these directories and run nosetests there.

In addition to these unit tests mayavi also has several integration tests. These are in the integrationtests/mayavi directory of the source distribution. You may run the tests there like so:

$ ./run.py

These tests are intrusive and will create several mayavi windows and also take a while to complete. Some of them may fail on your machine for various reasons.

Helping out

We are always on the lookout for people to help this project grow. If you need a functionality added to Mayavi, open an new feature request issue in issue tracker.

To submit bug fixes or new functionality, this is the recommended workflow:

  1. Fork the Repo on github.
  2. If you are adding functionality or fixing a bug, please add a test!
  3. Push to your fork and submit a pull request to the master branch.

The master branch is a 100% stable (should be). The pull request is merged only after it is certain that things are working out, which means that Travis and Appveyor tests pass.

Please note that we aim to improve the overall testing of the Mayavi codebase, so tests are also important.

Development quick start

To help improve Mayavi, you first need to install the development version, see The bleeding edge: Git. You can then modify your local installation of Mayavi to add the functionality you are interested in (make sure the tests still run after your modifications). Once you are done, you can generate a github pull request to get your changes into the next stable release.

Improving the documentation

Documentation of a project is incredibly important. It also takes a lot of time to write and improve. You can easily help us with documentation.

You will find the documentation sources in docs/sources/mayavi. The documentation is written in sphinx. It is easy to edit the .rst files to modify or extend the text. Once you have done your modifications, you can build the documentation using by running:

python setup.py build_docs

in the base directory of your checkout. You will need sphinx installed for that. The documentation is then built as an HTML documentation that you can find in the sub directory build/docs/html/mayavi. Once you are comfortable with the modifications, just generate a github pull request to integrate your changes into the next stable release.