Getting Started

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Download and Installation

See our downloads page for details including the prerequisites. For Windows we provide click-and-run installers. Most Linux distributions will include an optional Biopython package. Otherwise you typically install from source by downloading and uncompressing the archive, then running the command:

sudo python install

You can check your installation has worked at the python prompt:

>>> import Bio

If that gives no error, you should be done. If you get something like "ImportError: No module named Bio" something has gone wrong.


The Biopython Tutorial and Cookbook (HTML, PDF) contains the bulk of our documentation. See Documentation for more links.

Quick example

Try executing this in python:

from Bio.Seq import Seq,translate
#create a sequence object of some DNA
my_seq = Seq('CATGTAGATAG')
#print out some details about it
print 'seq is %i bases long' % len(my_seq)
print 'reverse complement is %s' % my_seq.reverse_complement().tostring()
#or see the whole record
print 'sequence record:', my_seq
#translate the sequence into a protein
my_protein = translate(my_seq)
print 'protein translation is %s' % my_protein.tostring()
print 'protein record:', my_protein

You should get the following output:

seq is 11 bases long
reverse complement is CTATCTACATG
sequence record: Seq('CATGTAGATAG', Alphabet())
protein translation is HVD
protein record: Seq('HVD', HasStopCodon(IUPACProtein(), '*'))

Reading and writing Sequence Files

If you are using Biopython 1.43 or later, try out the new SeqIO module.


Further reading

  • Use the Wiki Search tools to find more information on specific topics.
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