Installing oTree on Windows


If you want to try the beta of oTree Studio, which is a simplified graphical interface for creating oTree apps, sign up on oTree Hub and click the link “Studio” in the upper right corner of the page. (Heroku sign up is not necessary.)

Important note

If you publish research conducted using oTree, you are required by the oTree license to cite this paper. (Citation: Chen, D.L., Schonger, M., Wickens, C., 2016. oTree - An open-source platform for laboratory, online and field experiments. Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Finance, vol 9: 88-97)

If the below steps don’t work for you, please email with details.

Step 1: Install Python

Download and install Python 3.6. Check the box to add Python to PATH:


Step 2: Install oTree

Go to the folder where you want to create your oTree project. Then click the “File” menu and open PowerShell:


Enter this command at the prompt:

pip3 install -U otree


If you get an error like this:

error: Microsoft Visual C++ is required (Unable to find vcvarsall.bat).

To fix this, install the Visual C++ Build Tools.

Step 3: Run oTree

Create your project folder:

otree startproject oTree

When it asks you “Include sample games?” choose yes.

Move into the folder you just created:

cd oTree

Run the server:

otree devserver

Open your browser to http://localhost:8000/. You should see the oTree demo site.

To stop the server, press Control + C at your command line.

Step 4: Install PyCharm

Install PyCharm, which you will use for editing your Python files.

After installing, open PyCharm, go to “File -> Open...” and select your project folder (It’s usually C:\Users\<your_username>\oTree).

Then click File –> Settings and click through the following steps:

  • “Project -> Project interpreter”
  • Click the “gear” icon
  • Add...
  • System Interpreter

And set it to the location of your Python executable, which you can get in your command prompt by entering powershell -command "get-command python". Usually it is C:\Program Files\Python36-64\python.exe or C:\Users\<your_username>\AppData\Local\Programs\Python\Python36-64\python.exe. Once it’s configured, the imports at the top of an app’s should look like this , not this.

If PyCharm displays this warning, select “Ignore requirements”:


Note: Even if you normally use another text editor, we recommend at least trying PyCharm, because PyCharm’s autocompletion makes learning oTree much easier:


Upgrading/reinstalling oTree

We recommend you upgrade on a weekly basis, so that you can get the latest bug fixes and features. This will also ensure that you are using a version that is consistent with the current documentation.

The command to upgrade is the same as the command to install:

pip3 install -U otree

If there is a problem with the upgrade, uninstall then reinstall:

pip3 uninstall otree
pip3 install -U otree