How to Install ActivePython & Matplotlib for Finance Screencast
by Diane Mueller

Diane Mueller, June 29, 2010

ActivePython Business Edition now ships with Numpy, SciPy and matplotlib - three fundamental python packages for financial and scientific computing. With the recent US SEC proposals to use python for ABS financial models - there are more than a few python-curious accountants, analysts and regulators starting to research and play with python. 

We thought it would be timely to start a series of screencasts geared at the absolute beginners focusing on Finance to help you started working with python.

This first screencast walks a first-time user through installing both ActivePython and matplotlib using the ActiveState package manager (PyPM) and then shows you how to download and run a sample python scripts that uses matplotlib.

Here's the direct link to the video:

 If you made it through this screencast without breaking a sweat, you can take a look at our examples (or "recipes" as we call them) in our Python Cookbook at

To learn about more open source python modules used in Finance, read our post on "Must-Have Python Packages for Finance"

If there are other screencast topics, that you'd like to see - let us know and we'll see if we can cook some more up. 

We have a few more screencasts in the works already, so stay tuned for more or if you'd like sign up for our notifications on our newsletter page

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Category: python
About the Author: RSS

Diane Mueller is a Cloud Evangelist at ActiveState. She has been designing & implementing financial applications at Fortune 500 corporations for over 20 years. Diane has been actively involved in development efforts of XBRL Open Standard ( since 1999.


2 comments for How to Install ActivePython & Matplotlib for Finance Screencast


I followed the instructions but I wasn't able to install matplotlib.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

C:\Users\mdeluca>pypm info
PyPM 1.0.2 (ActivePython 2.6)
Installation target: ~\AppData\Roaming\Python (2.6) (win32-x86)
(type "pypm info --full" for detailed information)

C:\Users\mdeluca>pypm install matplotlib
Get: [] :repository-index:
Get: [] :repository-index:
autosync: synced 2 repositories
The following packages will be installed to ~\AppData\Roaming\Python (2.6):
as.mklruntime-1.2-1 matplotlib-1.0.0-1 numpy-2.0.0.dev8462-1
Get: [] as.mklruntime 1.2-1
error: Can't install as.mklruntime-1.2: requires Business Edition subscription

*** If you have purchased ActivePython Business Edition, please login to
*** your account at:
*** and download and run the license installer for your platform.
*** Please visit to learn
*** more about the ActivePython Business Edition offering.


Hi - as the error message says, you need a Business Edition license to install some packages, such as matplotlib. See