Cannot install matplotlib in cygwin (freetype issue)

Matplotlib is a powerful plotting library for Python and is used to create 2D graphs and plots. However, installing Matplotlib in Cygwin can be challenging due to a few dependencies that must be satisfied first. In this article, we will discuss the steps necessary to install Matplotlib on a Windows computer using the Cygwin terminal.

The first step is to install the necessary dependencies. Matplotlib requires the freetype library and the pycairo library. These must be installed separately before attempting to install Matplotlib. The freetype library can be installed using the Cygwin setup program. Run the setup program and select “devel” from the list of packages. Select “freetype” from the list of packages and click “Next.”

The pycairo library can be installed with the easy_install command. Run the command in the Cygwin terminal: easy_install pycairo. This will install the pycairo library into the correct location.

Once the dependencies are installed, Matplotlib can be installed. Run the command in the Cygwin terminal: pip install matplotlib. This will download and install the Matplotlib library.

The final step is to configure Matplotlib. This requires setting the environment variables to the correct location. To set the environment variables, edit the .bashrc file in the home directory. Add the following lines to the file:

export FREETYPE_DIR=/usr/local/freetype

export PYCAIRO_DIR=/usr/lib/python2.5/site-packages/cairo

Save the file and open a new terminal window. The environment variables will now be set correctly and Matplotlib should be able to be used.

Installing Matplotlib in Cygwin can be tricky due to the dependencies required. However, following the steps outlined in this article can make the process much easier. Installing the freetype library and pycairo library using the setup program and command line respectively, followed by installing Matplotlib and configuring the environment variables should allow for successful installation. Once the installation is complete, Matplotlib can be used to create high quality 2D graphs and plots.

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