The PyWPS software was originally developed to use under Linux (Debian). However, it is also possible to use the software in a Windows environment for example for testing purposes. To do so, Apache server has to be installed on the system. For Linux installation see this manual. Note this pages was initially written for PythonXY users. If you use anaconda bear in mind that location is no longer c:\python2.7 but c:\anaconda. Also mind the version of anaconda installed (x86 or x64 bit version).

Step 0 Python installations

Make sure Python is pre-installed on your machine, we recommend PythonXY (version 2.7, not 3.x).

After install, start a NEW command line prompt and go to the root and check if :

  • Python version is 2.7,Result should be like:

    Show Python version
    C:\>python --version
    Python 2.7.6
  • Python package magic is installed and of version 0.4.6 else see  Known Installation Issues

    Python-Magic package versionnr
    C:\>pip show python-magic
    Name: python-magic
    Version: 0.4.6
    PyPi Version: 0.4.6
    Location: c:\python27\lib\site-packages
    Summary: File type identification using libmagic
    Required by(0):
  • Python package lxml is installed and of version 3.3.5 else download, install this c++ compiler and install lxml with this command : 
    pip install lxml 
    Python lxml package
    C:\>pip show lxml
    Name: lxml
    Version: 3.3.5
    PyPi Version: 3.4.0
    Location: c:\python27\lib\site-packages
    Summary: Powerful and Pythonic XML processing library combining libxml2/libxslt
    with the ElementTree API.
    Extra Require [source]: cython(-)
    Extra Require [cssselect]: cssselect
    Extra Require [html5]: html5lib
    Extra Require [htmlsoup]: beautifulsoup4
    Required by(5): html5lib[optional], pandas[html], astropy[optional], astropy[doc
    ], beautifulsoup4[optional]

Step 1 PyWPS

Download PyWPS (version 3.2.1, not 3.2.2)

Step 2 Install PyWPS

Unpack the contents of PyWPS folder and save the entire folder as c:\pywps. Such that you have c:\pywps\ Check if it works command line in python by navigating to c:\pywps and execute this command:

Test if pywps works on your system
C:\>cd pywps

PyWPS NoApplicableCode: Locator: None; Value: No query string found. Content-Type: application/xml

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<ExceptionReport version="1.0.0" xmlns="" xmlns:xsi="" xsi:schemaLocation=" ows/1.1">
        <Exception exceptionCode="NoApplicableCode">
                <ExceptionText>'No query string found.'</ExceptionText>

Step 3 Configure PyWPS

  1. Create a folder called c:\pywps\pywps_processes
  2. Add the file default.cfg (from c:\pywps\pywps) into it. If you like you can insert your own information in the file. 
    However, do not forget to :
    1. Set the correct path for tempPath(c:/pywps/temp) under [server] section.
    2. Set outputPath (c:/[webserver]/htdocs/wps/wpsoutput) under [server] section.
    3. Set processesPath to c:/pywps/pywps_processes
    4. Set the logFile to somewhere (c:/pywps/log)

The path slashes should conform to python conventions, which happen to be the same as the linux slash convention, and not the windows convention. Note that python paths should never end with a slash!.

Step 4 Configure Apache

Navigate to the Apache folder.

If the Apache web server is not installed in your machine yet, download the newest stable release of Apache (

After installation, in the Apache folder c:\Program Files (x86)\Apache Software Foundation\Apache2.2 you find a sub folder called cgi-bin.

Create an empty file called pywps.cgi in this folder and insert the following code in it, after checking the python path (and correcting it: for example if you have Python2.7 installed, the first line should be #!c:\python27\python.exe): Note for anaconda users this should be #!c:/anaconda/python.exe and the MPLCONFIGDIR should be C:/Anaconda/Lib/site-packages/matplotlib/mpl-data

import sys
sys.path.insert(0, r"C:/pywps")
import os
# Note that WPS runs as apache user and not as you, so many more user variables might be needed.
# Restart Apache after adding one.
import wps

Step 5 Install Python PyWPS package

Install the PyWPS Python package:

  • On the command line in the pywps folder c:\pywps> type python c:\pywps\ install
  • Or open the Windows command line tool (start > run), drag and drop from your c:\pywps folder, type install after the location of the setup file and click ok. The PyWPS Python package will now be installed.)

Check if it is installed correctly into python like this :

Show installed python PyWPS version
C:\>pip show pywps
Name: pywps
Version: 3.2.1
PyPi Version: trunk
Location: c:\python27\lib\site-packages\pywps-3.2.1-py2.7.egg
Summary: PyWPS: Implementation of OGC's Web Processing Service in Python
Required by(0):

Step 6 Install python-magic

Check if cygmagic.dll or cygmagic-1.dll is on your system. If not, install it via installing cygwin ( Install the appropriate version (i.e. 32bit or 64bit). You only need to install the python-magic part of cygwin. If you install all, it is very large (several Gb). You can force installation of python-magic by typing this in the search bar, see window below. NOTE if python-magic does not yield results. Try python2-magic (i.e. Python version for this version of PyWPS).

Set the path to the bin directory of cygwin and copy cygmagic-1.dll to cygmagic.dll.

NB. If you already have MinGW installed (x86 or x64), you can first try to install python-magic without having to install cygwin.

Step 7 First test of WPS

Test your WPS by starting Apache server and navigate to http://localhost/cgi-bin/pywps.cgi  The result should be something similar to this, meaning that the pywps process runs correctly inside the apache web server.

<ExceptionReport xmlns="" xmlns:xsi="" version="1.0.0" xsi:schemaLocation="">
	<Exception exceptionCode="NoApplicableCode">
		<ExceptionText>'No query string found.'</ExceptionText>

Step 8 Testing WPS behavior

Now pywps runs, test for correct WPS behavior in browser using the syntax in WPS Primer. In c:\pywps\tests\processes some example processes are included, copy its entire contents to the c:\pywps\pywps_processes folder (that you configured as processesPath=c:/pywps/pywps_processes in c:\pywps\pywps_processes\default.cfg) and find out whether you can get them to run. First test the GetCapabilities request:

<wps:Capabilities service="WPS" version="1.0.0" xml:lang="en-CA" xsi:schemaLocation="http:/" updateSequence="1">

and then executing any of the available processes
e.g. http://localhost/cgi-bin/pywps.cgi?service=wps&request=Execute&Identifier=dummyprocess&DataInputs=\[input1=42\]&version=1.0.0.

Step 9 Add wps processes

Now add your own Python processes as WPS by copying your processes to the c:\pywps\pywps_processes folder too. Use the WPS syntax (Setting up a WPS process using PyWPS) for your python functions as in the copied examples. Change 3 things when adding a new WPS process based on these examples:

  1. add new file to c:/pywps/pywps_processes
  2. change identifier inside
  3. add "" to c:/pywps/pywps_processes/

Known installation issues

  • If the GetCapabilities request gives you this error

    in your html browser, please check your apache error.log in c:\Program Files (x86)\Apache Software Foundation\Apache2.2\logs.

  • In some cases it might contain this error message ImportError: No module named magic\r. In this case please manually install the python-magic package from For your convenience we included a windows distributable win32 Python2.7 version until the official binary is available at github. Restart apache afterwards (type services in your windows start menu or click small apache icon in icon tray). If you still get errors (failed to find libmagic in the aforementioned Apache error.log) install cygwin which contains the magic dll. Set the path where the cygmagic-1.dll resides c:\Program Files (x86)\Cygwin\bin in the windows $PATH environment variable so can find it (bear in mind that this should be the System Variables Path setting). Now several options are available to solve this issue, these are:

    • If you don't want to have cygwin on your machine just copy the following dynamic link library (dll) files from the cygwin installation to the python root directory (where python.exe resides) and uninstall / remove cygwin:
      • cygmagic-1.dll (rename this to cygmagic.dll!!!!!)
      • cyggcc_s-1.dll
      • cygwin1.dll
      • cygz.dll
    • Pay attention to the CPU Type installation, if you have installed a 64 bits python use 64 bits libs!!
    • Final trick in case of , if all off the above does not help and your made sure that you have all correct libraries installed for the correct CPU type, you could alter the file called Dependent on the type of python installer (for now Anaconda and PythonXY are known to the different authors of this page) this is availabe in the <pythonpath>\lib\site-packages directory. Search for the line called 'platform_to_lib =' it should mention between [] 'magic1.dll'. Complete that list (python list) with 'cygmagic.dll'.
  • In some cases it might contain this error message : ImportError: No module named Template\r\r ; You probably have installed PyWPS version 3.2.2. Please remove this version and download and install version 3.2.1.

  • The following error AttributeError: 'exceptions.ImportError' object has no attribute 'replace'\r is caused by the fact that step 7 is not fully followed. So put some processes in your processes folder and try the GetCapabilities again.
  • If you run this in a Virtual windows machine (e.g. via VMWare), regular disk mappings might not work in WPS because WPS runs as another users (apache), please try references like //vmware-host/Shared%20Folders/D/ instead of simply D.
  • Errors like these for import statements in a WPS process, e.g. import matplotlib causes

    PyWPS [2014-03-19 14:58:23,112] WARNING: Could not import processes from 'pywps_processes': ImportError('No module named pwd',) 

    have to do with the fact that WPS runs under apache user, so add any required user environmental
    variables to c:\Program Files (x86)\Apache Software Foundation\Apache2.2\cgi-bin\pywps.cgi:



  • PyWPS can also be used with the Q-GIS WPS plugin by Dr. Horst Duester.
  • Official documentation on PyWPS (v3.2.0) can be found here
  • To install basemap you can follow the instructions here

Acknowlegdements The first version of this documentation was made by MSc student Joost Boerboom for his thesis, financed by Deltares under the Next Generation Hydro Software program executed for Rijkswaterstaat. Subsequently, this documentation was improved by Deltares in projects EMODnet chemistry, ECOSTRESS and FAST.


  1. Dear all,

    I am trying to implement this manual, but I failed to finalize step 7. In this step the GetCapabilities request is tested and first the Apache log file stated that he could not find libmagic. First when I tried to import this with the command prompt it failed also (while it was installed). Now (after adding paths to my environment and other changes) it works in command prompt. But still Apache is stating that it could not find libmagic. Does anyone know why this is not working? Or some things I could try?

    Thanks in advance.

    Kind regards,

    Annet Hospers

    The error.log file states this:

    [Mon Apr 28 13:51:24 2014] [error] [client] Premature end of script headers: pywps.cgi
    [Mon Apr 28 13:51:24 2014] [error] [client] Traceback (most recent call last):\r
    [Mon Apr 28 13:51:24 2014] [error] [client]   File "C:/Apache2.2/cgi-bin/pywps.cgi", line 10, in <module>\r
    [Mon Apr 28 13:51:24 2014] [error] [client]     import wps\r
    [Mon Apr 28 13:51:24 2014] [error] [client]   File "C:\\pywps", line 89, in <module>\r
    [Mon Apr 28 13:51:24 2014] [error] [client]     if wps.parseRequest(inputQuery):\r
    [Mon Apr 28 13:51:24 2014] [error] [client]   File "C:\\pywps\\pywps", line 205, in parseRequest\r
    [Mon Apr 28 13:51:24 2014] [error] [client]     from Parser.Get import Get\r
    [Mon Apr 28 13:51:24 2014] [error] [client]   File "C:\\pywps\\pywps\\Parser", line 43, in <module>\r
    [Mon Apr 28 13:51:24 2014] [error] [client]     from pywps.Process.Lang import Lang\r
    [Mon Apr 28 13:51:24 2014] [error] [client]   File "C:\\pywps\\pywps\\Process", line 28, in <module>\r
    [Mon Apr 28 13:51:24 2014] [error] [client]     import InAndOutputs\r
    [Mon Apr 28 13:51:24 2014] [error] [client]   File "C:\\pywps\\pywps\\Process", line 25, in <module>\r
    [Mon Apr 28 13:51:24 2014] [error] [client]     import magic\r
    [Mon Apr 28 13:51:24 2014] [error] [client]   File "C:\\python27\\lib\\site-packages", line 172, in <module>\r
    [Mon Apr 28 13:51:24 2014] [error] [client]     raise ImportError('failed to find libmagic.  Check your installation')\r
    [Mon Apr 28 13:51:24 2014] [error] [client] ImportError: failed to find libmagic.  Check your installation\r

    1. This issue might be the same as listed under "Known installation issues:"

      For it to work under windows we had to submit a patch to the python magic binding. You can double check if that change is in your version of See:

      1. Thanks for your quick reply. This change is already been made in my version of 

        libmagic = None
        # Let's try to find magic or magic1
        dll = ctypes.util.find_library('magic') or ctypes.util.find_library('magic1') or ctypes.util.find_library('cygmagic-1')

        Is there maybe something else?

        Thanks in advance.

        1. Maybe the file cygmagic-1.dll is not in your PATH.
          Make sure you have installed cygwin.
          You can check the PATH using the computer properties. Make sure you check the System PATH and not the user PATH (as the website is running under a different user). The PATH should contain something like c:\cygwin64\bin. In this directory there should be a file cygmagic-1.dll.

  2. I had some problems as well regarding the above... make sure you use cygwin 32 with python32 and wps 32... cygwin64 does not work.

    1. Other's have used python 64bit (from anaconda) with cygwin 64. It's important that they match.