Microscope is available on the Python Package Index (PyPI) and can be installed like any other Python package. The short version of it is “use pip”:

pip install microscope

You need to have Python and pip already installed on your system.


Microscope can run in any operating system with Python installed but individual devices and the intended usage may add specific requirements:

  • hardware performance: control of devices at high speed, namely image acquisition at very high rates, may require a fast connection to the camera, high amount of memory, or a disk with fast write speeds.

  • external libraries: control of many devices is performed via vendor provided external libraries which are often limited to specific operating systems. For example, Alpao does not provide a library for Linux systems so control of Alpao deformable mirrors is limited to Windows. See the Dependencies sections below.

If there are multiple devices with high resources or incompatible requirements they can be distributed over multiple computers. For example, two cameras acquiring images at a high frame rate or a camera that requires Windows paired with a deformable mirror that requires Linux. See the Device Server section for details.


Microscope has very few dependencies. All are Python packages available on PyPI and will be automatically resolved if Microscope is installed with pip. However, the interface to many devices is done via an external library (or SDK, or driver) that is only provided by the device vendor.

To identify if an external library is required check the device module documentation. If an external library is required, contact the device vendor for install instructions. Cameras and deformable mirrors all require an external library. Filter wheels, lasers, and stages typically do not but there are exceptions.