Installing PIL/Pillow/cImage for Python on Windows and Mac

What is Python?

Python is a widely-used programming language used in many of the computer science classes here at St. Olaf.

What is PIL/Pillow?

PIL (Python Imaging Library) adds many image processing features to Python. Pillow is a fork of PIL that adds some user-friendly features.

What is cImage? is a Python module used for image processing.

Installing Python, PIL/Pillow, and



  • Install Python 3.4.1 (Python 2.7 is already installed by default)
  • Download Xcode from the Mac App Store
  • Navigate to Xcode > Preferences > Downloads tab
  • Click the button to install the Command Line Tools
  • Open Terminal (Applications/Terminal) and run:
    • xcode-select –install (You will be prompted to install the Xcode Command Line Tools)
    • sudo easy_install pip
    • sudo pip install pillow
    • pip3.4 install pillow
  • Download and install cImage
    • Download
      • Navigate to
      • Click, and click the button labeled Raw to see the contents of the file.
      • Click File->Save Page As (Chrome & Firefox) or File->Save As (Safari) to save the file on your computer.
      • Copy “” from where you saved it to Macintosh HD/Library/Python/2.7/site-packages/
      • Copy “” from where you saved it to Macintosh HD/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/3.4/lib/python3.4/