Initial Setup


The AMPL API can function as an add-on to any existing AMPL installation. If you do not yet have an AMPL installation on the computer where you will be working with the API, see our AMPL Community Edition page to download a working version that can be installed quickly. Alternatively, you can use amplpy.modules if you only intend to access AMPL from the Python environment.

In order to install the Python API you just need to run

python -m pip install amplpy

Note: For Windows, Linux, and macOS, the amplpy package comes with binary wheels. Please make sure that you are using the latest version of pip before installing amplpy (upgrade using pip install pip --upgrade or python -m pip install pip --upgrade). If a binary wheel for your platform is not available, a C++ compiler and python development libraries will be required.


AMPL and all solvers are now available as python packages for Windows, Linux, and macOS. For instance, to install AMPL with HiGHS and Gurobi, you just need the following:

# Install Python API for AMPL
$ python -m pip install amplpy --upgrade

# Install HiGHS and Gurobi (AMPL is installed automatically with any solver)
$ python -m amplpy.modules install highs gurobi

# Activate your license (e.g., free license)
$ python -m amplpy.modules activate <license-uuid>

# Confirm that the license is active
$ python -m amplpy.modules run ampl -vvq

# Import in Python
$ python
>>> from amplpy import AMPL
>>> ampl = AMPL() # instantiate AMPL object

For Apple M1/M2, please make sure your have Rosetta 2 installed since not all modules are available for M1/M2. You can install it with: softwareupdate --install-rosetta.

Complete documentation for amplpy.modules: AMPL Modules for Python

Google Colab

On Google Colab there is a default AMPL Community Edition license that gives you unlimited access to AMPL with open-source solvers (e.g., HiGHS, CBC, Couenne, Ipopt, Bonmin) or with commercial solvers from the NEOS Server as described in Kestrel documentation.

In the list modules you need to include "gokestrel" to use the kestrel driver; "highs" for the HiGHS solver; "coin" for the COIN-OR solvers. To use other commercial solvers, your license needs to include the commercial solver (e.g., an AMPL CE commercial solver trial).

In order to be use AMPL on Google Colab you just need to following two code blocks at the beginning of your notebook:

# Install dependencies
%pip install -q amplpy
# Google Colab & Kaggle integration
from amplpy import AMPL, ampl_notebook
ampl = ampl_notebook(
    modules=["coin", "highs", "gokestrel", "gurobi"], # modules to install
    license_uuid="default", # license to use
) # instantiate AMPL object and register magics


In these notebooks there are %%ampl_eval cells that allow you to run AMPL code directly from the notebook. They are equivalent to ampl.eval("""cell content""").

Many notebooks with examples are available on the AMPL Model Colaboratory and the new book Hands-On Mathematical Optimization with AMPL in Python 🐍.

Initial test

To begin, open a command/terminal window and clone our GitHub repository:

git clone [email protected]:ampl/amplpy.git

To complete an initial test, run firstexample with

python amplpy/examples/ <solver>

where optionally <solver> is the name of a solver that has been installed with AMPL. (If a solver is not specified, AMPL’s default choice will be used.) This will solve several small diet problems and then display the optimal amounts of the foods from the last solution. Alternatively, you can download the examples directly from

Otherwise, the error message “AMPL could not be started” will be shown. If the AMPL installation directory is not in the system search path, you can add it using add_to_path() as follows:

from amplpy import AMPL, add_to_path
add_to_path(r"full path to the AMPL installation directory")
ampl = AMPL()

Or, if you are using amplpy.modules, do the following:

from amplpy import AMPL
ampl = AMPL()

Note that you may need to use raw strings (e.g., r’C:\ampl\ampl.mswin64’) or escape the slashes (e.g., ‘C:\\ampl\\ampl.mswin64’) if the path includes backslashes.


If you have an existing AMPL installation in the system search path:

from amplpy import AMPL
ampl = AMPL()
ampl.eval("option version;")

If you have an existing AMPL installation, but not in the system search path:

from amplpy import AMPL, add_to_path
add_to_path(r"full path to the AMPL installation directory")
ampl.eval("option version;")

If you are using amplpy.modules:

from amplpy import AMPL
ampl = AMPL()
ampl.eval("option version;")


To deploy AMPL API applications we recommend the use of amplpy.modules. Alternatively, make sure that AMPL is installed and that its directory is in the environment variable PATH.

For a list of common deployment options available for Python see AMPL integration with Python.

Docker deployment

Docker containers are very popular for cloud deployments. Since AMPL and all Solvers are now available as Python Packages, it is really simple to deploy with Docker:

# Use any image as base image
FROM python:3.9-slim-bullseye
RUN python -m pip install amplpy # Install amplpy
RUN python -m amplpy.modules install highs gurobi  # Install modules

You can build and run the container as follows:

$ docker build . --tag ampl-container
$ docker run --rm -it ampl-container bash
root@c240a014dd67:/# python
Python 3.9.16 (main, Jan 23 2023, 23:42:27)
[GCC 10.2.1 20210110] on linux
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> from amplpy import AMPL
>>> ampl = AMPL()

Other cloud deployment options such as cloud functions (e.g. AWS Lambda and Azure Functions) are just as easy.