You get your choice of installing ChipWhisperer and its prerequisites: the easy way or the hard way.


Virtual Machine

If this is your first time using the ChipWhisperer toolchain, the easiest way to start is to use a virtual machine with everything already set up for you. Note that Linux users may find it easier to do a manual install ( GNU/Linux).

These instructions are for the newest version of CW5 (v5.0.1+) and will not work with CW5’s initial alpha release (v5.0.0). Virtualbox 6 is assumed here, but these instructions should work for Virtualbox 5 as well, provided the correct extension pack is installed.

  • Install VirtualBox. This program is freely available on Windows, Mac, and Linux.
  • Install the VirtualBox Extension Pack. This is necessary for the VM to interact with the ChipWhisperer hardware.
  • Download a ChipWhisperer virtual machine image release or build it yourself using Vagrant.
  • Unzip the VirtualBox image, go to Machine > Add in VirtualBox and select the VM that was unzipped.
  • Verify that the VM boots.


If you are on linux you need to add yourself to the vboxusers permission group using, so Virtual Box is given permission to access usb devices:

sudo usermod -aG vboxusers <your username>

Then refresh the groups by restarting your computer or logging out and in again.

Next, we’ll need to update some passwords for the VM. Boot the virtual machine then:

  • Log in (user: vagrant pass: vagrant). You will be asked to update your password. Do so (make sure to record this password).
  • Setup a new password for Jupyter. This can be done by typing jupyter notebook password, then entering and verifying your new password. Note that Jupyter will not start until this is done. This password will be needed to log into Jupyter, so make sure you record it as well.
  • Reboot the VM.
  • Once the VM is booted, you can connect to Jupyter via localhost:8888 ( Firefox/Chrome ONLY). You will be asked for the password you set via jupyter notebook password

You shouldn’t need to log in to the VM again to run Jupyter (which provides the interface) as it should start automatically, but make sure you still record the password you set for the vagrant account, as you will need to log in to update ChipWhisperer.

You are now ready to use ChipWhisperer. Open Chrome/Firefox and type localhost:8888 into the address bar. This will give you access to the Jupyter Notebook server running in the virtual machine.



You must have the Prerequisites for your system installed before continuing with the installation of the repository.


You may have to replace all the calls to python on the command line with whatever gives you access to the python version you installed. On GNU/Linux you will probably use python3, or you can use the full path to the python interpreter. It is not required but recommended to use a virtual environment.

After satisfying prerequisites for your system, install the ChipWhisperer repository/package using one of:

GitHub Releases (Recommended)
Get the latest stable release from the GitHub repository. The release includes repository and zipped drivers.
The classic pip install chipwhisperer. Does not install the drivers, or hardware source code currently.
Install the latest features and bugs from our GitHub repository.

GitHub Releases

Once you have a working Python 3 installation, you’re ready to install and run ChipWhisperer.

First, download a ChipWhisperer release. You can get these from the releases page. Generally, the latest release is a good choice, but you might need an older version for various reasons. You want the source code in .zip or .tar.gz format - not a VBox image.

Next, uncompress your downloaded source code somewhere. Generally, ‘somewhere’ will become your ChipWhisperer working directory. For example, on Windows, you might want to use C:\chipwhisperer\.

Once you’ve got the file, install the python dependencies and run the Python install procedure ( using pip. Use the -e flag for develop mode to indicate that the files will probably be changing frequently. To do this, open a terminal and run the following, adjusting paths as needed:

cd chipwhisperer
python -m pip install -e . --user

# to be able to run jupyter and the tutorials
pip install -r jupyter/requirements.txt --user

# enable jpyter interactive widgets
jupyter nbextension enable --py widgetsnbextension

To test, run python and try importing the chipwhisperer module:

>>> import chipwhisperer as cw

If you want to run the tutorials you can now start the Jupyter Notebook server.


If you want to use chipwhisperer as a standalone python package and are not interested in having all the tutorials and extra jupyter notebook stuff, this installation method is for you:

pip install chipwhisperer

Will install the chipwhisperer/software/chipwhisperer python package in your site packages. Now you can go play around with the Python API, or take a look at some example tutorials The tutorials are all written in jupyter notebook, which you don’t have using this installation method. However, you can still take a look at the procedure and the code, and use it as an example of what can be accomplished using chipwhisperer.


If you want the cutting-edge version of ChipWhisperer, you can clone the repository.


On Unix based OS (Mac, Linux, etc), python often links to python2. You may need to replace python and pip calls with python3 and pip3 calls, respectively

If you have Git already set up, this is easy to do:

git clone
cd chipwhisperer

# To get the jupyter notebook tutorials
git submodule update --init jupyter
python -m pip install -r jupyter/requirements.txt --user

# enable jpyter interactive widgets
jupyter nbextension enable --py widgetsnbextension

# note the used to be in software, it was moved
# in version 5.1.0

# use pip to install in develop mode
python -m pip install -e . --user

The user flag installs ChipWhisperer in the user’s local python site-packages directory.

You may also want the OpenADC software, which is necessary to build new firmware for the ChipWhisperer FPGA. This is unnecessary for most users. If you need it:

cd ..
git submodule update --init openadc
cd openadc/controlsw/python
python -m pip install -e . --user

Once ChipWhisperer is installed, you can run chipwhisperer.