Quick Start


In the latest release, Ape requires:

  • Linux or macOS

  • Python 3.8 or later


  1. Install Windows Subsystem Linux (WSL)

  2. Choose Ubuntu 20.04 OR Any other Linux Distribution with Python 3.8 or later

Check your python command by entering:

python3 --version


There are 3 ways to install ape: pipx, pip, or Docker.

via pipx

Install pipx via their installation instructions

Then install ape via

pipx install eth-ape

To install Ape and a list of common, recommended plugins at the same time, do:

pipx install eth-ape'[recommended-plugins]'

via pip

Suggestion: Create a virtual environment using virtualenv or venv.

You may skip creating a virtual environment if you know you don’t require one for your use case.

NOTE: For MacOS users, we advise installing in a virtual environment to avoid interfering with OS-level site packages.

virtualenv via homebrew

  • (MacOS Option) Install via homebrew brew

First, create your virtual environment folder:

python3 -m venv <path/to/new/env>

Then, activate your virtual environment:

source <venv_folder>/bin/activate

You should see (name_of_venv) DESKTOP_NAME:~/path:$.

To deactivate the virtual environment, do:


Now that you have Python installed in your virtual environment, install the eth-ape Python package: You can install the latest release via pip:

pip install -U pip
pip install eth-ape

To install Ape and a list of common, recommended plugins at the same time, do:

pip install eth-ape'[recommended-plugins]'

via docker

Please visit our Dockerhub for more details on using Ape with Docker.

docker run \
--volume $HOME/.ape:/root/.ape \
--volume $HOME/.vvm:/root/.vvm \
--volume $HOME/.solcx:/root/.solcx \
--volume $PWD:/root/project \
--workdir /root/project \
apeworx/ape compile

Docker Uninstall Process: You will need to remove files generated by docker

sudo rm -rf **\~/.solcx**
sudo rm -rf **\~/.vvm**

Environment Variables:

Some plugins require environment variables to connect to their external systems, such project IDs or API keys. Follow instructions from individual plugin documentations, such as:

Generally, set environment variables by doing the following:

# Used by the `ape-infura` plugin
# Used by the `ape-alchemy` plugin

Place these in environment files, such as your .bashrc or .zshrc.

Quick Usage

Use -h to list all the commands:

ape -h


When using Ape, you generally will work with a project. To quickly get started using ape, generate a project using the ape init command:

ape init

For more in-depth information about smart-contract projects using the Ape framework, see the projects guide.


In Ape, you will need accounts to make transactions. You can import or generate accounts using the core accounts plugin:

ape accounts import acc0   # Will prompt for a private key
ape accounts generate acc1

List all your accounts with the list command.

ape accounts list

Learn more about accounts in Ape by following the accounts guide.


Add any plugins you may need, such as vyper.

ape plugins list -a
ape plugins install vyper
ape plugins list -a

NOTE: If a plugin does not originate from the ApeWorX GitHub organization, you will get a warning about installing 3rd-party plugins. Install 3rd party plugins at your own risk. Additionally, plugins that come bundled with ape in the core installation cannot be removed and are part of the ape core software.

Learn more about installing plugins from following this guide. Learn more about developing your own plugins from this guide.


You can compile contracts within the contracts/ directory of your project. The --size option will display you the size of the contract.

ape compile --size

Learn more about compiling in Ape by following the compile guide.


Use Ape to test your smart-contract projects. Provide the same arguments to pytest as you would to the ape test command.

For example:

ape test -k test_only_one_thing

Visit the testing guide to learn more about testing using Ape.


Ape provides an IPython interactive console with useful pre-defined locals to interact with your project. To interact with a deployed contract in a local environment, start by opening the console:

ape console --network ethereum:mainnet:infura

Visit Ape Console to learn how to use Ape Console.


If you want to run specific files in a scripts/ directory, you can do it using the ape run command.

# This command will run a file named deploy in the scripts/ directory
$ ape run deploy

Learn more about scripting using Ape by following the scripting guide.


To enable debug logging, run your command with the --verbosity flag using DEBUG as the value:

ape --verbosity DEBUG run


You can work with registered networks, providers, and blockchain ecosystems (like Ethereum):

from ape import networks
with networks.ethereum.mainnet.use_provider("infura"):
    ...  # Work with the infura provider here

To learn more about networks in Ape, see this guide.