Work on OpenFisca on a Windows without being administrator

Warning: running OpenFisca on a machine with administrator privileges would make your life much easier. Using a MacOS or a Linux would be even better.

If you do not have a choice other than using a restricted Windows, this guide sums up the "recipe" to install OpenFisca in such an environment.

1. Install git

Git is a tool that will help you version your work. It also comes with a shell terminal that allows you to type commands in a more standard way than the Windows command line tool.

2. Install python

Python is the programing language used in OpenFisca. It can be installed without administrators rights through a software named Miniconda.

  • Download miniconda from https://conda.io/miniconda. Make sure to choose the Python 2.7 version for Windows. If you don't know if your system is 32-bit or 64-bit, pick 32-bit.
  • Install it. At some point, the installer will ask you for a "Destination Folder". You can keep the default or choose another one, but in all case copy paste the path to this folder somewhere. It will be useful later. For instance, this path may look like C:\Users\my-name\AppData\Local\Miniconda2.
  • Run the program "Git Bash" from the "Start" menu ("Démarrer"). This should open a command line. Copy and paste the following lines in the console, after adapting the first line using the path you noted in the last step:
echo 'MINICONDA_PATH="C:\Users\form\AppData\Local\Miniconda2"' >> .bashrc
echo 'function convert { echo /$1  | sed '\''s/\\/\//g'\'' | sed '\''s/://'\'' ; }' >> .bashrc
echo 'function add { export PATH=$(convert $1):$PATH ;}' >> .bashrc
echo 'add $MINICONDA_PATH' >> .bashrc
echo 'add "$MINICONDA_PATH/Scripts"' >> .bashrc
source .bashrc
conda create -n openfisca python=2.7  --offline --yes
echo 'source activate openfisca' >> .bashrc
source activate openfisca

To check that everything worked correctly, type in Git Bash:

pip --version

A version number should be printed, and no error message should appear. Congrats, you just set up a Python working environment!

3. Install OpenFisca

  • Download the OpenFisca-France installation files
  • Extract the content of this archive in a directory.
  • Go to that directory, then to the windows subdirectory. If you installed Python in 32 bits, right-click on 32-bits. If you installed Python in 64 bits, right-click on the 64-bits subdirectory. Choose "Git Bash Here"
  • Run the command pip install *

To check that everything worked correctly, type in Git Bash:

python -c "from openfisca_france import CountryTaxBenefitSystem; CountryTaxBenefitSystem()"

No error message should appear. Congrats, you just installed OpenFisca-France!

4. Install atom

Atom is a modern text editor that doesn't require administrator priviledges to be installed. It will allow you to edit Python files with syntaxing coloring.

5. Write and run your own scripts

You can now write your own scripts, such as this tutorial.

To edit a script, open it with atom.

To run it, save your modifications, go to the directory containing it, right click and chose "Gith Bash Here". Then type:

python name-of-the-script.py

In case you run into a problem, you can open an issue or send an email to contact@openfisca.fr.