KLayout Standalone Usage

The Developer Setup or Getting Started sections described setting up KQCircuits for use with KLayout Editor (GUI). However, KQC can also be used without KLayout Editor by using the standalone KLayout Python module. This lets you develop and use KQCircuits completely within any Python development environment of your choice, without running KLayout GUI. For example, any debugger can then be used and automated tests can be performed. The KQCircuits elements can also be visualized using any suitable viewer or library during development.


If you want to run KQCircuits outside of the KLayout Editor, you will need Python 3 and pip installed.

Successfully tested with

  • Python 3.7.6, 3.8.5


If you have not yet done so, git clone the KQCircuits source code from https://github.com/iqm-finland/KQCircuits to a location of your choice.

This section explains how to install KQC in “development mode”, so that a link to your local KQC repo is added to the python environment. When using KQC installed in this way, the version in your local repo is thus used.

To do this, activate your python environment and write in command prompt / terminal:

python -m pip install -e klayout_package/python

The previous command installs only the packages which are always required when using KQC. Other packages may be required for specific purposes, and these can be installed by using instead a command like:

python -m pip install -e "klayout_package/python[docs,tests,notebooks]"

You can choose for which purposes you want to install the requirements by modifying the text in the square brackets. Note that there should not be any spaces within the brackets.

The required packages are defined in setup.py (in KQCircuits python directory), so if there are problems with some specific package, you may try modifying it or install those packages manually.


The independence from KLayout GUI makes it possible to do all development of KQCircuits fully within a Python IDE of your choice. For example, standalone debuggers and automated testing (see Testing) can be done, which would not be possible without the standalone KLayout module.

There is an example Jupyter notebook viewer.ipynb in the notebooks folder, which shows how to create and visualize KQCircuits elements with the standalone KLayout module. Run it like:

jupyter-notebook notebooks/viewer.ipynb

Any other files in the notebooks folder will be ignored by git, so you can create your own notebooks based on viewer.ipynb in that folder. This notebook requires that notebooks was specified as a feature during installation.