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Installing Cython: A Guide to Boosting Python Performance with Code Examples

Cython is a powerful tool that allows developers to write Python code with C-like performance. By combining the simplicity of Python syntax with the speed of C, Cython enables you to optimize critical sections of your code. In this guide, we will walk through the process of installing Cython and provide code examples to demonstrate how it can enhance your Python programs.


Before installing Cython, ensure that you have the following prerequisites:

  1. Python: Make sure you have Python installed on your system. Cython is compatible with Python 2.7 and Python 3.x versions.
  2. C Compiler: You’ll need a C compiler to compile the generated C code by Cython. For Windows, consider installing Microsoft Visual C++ Build Tools. For macOS, Xcode Command Line Tools will suffice. Linux users may need to install GCC or a similar compiler.

Installing Cython

Follow the steps below to install Cython:

  1. Open your command line or terminal.
  2. Use pip, the package installer for Python, to install Cython by running the following command:
pip install cython
  1. Wait for the installation process to complete. Cython will be downloaded and installed along with its dependencies.
  2. To verify the installation, run the following command to check the Cython version:
cython --version

If Cython is successfully installed, the version number will be displayed.

Using Cython to Boost Performance

Let’s explore some code examples to see how Cython can enhance the performance of Python code:

  1. Using Cython for Type Declarations:
# my_module.pyx
def multiply_numbers(a, b):
    c = a * b
    return c

By declaring the types of the input arguments a and b using Cython, you can bypass the Python interpreter’s overhead and achieve faster execution.

  1. Compiling Cython Code:

To compile the Cython code into C, create a file with the following content:

from distutils.core import setup
from Cython.Build import cythonize


Run the following command to compile the code:

python build_ext --inplace

This generates a C file, which can be compiled into a Python extension module.

  1. Importing and Using the Compiled Module:
import my_module

result = my_module.multiply_numbers(10, 5)

After compiling the Cython code, import the compiled module (my_module) in your Python script and utilize the optimized function multiply_numbers().


Cython is a valuable tool for enhancing the performance of Python code by leveraging C-like speed. By following the installation steps outlined in this guide, you can start using Cython to optimize critical sections of your Python programs. With Cython, you can combine the simplicity and versatility of Python with the performance benefits of low-level languages. Enjoy faster execution times and improved efficiency in your Python projects using the power of Cython.

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