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Paramiko itself

The recommended way to get Paramiko is to install the latest stable release via pip:

$ pip install paramiko

We currently support Python 2.7, 3.4+, and PyPy. Users on Python 2.6 or older (or 3.3 or older) are urged to upgrade.

Paramiko has only one direct hard dependency: the Cryptography library. See Cryptography.

If you need GSS-API / SSPI support, see the below subsection on it for details on its optional dependencies.

Release lines

Users desiring stability may wish to pin themselves to a specific release line once they first start using Paramiko; to assist in this, we guarantee bugfixes for the last 2-3 releases including the latest stable one.

This typically spans major & minor versions, so even if e.g. 3.1 is the latest stable release, it's likely that bugfixes will occasionally come out for the latest 2.x and perhaps even 1.x releases, as well as for 3.0. New feature releases for previous major-version lines are less likely but not unheard of.

If you're unsure which version to install:

  • Completely new users should always default to the latest stable release (as above, whatever is newest / whatever shows up with pip install paramiko.)
  • Users upgrading from a much older version (e.g. 1.7.x through 1.10.x) should probably get the oldest actively supported line (check the Changelog for recent releases).
  • Everybody else is hopefully already "on" a given version and can carefully upgrade to whichever version they care to, when their release line stops being supported.


Cryptography provides the low-level (C-based) encryption algorithms we need to implement the SSH protocol. It has detailed installation instructions (and an FAQ) which you should read carefully.

In general, you'll need one of the following setups:

  • On Windows or Mac OS X, provided your pip is modern (8.x+): nothing else is required. pip will install statically compiled binary archives of Cryptography & its dependencies.
  • On Linux, or on other platforms with older versions of pip: you'll need a C build toolchain, plus development headers for Python, OpenSSL and libffi. Again, see Cryptography's install docs; these requirements may occasionally change.

Optional dependencies for GSS-API / SSPI / Kerberos

In order to use GSS-API/Kerberos & related functionality, a couple of additional dependencies are required (these are not listed in our due to their infrequent utility & non-platform-agnostic requirements):

  • It hopefully goes without saying but all platforms need a working installation of GSS-API itself, e.g. Heimdal.
  • Unix needs python-gssapi 0.6.1 or better.

  • Windows needs pywin32 2.1.8 or better.