[HOWTO] Install M2Crypto for Python 2.7 on Windows

I am using Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit and had to setup M2Crypto required for a Python program that I am writing in Python 2.7 (32-bit). After hours of trying and searching, I finally managed to get it installed and working.

Here are some of the things that I tried, please move on to “How I managed to get it to work” if you don’t want to go through boring “What I tried” stuff.

What I tried:
First of all, I tried to install M2Crypto via pip. I got an error saying that swig.exe was not found, so I downloaded copy of swigwin and extracted it, then added the directory to system PATH. I installed easy_install (setuptools), opened the terminal and changed dir to Python27\Scripts and installed pip (easy_install pip). Then, I tried to install M2Crypto using pip:

pip install M2Crypto

Unfortunately, I got the following error:

SWIG\_m2crypto.i(31) : Error: Unable to find ‘openssl\opensslv.h’

SWIG\_m2crypto.i(45) : Error: Unable to find ‘openssl\safestack.h’

SWIG\_evp.i(12) : Error: Unable to find ‘openssl\opensslconf.h’

SWIG\_ec.i(7) : Error: Unable to find ‘openssl\opensslconf.h’

error: command ‘swig.exe’ failed with exit status 1

So, I downloaded openssl source files and copied the include directory to swig_dir/lib, then I got errors that from swig. I also tried giving build_dist parameter to setup.py but in vain. I was thinking of compiling openssl myself, but I figured that I would require Visual Studio (which I do not have). I thought of using MingW, but turns out you need to compile Python with MingW for it to work. I almost gave up on this, but I found that some developers had contributed build of OpenSSL and M2Crypto, so that I could just install them. Move on to next section to do it yourself.

How I managed to get it to work
I downloaded pre-built binaries of M2Crypto built against OpenSSL 1.0 from M2Crypto Wiki. The one that I downloaded is M2Crypto-0.21.1.win32-py2.7.msi. Then, I set it up. It detected my Python installation and installed the package. However, when I ran the Python script, I got the following error:

import __m2crypto
ImportError: DLL load failed

I don’t know if it was because I did not restart my computer after installation or if OpenSSL dlls were missing, in either case, you may want to install Win32 OpenSSL V1 Light and install it and it should work.

Hope this helps.

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  • Adam

    Still get ImportError: no module named SSL when I try to import M2Crypto in Python…
    At my wits’ end….