pydot and graphviz error: Couldn't import dot_parser, loading of dot files will not be possible

When I run a very simple code with pydot

import pydot
graph = pydot.Dot(graph_type='graph')

for i in range(3):

  edge = pydot.Edge("king", "lord%d" % i)

vassal_num = 0
for i in range(3):
  for j in range(2):
    edge = pydot.Edge("lord%d" % i, "vassal%d" % vassal_num)
    vassal_num += 1


It prints me the error message:

Couldn't import dot_parser, loading of dot files will not be possible.

I’m using python 2.7.3

Here is Solutions:

We have many solutions to this problem, But we recommend you to use the first solution because it is tested & true solution that will 100% work for you.

Solution 1

Answer for pydot >= 1.1:

The incompatibility of (upstream) pydot has been fixed by 6dff94b3f1, and thus pydot >= 1.1 will be compatible with pyparsing >= 1.5.7.

Answer applicable to pydot <= 1.0.28:

For anyone else who comes across this, it is due to the changes in pyparsing from 1.x to the 2.x release.
To install pydot using pip, first install the older version of pyparsing:

pip install pyparsing==1.5.7
pip install pydot==1.0.28

If you did not install pyparsing using pip, but instead used, then have a look at this solution to uninstall the package. Thanks @qtips.

Solution 2

There is a new package in the pip repo called pydot2 that functions correctly with pyparsing2. I couldn’t downgrade my packages because matplotlib depends on the newer pyparsing package.

Note: python2.7 from macports

Solution 3

pydot used a private module variable (_noncomma) from pyparsing. The below diff fixes it to use for pyparsing 2.0.1:

diff --git a/ b/
index dedd61a..138d152 100644
--- a/
+++ b/
@@ -25,8 +25,9 @@ from pyparsing import __version__ as pyparsing_version
 from pyparsing import ( nestedExpr, Literal, CaselessLiteral, Word, Upcase, OneOrMore, ZeroOrMore,
     Forward, NotAny, delimitedList, oneOf, Group, Optional, Combine, alphas, nums,
     restOfLine, cStyleComment, nums, alphanums, printables, empty, quotedString,
-    ParseException, ParseResults, CharsNotIn, _noncomma, dblQuotedString, QuotedString, ParserElement )
+    ParseException, ParseResults, CharsNotIn, dblQuotedString, QuotedString, ParserElement )

+_noncomma = "".join( [ c for c in printables if c != "," ] )

 class P_AttrList:

Solution 4

I forked the pydot repository [1], applied the Gabi Davar patch and some changes to support python-3. The package is available in the PyPI [2].


Solution 5

$ sudo pip uninstall pydot

$ sudo pip install pydot2

See the following link:

Solution 6

The solution was not to install pydot from somewhere, but “python-pydot” from official ubuntu repositories.

Solution 7

There are now at least 2 more versions that appear to support PyParsing-2 and Python-3:

Solution 8

I had the problem again and my above solution did not work. If that is true for you and you are also using Anaconda on a Mac with El Capitan, try this:

conda install --channel graphviz`
conda install --channel pydot

Solution 9

What I did at the end after so many tries from what i saw here (pseudo sequence for it to work for networkx ) :

apt-get remove python-pydot
pip install pydotplus
apt-get install libcgraph6
apt-get install python-pygraphviz

# pip freeze | grep pydot
# pip freeze | grep pyparsing
# pip freeze | grep graphviz
# python -c 'import pydotplus'

Solution 10

This worked for me (Mac OS X 10.9 with Python 2.7.10 on Anaconda):

conda uninstall pydot


conda install pydot

Pyparsing is then downgraded (from 2.x to 1.5.7) upon pydot’s installation. Future Googlers: this allowed me to install and import Theano correctly.

Solution 11

On OSX Mavericks the following did the trick… I got the same error but at the bottom there was also a complaint that the graphviz executable was not present… I think the problem was i had installed graphviz prior to the other modules?

brew uninstall graphviz
brew install graphviz

Solution 12

When other solutions do not work, this is a quick and dirty method to solve the probem:

This example is from python 2.7 on Ubuntu 16.04.

Edit the file python2.7/site-packages/keras/utils/ and comment the code segment below.

if not pydot.find_graphviz():
    raise ImportError('Failed to import pydot. You must install pydot'
                      ' and graphviz for `pydotprint` to work.')

find_graphviz() is redundant on newer versions of pydot, and the above call does not work.

Solution 13

I also met the problem and my pydot==1.0.28 while pyparsing==2.2.0. I fixed the problem by downloading the newest pydot 1.2.3(tar.gz)from google and then install it offline. When I updated the pydot in ubuntu 14.04, it said the pydot 1.0.28 is the newest version. Therefore I download from the google the 1.2.3 version.

Solution 14

You need to downgrade pyparsing from version 2.x to version 1.5.7 to get pydot to work correctly.

For win-64, using Conda, this worked for me:

conda install -c pyparsing=1.5.7

I then disabled/uninstalled the 2.x version and reloaded pyparsing in my script:

pyparsing = reload(pyparsing)
pydot = reload(pydot)

To check whether you have the right version running:

print pyparsing.__version__

Note: Use and implement solution 1 because this method fully tested our system.
Thank you 🙂

All methods was sourced from or, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

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