Installation of the Fiona package is complicated by its dependency on libgdal and other C libraries. There are easy installations paths and an advanced installation path.

Easy installation

Fiona has several extension modules which link against libgdal. This complicates installation. Binary distributions (wheels) containing libgdal and its own dependencies are available from the Python Package Index and can be installed using pip.

pip install fiona

These wheels are mainly intended to make installation easy for simple applications, not so much for production. They are not tested for compatibility with all other binary wheels, conda packages, or QGIS, and omit many of GDAL’s optional format drivers. If you need, for example, GML support you will need to build and install Fiona from a source distribution.

Many users find Anaconda and conda-forge a good way to install Fiona and get access to more optional format drivers (like GML).

Fiona 1.9 (coming soon) requires Python 3.7 or higher and GDAL 3.2 or higher.

Advanced installation

Once GDAL and its dependencies are installed on your computer (how to do this is documented at Fiona can be built and installed using setuptools or pip. If your GDAL installation provides the gdal-config program, the process is simpler.

Without pip:

GDAL_CONFIG=/path/to/gdal-config python install

With pip (version >= 22.3 is required):

python -m pip install --user -U pip
GDAL_CONFIG=/path/to/gdal-config python -m pip install --user .

These are pretty much equivalent. Pip will use setuptools as the build backend. If the gdal-config program is on your executable path, then you don’t need to set the environment variable.

Without gdal-config you will need to configure header and library locations for the build in another way. One way to do this is to create a setup.cfg file in the source directory with content like this:

include_dirs = C:/vcpkg/installed/x64-windows/include
libraries = gdal
library_dirs = C:/vcpkg/installed/x64-windows/lib

This is the approach taken by Fiona’s wheel-building workflow. With this file in place you can run either python install or python -m pip install --user ..

You can also pass those three values on the command line following the setuptools documentation. However, the setup.cfg approach is easier.