Error in <VisualizationAdaptor::Create>: Was unable to load plugin 'paraview'

hello all,

After successfully installing biodynamo (commit: 80c53c0c17ede917d0d238f0d27e8447a28f16e5) on my OSX machine, and successfully sourcing ‘’ I attempted to run the demos:
However, after building and running both I received the following message in these demos:
Error in VisualizationAdaptor::Create: Was unable to load plugin ‘paraview’!

Then I went back to check that the installation did “include” installing paraview.
The odd thing is that, despite during the setup ccmake … did recognise and set paraview ON, then after configuring everything it appears that paraview is disabled!

This seems to me like a bug in the installation procedure for BioDynaMo.
Has anyone identified something similar in other machine architectures?


Hi @VasVav,

Currently, we have disabled ParaView visualization on macOS until we upgrade to ParaView 5.9 (which should be in the coming weeks according to their website). The reason is that ParaView 5.8 is using Python 2 on macOS, which became deprecated in 2020, so we ran into issues there.


many thanks @ahesam for the reply.

however, would it make sense having in the future the prospect exporting data (for cells / agents and substances / chemical cues) in a Paraview relevant format without necessarily having to install Paraview?

a pertinent format is the EXODUS II one, which is also view-able through Paraview and is also very flexible and robust :wink:

cheers, Vas

If it weren’t for some custom VTK objects we use, we would do that of course! It’s just that we need ParaView also to compile our own plugin, as used in the neuroscience module, and therefore need ParaView to be installed on your system.

But once we re-enable PV for macOS you can export it to whatever file format you wish through the PV client :slight_smile: