How to find OpenCV version in Python and C++ ?

By | June 7, 2015

OpenCV 3.0 was released recently, and you might be thinking of upgrading your code base. OpenCV 2 code will most likely not compile with OpenCV 3 because the new version is not backwardly compatible. So you need a mechanism to make sure your code is compatible with both OpenCV 3 and OpenCV 2. This post explains how to detect the version of OpenCV inside your code. Example C++ and Python code is shown below.

How to Detect OpenCV Version in Python

Everything is easy in Python. cv2.__version__ gives you the version string. You can extract major and minor version from it as shown in the example below.

import cv2
# Print version string
print "OpenCV version :  {0}".format(cv2.__version__)

# Extract major, minor, and subminor version numbers 
(major_ver, minor_ver, subminor_ver) = (cv2.__version__).split('.')
print "Major version :  {0}".format(major_ver)
print "Minor version :  {0}".format(minor_ver)
print "Submior version :  {0}".format(subminor_ver)

if int(major_ver) < 3 :
        Old OpenCV 2 code goes here
else :
        New OpenCV 3 code goes here 

How to Detect OpenCV Version in C++

In C++ several macros are defined to easily detect the version — CV_VERSION, CV_MAJOR_VERSION, CV_MINOR_VERSION, CV_SUBMINOR_VERSION. See the sample code below as an example.

#include "opencv2/opencv.hpp"

using namespace cv;
using namespace std;

int main( int argc, char** argv )
  cout << "OpenCV version : " << CV_VERSION << endl;
  cout << "Major version : " << CV_MAJOR_VERSION << endl;
  cout << "Minor version : " << CV_MINOR_VERSION << endl;
  cout << "Subminor version : " << CV_SUBMINOR_VERSION << endl;

  if ( CV_MAJOR_VERSION < 3)
      // Old OpenCV 2 code goes here. 
  } else
      // New OpenCV 3 code goes here. 

You can see another example at my post about Blob Detector.


If you liked this article, please subscribe to our newsletter and receive a free
Computer Vision Resource guide. In our newsletter we share OpenCV tutorials and examples written in C++/Python, and Computer Vision and Machine Learning algorithms and news.

Subscribe Now

Category: how-to OpenCV 3 Tags:

About Satya Mallick

I am an entrepreneur with a love for Computer Vision and Machine Learning with a dozen years of experience (and a Ph.D.) in the field. In 2007, right after finishing my Ph.D., I co-founded TAAZ Inc. with my advisor Dr. David Kriegman and Kevin Barnes. The scalability, and robustness of our computer vision and machine learning algorithms have been put to rigorous test by more than 100M users who have tried our products.

  • Pit Jansen

    I use this little program to test the version of OpenCV.
    When I try this: g++ -I/home/martin/lib/opencv-2.4.12/include/opencv2 -L/home/martin/lib/opencv-2.4.12/lib/ -lopencv_core main.cpp
    Then I get his when I run :
    OpenCV version: 2.4.11
    This is the OpenCV version I installed in /usr/local/lib and /usr/local/include. Why don’t take the compiler the version 2.4.12 I described in command above?

    • That is strange. What do you get when you do the following

      ls /home/martin/lib/opencv-2.4.12/lib/

      • Pit Jansen libopencv_ts.a pkgconfig python2.7

    • Actually, you have an old source code where they forgot to change the version number. Check this out.

      You gotta download the latest 2.4.12

      • Pit Jansen

        I download the latest version from

        • Ok if you compiled it from the source, check this

          cat modules/core/include/opencv2/core/version.hpp | grep "#define CV_VERSION_MINOR"

          If is says, 12 I am really confused :). But if it says 11, you know the problem.

          • Pit Jansen

            I am very new with OpenCV, but from which position you try the command above? When I try this at the position of my testversion source the location is not recognized.

            When I use this command in the folder of 2.4.12 it says 12 (cat /home/martin/lib/opencv-2.4.12/include/opencv2/core/version.hpp grep “#define CV_SERION_MINOR”)
            I installed 2.4.12 in another location than /usr/local/ because I have an overview of the different versions. It seems when I compile the source with g++ it takes always the version in /usr/local/lib.