Porting from Distutils

Setuptools and the PyPA have a stated goal to make Setuptools the reference API for distutils.

Since the 60.0.0 release, Setuptools includes a local, vendored copy of distutils (from late copies of CPython) that is enabled by default. To disable the use of this copy of distutils when invoking setuptools, set the environment variable:



Please note that this also affects how distutils.cfg files inside stdlib’s distutils package directory are processed. Unless SETUPTOOLS_USE_DISTUTILS=stdlib, they will have no effect on the build process.

You can still use a global user config file, ~/.pydistutils.cfg (POSIX) or %USERPROFILE%/pydistutils.cfg (Windows), or use the environment variable DIST_EXTRA_CONFIG to point to another supplementary configuration file.

Prefer Setuptools

As Distutils is deprecated, any usage of functions or objects from distutils is similarly discouraged, and Setuptools aims to replace or deprecate all such uses. This section describes the recommended replacements.


distutils.cmd.Command or distutils.core.Commandsetuptools.Command



distutils.loglogging (standard library)


distutils.errors.*setuptools.errors.* [1]

Migration advice is also provided by PEP 632.

If a project relies on uses of distutils that do not have a suitable replacement above, please search the Setuptools issue tracker and file a request, describing the use-case so that Setuptools’ maintainers can investigate. Please provide enough detail to help the maintainers understand how distutils is used, what value it provides, and why that behavior should be supported.