setuptools allowed running commands via a
at the root of a Python project, as indicated in the examples below:
python setup.py --help python setup.py --help-commands python setup.py --version python setup.py sdist python setup.py bdist_wheel
You could also run commands in other circumstances:
python -c "from setuptools import setup; setup()" --help
distutilsprojects (with a
python -c "import setuptools; with open('setup.py') as f: exec(compile(f.read(), 'setup.py', 'exec'))" develop
That is, you can simply list the normal setup commands and options following the quoted part.
While it is perfectly fine that users write
setup.py files to configure
a package build (e.g. to specify binary extensions or customize commands),
on recent versions of
python setup.py directly
as a script is considered deprecated. This also means that users should
avoid running commands directly via
python setup.py <command>.
If you want to create sdist or wheel distributions the recommendation is to use the command line tool provided by build:
pip install build # needs to be installed first python -m build # builds both sdist and wheel python -m build --sdist python -m build --wheel
Build will automatically download
setuptools and build the package in an
isolated environment. You can also specify specific versions of
setuptools, by setting the build requirements in pyproject.toml.
If you want to install a package, you can use pip or installer:
pip install /path/to/wheel/file.whl pip install /path/to/sdist/file.tar.gz pip install . # replacement for python setup.py install pip install --editable . # replacement for python setup.py develop pip install installer # needs to be installed first python -m installer /path/to/wheel/file.whl
alias - Define shortcuts for commonly used commands#
Sometimes, you need to use the same commands over and over, but you can’t
necessarily set them as defaults. For example, if you produce both development
snapshot releases and “stable” releases of a project, you may want to put
the distributions in different places, or use different
options, etc. In these cases, it doesn’t make sense to set the options in
a distutils configuration file, because the values of the options changed based
on what you’re trying to do.
Setuptools therefore allows you to define “aliases” - shortcut names for
an arbitrary string of commands and options, using
setup.py alias aliasname
expansion, where aliasname is the name of the new alias, and the remainder of
the command line supplies its expansion. For example, this command defines
a sitewide alias called “daily”, that sets various
setup.py alias --global-config daily egg_info --tag-build=development
Once the alias is defined, it can then be used with other setup commands, e.g.:
setup.py daily bdist_egg # generate a daily-build .egg file setup.py daily sdist # generate a daily-build source distro setup.py daily sdist bdist_egg # generate both
The above commands are interpreted as if the word
daily were replaced with
Note that setuptools will expand each alias at most once in a given command line. This serves two purposes. First, if you accidentally create an alias loop, it will have no effect; you’ll instead get an error message about an unknown command. Second, it allows you to define an alias for a command, that uses that command. For example, this (project-local) alias:
setup.py alias bdist_egg bdist_egg rotate -k1 -m.egg
bdist_egg command so that it always runs the
command afterwards to delete all but the newest egg file. It doesn’t loop
bdist_egg because the alias is only expanded once when
You can remove a defined alias with the
-r) option, e.g.:
setup.py alias --global-config --remove daily
would delete the “daily” alias we defined above.
Aliases can be defined on a project-specific, per-user, or sitewide basis. The default is to define or remove a project-specific alias, but you can use any of the configuration file options (listed under the saveopts command, below) to determine which distutils configuration file an aliases will be added to (or removed from).
Note that if you omit the “expansion” argument to the
you’ll get output showing that alias’ current definition (and what
configuration file it’s defined in). If you omit the alias name as well,
you’ll get a listing of all current aliases along with their configuration
bdist_egg - Create a Python Egg for the project#
eggs are deprecated in favor of wheels, and not supported by pip.
This command generates a Python Egg (
.egg file) for the project. Python
Eggs are the preferred binary distribution format for EasyInstall, because they
are cross-platform (for “pure” packages), directly importable, and contain
project metadata including scripts and information about the project’s
dependencies. They can be simply downloaded and added to
directly, or they can be placed in a directory on
sys.path and then
automatically discovered by the egg runtime system.
This command runs the egg_info command (if it hasn’t already run) to update
the project’s metadata (
.egg-info) directory. If you have added any extra
metadata files to the
.egg-info directory, those files will be included in
the new egg file’s metadata directory, for use by the egg runtime system or by
any applications or frameworks that use that metadata.
You won’t usually need to specify any special options for this command; just
bdist_egg and you’re done. But there are a few options that may
be occasionally useful:
--dist-dir=DIR, -d DIR
Set the directory where the
.eggfile will be placed. If you don’t supply this, then the
--dist-dirsetting of the
bdistcommand will be used, which is usually a directory named
distin the project directory.
--plat-name=PLATFORM, -p PLATFORM
Set the platform name string that will be embedded in the egg’s filename (assuming the egg contains C extensions). This can be used to override the distutils default platform name with something more meaningful. Keep in mind, however, that the egg runtime system expects to see eggs with distutils platform names, so it may ignore or reject eggs with non-standard platform names. Similarly, the EasyInstall program may ignore them when searching web pages for download links. However, if you are cross-compiling or doing some other unusual things, you might find a use for this option.
Don’t include any modules’
.pyfiles in the egg, just compiled Python, C, and data files. (Note that this doesn’t affect any
.pyfiles in the EGG-INFO directory or its subdirectories, since for example there may be scripts with a
.pyextension which must still be retained.) We don’t recommend that you use this option except for packages that are being bundled for proprietary end-user applications, or for “embedded” scenarios where space is at an absolute premium. On the other hand, if your package is going to be installed and used in compressed form, you might as well exclude the source because Python’s
tracebackmodule doesn’t currently understand how to display zipped source code anyway, or how to deal with files that are in a different place from where their code was compiled.
There are also some options you will probably never need, but which are there
because they were copied from similar
bdist commands used as an example for
creating this one. They may be useful for testing and debugging, however,
which is why we kept them:
Keep the contents of the
--bdist-dirtree around after creating the
--bdist-dir=DIR, -b DIR
Set the temporary directory for creating the distribution. The entire contents of this directory are zipped to create the
.eggfile, after running various installation commands to copy the package’s modules, data, and extensions here.
Skip doing any “build” commands; just go straight to the install-and-compress phases.
develop - Deploy the project source in “Development Mode”#
This command allows you to deploy your project’s source for use in one or more “staging areas” where it will be available for importing. This deployment is done in such a way that changes to the project source are immediately available in the staging area(s), without needing to run a build or install step after each change.
develop command works by creating an
.egg-link file (named for the
project) in the given staging area. If the staging area is Python’s
site-packages directory, it also updates an
easy-install.pth file so
that the project is on
sys.path by default for all programs run using that
develop command also installs wrapper scripts in the staging area (or
a separate directory, as specified) that will ensure the project’s dependencies
are available on
sys.path before running the project’s source scripts.
And, it ensures that any missing project dependencies are available in the
staging area, by downloading and installing them if necessary.
Last, but not least, the
develop command invokes the
command to ensure any C extensions in the project have been built and are
up-to-date, and the
egg_info command to ensure the project’s metadata is
updated (so that the runtime and wrappers know what the project’s dependencies
are). If you make any changes to the project’s setup script or C extensions,
you should rerun the
develop command against all relevant staging areas to
keep the project’s scripts, metadata and extensions up-to-date. Most other
kinds of changes to your project should not require any build operations or
develop, but keep in mind that even minor changes to the setup
script (e.g. changing an entry point definition) require you to re-run the
test commands to keep the distribution updated.
Here are some of the options that the
develop command accepts. Note that
they affect the project’s dependencies as well as the project itself, so if you
have dependencies that need to be installed and you use
(for example), the dependencies’ scripts will not be installed either! For
this reason, you may want to use pip to install the project’s dependencies
before using the
develop command, if you need finer control over the
installation options for dependencies.
Un-deploy the current project. You may use the
-doption to designate the staging area. The created
.egg-linkfile will be removed, if present and it is still pointing to the project directory. The project directory will be removed from
easy-install.pthif the staging area is Python’s
Note that this option currently does not uninstall script wrappers! You must uninstall them yourself, or overwrite them by using pip to install a different version of the package. You can also avoid installing script wrappers in the first place, if you use the
-x) option when you run
developto deploy the project.
“Multi-version” mode. Specifying this option prevents
developfrom adding an
easy-install.pthentry for the project(s) being deployed, and if an entry for any version of a project already exists, the entry will be removed upon successful deployment. In multi-version mode, no specific version of the package is available for importing, unless you use
pkg_resources.require()to put it on
sys.path, or you are running a wrapper script generated by
setuptools. (In which case the wrapper script calls
Note that if you install to a directory other than
site-packages, this option is automatically in effect, because
.pthfiles can only be used in
site-packages(at least in Python 2.3 and 2.4). So, if you use the
-doption (or they are set via configuration file(s)) your project and its dependencies will be deployed in multi- version mode.
--install-dir=DIR, -d DIR
Set the installation directory (staging area). If this option is not directly specified on the command line or in a distutils configuration file, the distutils default installation location is used. Normally, this will be the
site-packagesdirectory, but if you are using distutils configuration files, setting things like
install_lib, then those settings are taken into account when computing the default staging area.
--script-dir=DIR, -s DIR
Set the script installation directory. If you don’t supply this option (via the command line or a configuration file), but you have supplied an
--install-dir(via command line or config file), then this option defaults to the same directory, so that the scripts will be able to find their associated package installation. Otherwise, this setting defaults to the location where the distutils would normally install scripts, taking any distutils configuration file settings into account.
Don’t deploy script wrappers. This is useful if you don’t want to disturb existing versions of the scripts in the staging area.
Copy all needed distributions to the staging area, even if they are already present in another directory on
sys.path. By default, if a requirement can be met using a distribution that is already available in a directory on
sys.path, it will not be copied to the staging area.
Force the generated
.egg-linkfile to use a specified relative path to the source directory. This can be useful in circumstances where your installation directory is being shared by code running under multiple platforms (e.g. Mac and Windows) which have different absolute locations for the code under development, but the same relative locations with respect to the installation directory. If you use this option when installing, you must supply the same relative path when uninstalling.
In addition to the above options, the
develop command also accepts all of
the same options accepted by
easy_install. If you’ve configured any
easy_install settings in your
setup.cfg (or other distutils config
develop command will use them as defaults, unless you override
them in a
[develop] section or on the command line.
rotate - Delete outdated distribution files#
As you develop new versions of your project, your distribution (
directory will gradually fill up with older source and/or binary distribution
rotate command lets you automatically clean these up, keeping
only the N most-recently modified files matching a given pattern.
--match=PATTERNLIST, -m PATTERNLIST
Comma-separated list of glob patterns to match. This option is required. The project name and
-*is prepended to the supplied patterns, in order to match only distributions belonging to the current project (in case you have a shared distribution directory for multiple projects). Typically, you will use a glob pattern like
.eggto match files of the specified type. Note that each supplied pattern is treated as a distinct group of files for purposes of selecting files to delete.
--keep=COUNT, -k COUNT
Number of matching distributions to keep. For each group of files identified by a pattern specified with the
--matchoption, delete all but the COUNT most-recently-modified files in that group. This option is required.
--dist-dir=DIR, -d DIR
Directory where the distributions are. This defaults to the value of the
--dist-diroption, which will usually be the project’s
Example 1: Delete all .tar.gz files from the distribution directory, except for the 3 most recently modified ones:
setup.py rotate --match=.tar.gz --keep=3
Example 2: Delete all Python 2.3 or Python 2.4 eggs from the distribution directory, except the most recently modified one for each Python version:
setup.py rotate --match=-py2.3*.egg,-py2.4*.egg --keep=1
saveopts - Save used options to a configuration file#
Finding and editing
distutils configuration files can be a pain, especially
since you also have to translate the configuration options from command-line
form to the proper configuration file format. You can avoid these hassles by
saveopts command. Just add it to the command line to save the
options you used. For example, this command builds the project using
mingw32 C compiler, then saves the –compiler setting as the default
for future builds (even those run implicitly by the
setup.py build --compiler=mingw32 saveopts
saveopts command saves all options for every command specified on the
command line to the project’s local
setup.cfg file, unless you use one of
the configuration file options to change where the options are saved. For
example, this command does the same as above, but saves the compiler setting
to the site-wide (global) distutils configuration:
setup.py build --compiler=mingw32 saveopts -g
Note that it doesn’t matter where you place the
saveopts command on the
command line; it will still save all the options specified for all commands.
For example, this is another valid way to spell the last example:
setup.py saveopts -g build --compiler=mingw32
Note, however, that all of the commands specified are always run, regardless of
saveopts is placed on the command line.
Configuration File Options#
Normally, settings such as options and aliases are saved to the project’s
setup.cfg file. But you can override this and save them to the
global or per-user configuration files, or to a manually-specified filename.
Save settings to the global
distutils.cfgfile inside the
distutilspackage directory. You must have write access to that directory to use this option. You also can’t combine this option with
Save settings to the current user’s
$HOME/pydistutils.cfg(Windows) file. You can’t combine this option with
--filename=FILENAME, -f FILENAME
Save settings to the specified configuration file to use. You can’t combine this option with
-u. Note that if you specify a non-standard filename, the
setuptoolswill not use the file’s contents. This option is mainly included for use in testing.
These options are used by other
setuptools commands that modify
configuration files, such as the alias and setopt commands.
setopt - Set a distutils or setuptools option in a config file#
This command is mainly for use by scripts, but it can also be used as a quick and dirty way to change a distutils configuration option without having to remember what file the options are in and then open an editor.
Example 1. Set the default C compiler to
mingw32 (using long option
setup.py setopt --command=build --option=compiler --set-value=mingw32
Example 2. Remove any setting for the distutils default package installation directory (short option names):
setup.py setopt -c install -o install_lib -r
Options for the
--command=COMMAND, -c COMMAND
Command to set the option for. This option is required.
--option=OPTION, -o OPTION
The name of the option to set. This option is required.
--set-value=VALUE, -s VALUE
The value to set the option to. Not needed if
Remove (unset) the option, instead of setting it.
In addition to the above options, you may use any of the configuration file options (listed under the saveopts command, above) to determine which distutils configuration file the option will be added to (or removed from).
test - Build package and run a unittest suite#
test is deprecated and will be removed in a future version. Users
looking for a generic test entry point independent of test runner are
encouraged to use tox.
When doing test-driven development, or running automated builds that need
testing before they are deployed for downloading or use, it’s often useful
to be able to run a project’s unit tests without actually deploying the project
anywhere, even using the
develop command. The
test command runs a
project’s unit tests without actually deploying it, by temporarily putting the
project’s source on
sys.path, after first running
build_ext -i and
egg_info to ensure that any C extensions and project metadata are
To use this command, your project’s tests must be wrapped in a
test suite by either a function, a
TestCase class or method, or a module
or package containing
TestCase classes. If the named suite is a module,
and the module has an
additional_tests() function, it is called and the
result (which must be a
unittest.TestSuite) is added to the tests to be
run. If the named suite is a package, any submodules and subpackages are
recursively added to the overall test suite. (Note: if your project specifies
test_loader, the rules for processing the chosen
differ; see the test_loader documentation for more details.)
Note that many test systems including
doctest support wrapping their
unittest tests in
TestSuite objects. So, if you are using a test
package that does not support this, we suggest you encourage its developers to
implement test suite support, as this is a convenient and standard way to
aggregate a collection of tests to be run under a common test harness.
By default, tests will be run in the “verbose” mode of the
package’s text test runner, but you can get the “quiet” mode (just dots) if
you supply the
--quiet option, either as a global option to
the setup script (e.g.
setup.py -q test) or as an option for the
command itself (e.g.
setup.py test -q). There is one other option
--test-suite=NAME, -s NAME
Specify the test suite (or module, class, or method) to be run (e.g.
some_module.test_suite). The default for this option can be set by giving a
test_suiteargument to the
setup( # ... test_suite="my_package.tests.test_all" )
If you did not set a
setup()call, and do not provide a
--test-suiteoption, an error will occur.
New in 41.5.0: Deprecated the test command.
upload - Upload source and/or egg distributions to PyPI#
upload command was deprecated in version 40.0 and removed in version
42.0. Use twine instead.
For more information on the current best practices in uploading your packages to PyPI, see the Python Packaging User Guide’s “Packaging Python Projects” tutorial specifically the section on uploading the distribution archives.