Installing and Using Distribute
.. contents:: **Table of Contents**
About the fork
`Distribute` is a fork of the `Setuptools` project.
Distribute is intended to replace Setuptools as the standard method
for working with Python module distributions.
The fork has two goals:
- Providing a backward compatible version to replace Setuptools
and make all distributions that depend on Setuptools work as
before, but with less bugs and behaviorial issues.
This work is done in the 0.6.x series.
Starting with version 0.6.2, Distribute supports Python 3.
Installing and using distribute for Python 3 code works exactly
the same as for Python 2 code, but Distribute also helps you to support
Python 2 and Python 3 from the same source code by letting you run 2to3
on the code as a part of the build process, by setting the keyword parameter
``use_2to3`` to True. See http://packages.python.org/distribute for more
- Refactoring the code, and releasing it in several distributions.
This work is being done in the 0.7.x series but not yet released.
The roadmap is still evolving, and the page that is up-to-date is
located at : `http://packages.python.org/distribute/roadmap`.
If you install `Distribute` and want to switch back for any reason to
`Setuptools`, get to the `Uninstallation instructions`_ section.
You can get more information in the Sphinx-based documentation, located
at http://packages.python.org/distribute. This documentation includes the old
Setuptools documentation that is slowly replaced, and brand new content.
About the installation process
The `Distribute` installer modifies your installation by de-activating an
existing installation of `Setuptools` in a bootstrap process. This process
has been tested in various installation schemes and contexts but in case of a
bug during this process your Python installation might be left in a broken
state. Since all modified files and directories are copied before the
installation starts, you will be able to get back to a normal state by reading
the instructions in the `Uninstallation instructions`_ section.
In any case, it is recommended to save you `site-packages` directory before
you start the installation of `Distribute`.
Distribute is only released as a source distribution.
It can be installed using easy_install or pip, and can be done so with the source
tarball, the eggs distribution, or by using the ``distribute_setup.py`` script
``distribute_setup.py`` is the simplest and preferred way on all systems.
and execute it, using the Python interpreter of your choice.
If your shell has the ``curl`` program you can do::
$ curl -O http://python-distribute.org/distribute_setup.py
$ python distribute_setup.py
If you are under Python 3, use
$ curl -O http://python-distribute.org/distribute_setup_3k.py
$ python distribute_setup_3k.py
Notice this file is also provided in the source release.
easy_install or pip
Run easy_install or pip::
$ easy_install Distribute
$ pip install Distribute
Download the source tarball, uncompress it, then run the install command::
$ curl -O http://pypi.python.org/packages/source/d/distribute/distribute-0.6.6.tar.gz
$ tar -xzvf distribute-0.6.6.tar.gz
$ cd distribute-0.6.6
$ python setup.py install
Like other distutils-based distributions, Distribute doesn't provide an
uninstaller yet. It's all done manually! We are all waiting for PEP 376
support in Python.
Distribute is installed in three steps:
1. it gets out of the way an existing installation of Setuptools
2. it installs a `fake` setuptools installation
3. it installs distribute
Distribute can be removed like this:
- run ``easy_install -m Distribute``. This will remove the Distribute reference
from ``easy-install.pth``. Otherwise, edit the file and remove it yourself.
- remove the ``distribute*.egg`` file located in your site-packages directory
- remove the ``setuptools.pth`` file located in you site-packages directory
- remove the easy_install script located in you ``sys.prefix/bin`` directory
- remove the ``setuptools*.egg`` directory located in your site-packages directory,
If you want to get back to setuptools:
- reinstall setuptools using its instruction.
- remove the *.OLD.* directory located in your site-packages directory if any,
**once you have checked everything was working correctly again**.
Quick help for developers
To use Distribute in your package, the recommended way is to ship
`distribute_setup.py` alongside your `setup.py` script and call
it at the very begining of `setup.py` like this::
from distribute_setup import use_setuptools
Another way is to add ``Distribute`` in the ``install_requires`` option::
from setuptools import setup
- **Why Distribute turn my Setuptools installation into an fake one?**
Since Distribute is a fork, and since it provides the same package and modules,
it fakes that the Setuptools installation is still present, so all the programs
that where using Setuptools still work.
If it wasn't doing it, a program that would try to install Setuptools
would overwrite in turn Distribute.
- **How does Distribute interacts with virtualenv?**
Everytime you create a virtualenv it will install setuptools, so you need to
re-install Distribute in it right after. The Distribute project will not
attempt to patch virtualenv so it uses it when globally installed.
We will just wait for virtualenv to eventually switch to Distribute.
Once installed, your virtualenv will use Distribute transparently.
Although, if you have Setuptools installed in your system-wide Python,
and if the virtualenv you are in was generated without the `--no-site-packages`
option, the Distribute installation will stop.
You need in this case to build a virtualenv with the `--no-site-packages`
option or to install `Distribute` globally.
- **How does Distribute interacts with zc.buildout?**
You can use Distribute in your zc.buildout.
Although you have to run a specific `bootstrap.py` file that is available
at `http://python-distribute.org/bootstrap.py`. The code is located at
Beware that if you use a shared eggs folder with buildout, you need to
switch all buildouts that use it to distribute. This is due to the fact
that the setuptools eggs located in the shared folder will be replaced
by a fake one, alongside distribute.
Feedback and getting involved
- Mailing list: http://mail.python.org/mailman/listinfo/distutils-sig
- Issue tracker: http://bitbucket.org/tarek/distribute/issues/
- Code Repository: http://bitbucket.org/tarek/distribute