If you’ve seen some of the discussions surrounding
Distribute (a fork of PJE’s
Setuptools), you may be wondering
distutils, the backbone of both
Setuptools. If you
are, then you may have noticed that it’s easier to find details on the various
tools built on top of it than it is to find info on the basics, even though
distutils is in the standard library.
Here are some of the resources I found useful:
- the standard docs for distutils. These are a good start, as they outlines the basics of
distutilsas it currently stands, without any of the various PEPs that have been discussed/proposed.
- the API reference, since it helps cover the numerous keyword arguments to the
- the list of classifiers at PyPI; this is handy to make sure you’re using actual classifiers that other Python developers are likely to understand instead of ones you just make up
distutilstutorial on the Python wiki
- the Distutils Cookbook; I particularly enjoy the AutoPackageDiscovery recipe
One thing to remember: the
data_files keyword arguments
setup in setup.py tell the installer what to install, MANIFEST.in tells
the packager what to include in the distribution file. Even if it seems
duplicative, you need to make sure your resources show up in both places if
you want to be able to use python setup.py install using the distribution you
build using python setup.py sdist.
Testing It All Out
After you package up your program, you can see if your setup.py is correct by
doing a test install in a
virtualenv. This let’s you make
sure you can python setup.py install etc. without contaminating your global
site packages. If you haven’t heard about
virtualenv, I recommend reading up
on it; it’s really handy. The
first page of Google results
is a good starting point.
Back to flipping out…