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Bootstrap Python projects with virtualenv and pip.

Project description

Bootstrap Python projects by creating virtual environment, installing all requirements there and execute post-bootstrap hooks if any.

Also supported creating virtual environments not only for default requirements file (named major, by default: requirements.txt), but for any other files (named minor), which matched mask requirements-(.*).txt, where requirements and txt could be changed manually if not default requirements file would be used.


  • Python 2.6 or 2.7
  • virtualenv 1.7 or higher
  • argparse (optional, only needed for Python 2.6)
  • virtualenv-clone (optional, needed only when you want to create virtual environments for minor requirements as copy of major virtual environment)


As easy as:

# pip install bootstrapper


bootstrapper is licensed under the BSD License.


You may configure any option of bootstrapper, virtualenv and pip by setting it in bootstrap.cfg file. For example:

copy_virtualenv = True

quiet = True

system_site_packages = True
quiet = True

By default, next configuration would be used:

download_cache = {env}/src/

distribute = True

So, if you not rewrite this options they would be auto-added to your configuration. Also, all bootstrap configuration would be overwrited by values from command line.


$ bootstrapper --help
usage: bootstrapper [-h] [-v] [-c CONFIG] [-e ENV] [-r REQUIREMENTS]
                [-p PRE_REQUIREMENTS [PRE_REQUIREMENTS ...]] [-C HOOK]
                [-H] [--copy-virtualenv] [--recreate-virtualenv]
                [--only-major] [-q]

Bootstrap Python projects with virtualenv and pip.

positional arguments:
  dest                  Bootstrap project using only this minor requirements.
                        By default major requirements file and all minor files
                        would be used for bootstrapping.

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -v, --version         show program's version number and exit
  -c CONFIG, --config CONFIG
                        Path to config file. By default: bootstrap.cfg
  -e ENV, --env ENV     Name of major virtual environment. By default: env
                        Path to major requirements file. By default:
                        List pre-requirements to check separated by space.
  -C HOOK, --hook HOOK  Execute this hook after bootstrap process.
  -H, --hook-all        Execute HOOK in each virtualenv, not only in major
  --copy-virtualenv     Create virtualenv for minor requirements by copying
                        major virtualenv. NOTE: If minor venv already exists
                        copy process would be aborted to avoid "dest dir
                        exists" error.
                        Recreate virtualenv each time, does not care about
                        exists of env at disk.
  --only-major          Create only major virtual environment, ignore all
                        other requirements files.
  -q, --quiet           Minimize output, show only error messages.


Project case

In common only one requirements file exists in the project, and for most cases something like should be copied to proper location after creating virtual environment and installing requirements. So, project tree could look this:

├── README.rst
├── requirements.txt
└── project
    ├── static
    ├── templates

In that case you can easilly bootstrap project with:

$ bootstrapper -C 'cp -n project/{{.def,}}'

This will create env/ virtual environment, install there all requirements from requirements.txt and finally copy default file to if it not exists.

Application case

For applications otherwise it’s good idea to have several requirements files, to support testing on different requirement versions. For example, next application has default requirements and requirements for Flask==0.8,

├── README.rst
└── application
    └── ...
└── testapp
    ├── requirements.txt
    ├── requirements-0.8.txt

And in that case bootstrapping test app would be looking like:

$ cd testapp/ && bootstrapper

This will create env/ and env-0.8/ environments and install there requirements from requirements.txt and requirements-0.8.txt apparently.

In case if you want to create/update enviroment only for 0.8 minor requirement, you need to:

$ cd testapp/ && bootstrapper 0.8

More examples

Bootstrapper used in next my open source projects:



  • Use --use-mirrors key by default when pip installs requirements to virtual environment.


  • Initial release.

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