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Allows using distutils2-like setup.cfg files for a package's metadata with a distribute/setuptools

Project description


d2to1 (the ‘d’ is for ‘distutils’) allows using distutils2-like setup.cfg files for a package’s metadata with a distribute/setuptools script. It works by providing a distutils2-formatted setup.cfg file containing all of a package’s metadata, and a very minimal which will slurp its arguments from the setup.cfg.

Note: distutils2 has been merged into the CPython standard library, where it is now known as ‘packaging’. This project was started before that change was finalized. So all references to distutils2 should also be assumed to refer to packaging.


I’m currently in the progress of redoing the packaging of a sizeable number of projects. I wanted to use distutils2-like setup.cfg files for all these projects, as they will hopefully be the future, and I much prefer them overall to using an executable So forward-support for distutils2 is appealing both as future-proofing, and simply the aesthetics of using a flat text file to describe a project’s metadata.

However, I did not want any of these projects to require distutils2 for installation yet–it is too unstable, and not widely installed. So projects should still be installable using the familiar ./ install, for example. Furthermore, not all use cases required by some of the packages I support are fully supported by distutils2 yet. Hopefully they will be eventually, either through the distutils2 core or through extensions. But in the meantime d2to1 will try to keep up with the state of the art and “best practices” for distutils2 distributions, while adding support in areas that it’s lacking.


d2to1 requires a distribution to use distribute or setuptools. Your distribution must include a distutils2-like setup.cfg file, and a minimal script. For details on writing the setup.cfg, see the distutils2 documentation. A simple sample can be found in d2to1’s own setup.cfg (it uses its own machinery to install itself):

name = d2to1
version = 0.1.1
author = Erik M. Bray
author-email = embray at
summary = Allows using distutils2-like setup.cfg files for a package's metadata
 with a distribute/setuptools
description-file = README
license = BSD
requires-dist = setuptools
classifier =
    Development Status :: 4 - Beta
    Environment :: Plugins
    Framework :: Setuptools Plugin
    Intended Audience :: Developers
    License :: OSI Approved :: BSD License
    Operating System :: OS Independent
    Programming Language :: Python
    Topic :: Software Development :: Build Tools
    Topic :: Software Development :: Libraries :: Python Modules
    Topic :: System :: Archiving :: Packaging

packages = d2to1

The minimal should look something like this:

#!/usr/bin/env python

    from setuptools import setup
except ImportError:
    from distribute_setup import use_setuptools
    from setuptools import setup


Note that it’s important to specify d2to1=True or else the d2to1 functionality will not be enabled. It is also possible to set d2to1=’some_file.cfg’ to specify the (relative) path of the setup.cfg file to use. But in general this functionality should not be necessary.

It should also work fine if additional arguments are passed to setup(), but it should be noted that they will be clobbered by any options in the setup.cfg file.


  • The requires-dist option in setup.cfg is implemented through the distribute/setuptools install_requires option, rather than the broken “requires” keyword in normal distutils.

  • Not all features of distutils2 are supported yet. If something doesn’t seem to be working, it’s probably not implemented yet.

  • Does not support distutils2 resources, and probably won’t since it relies heavily on the sysconfig module only available in Python 3.2 and up. This is one area in which d2to1 should really be seen as a transitional tool. I don’t really want to include a backport like distutils2 does. In the meantime, package_data and data_files may still be used under the [files] section of setup.cfg.


0.2.3 (2011-06-23)

  • Renamed ‘setup_hook’ to ‘setup_hooks’ as is now the case in the packaging module. Added support for multiple setup_hooks

0.2.2 (2011-06-15)

  • Fixed a bug in DefaultGetDict where it didn’t actually save the returned default in the dictionary–so any command options would get lost

  • Fixed a KeyError when the distribution does not have any custom commands specified

0.2.1 (2011-06-15)

  • Reimplemented command hooks without monkey-patching and more reliably in general (though it’s still a flaming hack). The previous monkey patch-based solution would break if d2to1 were entered multiple times, which could happen in some scenarios

0.2.0 (2011-06-14)

  • Version bump to start using micro-version numbers for bug fixes only, now that the my primary feature goals are complete

0.1.5 (2011-06-02)

  • Adds support for the data_files option under [files]. Though this is considered deprecated and may go away at some point, it can be useful in the absence of resources support

  • Adds support for command pre/post-hooks. Warning: this monkey-patches distutils.dist.Distribution a little bit… :(

  • Adds (slightly naive) support for PEP 345-style version specifiers in requires-dist (environment markers not supported yet)

  • Fixed a bug where not enough newlines were inserted between description files

0.1.4 (2011-05-24)

  • Adds support for custom command classes specified in the ‘commands’ option under the [global] section in setup.cfg

  • Adds preliminary support for custom compilers specified in the ‘compilers’ option under the [global] section in setup.cfg. This functionality doesn’t exist in distutils/setuptools/distribute, so adding support for it is a flaming hack. It hasn’t really been tested beyond seeing that the custom compilers come up in build_ext –help-compiler, so any real-world testing of this feature would be appreciated

0.1.3 (2011-04-20)

  • Adds zest.releaser entry points for updating the version number in a setup.cfg file; only useful if you use zest.releaser–otherwise harmless (might eventually move this functionality out into a separate product)

  • Though version 0.1.2 worked in Python3, use_2to3 wasn’t added to the so 2to3 had to be run manually

  • Fixed a crash on projects that don’t have a description-file option

0.1.2 (2011-04-13)

  • Fixed the self-installation–it did not work if a d2to1 version was not already installed, due to the use of pkg_resources.require()

  • Adds nominal Python3 support

  • Fixes the ‘classifier’ option in setup.cfg

0.1.1 (2011-04-12)

  • Fixed an unhelpful error message when a setup_hook fails to import

  • Made d2to1 able to use its own machinery to install itself

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