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A CLI tool to safely install CLI programs from PyPi

Project description


pip-safe is the safe and easy pip package manager for command-line apps from PyPi.

pip-safe install lastversion
lastversion linux


Using pip install ... outside virtualenv can simply break your system. So many tutorials out there blindly recommend that without any note of having to use virtualenvs, and so many people do just run that without any knowledge of what a virtualenv is.

If you run an OS which distributes Python packages via yum, apt, etc. you will break your system sooner or later, if you keep using pip as root or sudo.

You either have to package the Python-based program yourself, or have to use a virtualenv for installing it. Everything else is a risk of breakage.

pip-safe is here to make it very easy to install command-line apps from PyPi without having to package anything.



Configure your PATH to execute stuff from ~/.local/bin and /usr/local/bin.

Place export PATH=$PATH:$HOME/.local/bin:/usr/local/bin in your ~/.bashrc then run source ~/.bashrc to apply to current shell.

CentOS/RHEL 7, 8

sudo yum install$(rpm -E %{rhel})-latest.rpm
sudo yum install pip-safe

Using pip-safe command installs stuff using Python 3.

You can additionally yum install pip2-safe to have pip2-safe (would be required for installing apps which support only Python 2).

Other systems

Install pip-safe for current user

If you install pip-safe using this method, you can only install packages for current user, but this method does not require root.

Ensure virtualenv-3 is installed and ~/.local/bin is in your PATH, then:

mkdir -p ~/.virtualenvs
virtualenv-3 ~/.virtualenvs/pip-safe
~/.virtualenvs/pip-safe/bin/pip install pip-safe
ln -s $HOME/.virtualenvs/pip-safe/bin/pip-safe $HOME/.local/bin/pip-safe

System-wide installation of pip-safe

When pip-safe is installed system-wide, you can install both system-wide and user packages with it.

Ensure virtualenv-3 is installed and /usr/local/bin is in your PATH, then:

mkdir -p /opt/pip-safe
virtualenv-3 /opt/pip-safe/pip-safe
/opt/pip-safe/pip-safe/bin/pip install pip-safe
ln -s /opt/pip-safe/pip-safe/bin/pip-safe /usr/local/bin/pip-safe


usage: pip-safe [-h] [-v] [-y] [--system] <command> [package-name]

positional arguments:

optional arguments:
  -h, --help       show this help message and exit
  -v, --verbose
  -y, --assumeyes

Installing a program

pip-safe install <name>

To see what's going on under the hood, pass --verbose flag.

Global installation

By default, programs are installed to ~/.local/bin/<package> (for current user). For a system-wide installation, use --system:

sudo pip-safe install --system lastversion  

This installs a package to /opt/pip-safe/<package> and symlinks its executable to /usr/local/bin, so it's still safe :)

Removing a program

pip-safe remove <name>

Listing installed packages

pip-safe list    

With pip-safe, you can easily install command line programs from PyPi, while not worrying about breaking your system.


it installs each program into its own virtualenv, and symlinks whichever executables it has over to ~/.local/bin/

It is that easy and I don't know why nobody did this before.


  • Only pure Python apps will work absolutely reliably, because others might require system libraries and we can't decipher what are those
  • Tested only with Python 3.6

Helpful stuff used while creating pip-safe

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