Install and Run Python Applications in Isolated Environments
pipx — Install and Run Python Applications in Isolated Environments
Source Code: https://github.com/pipxproject/pipx
For comparison to other tools including pipsi, see Comparison to Other Tools.
brew install pipx pipx ensurepath
Upgrade pipx with
brew update && brew upgrade pipx.
Otherwise, install via pip:
python3 -m pip install --user pipx python3 -m pipx ensurepath
Upgrade pipx with
python3 -m pip install --user -U pipx.
Shell completions are available by following the instructions printed with this command:
For more details, see the installation instructions.
Overview: What is
pipx is a tool to help you install and run end-user applications written in Python. It's roughly similar to macOS's
It's closely related to pip. In fact, it uses pip, but is focused on installing and managing Python packages that can be run from the command line directly as applications.
How is it Different from pip?
pip is a general-purpose package installer for both libraries and apps with no environment isolation. pipx is made specifically for application installation, as it adds isolation yet still makes the apps available in your shell: pipx creates an isolated environment for each application and its associated packages.
pipx does not ship with pip, but installing it is often an important part of bootstrapping your system.
pipx Install Apps From?
By default, pipx uses the same package index as pip, PyPI. pipx can also install from all other sources pip can, such as a local directory, wheel, git url, etc.
Python and PyPI allow developers to distribute code with "console script entry points". These entry points let users call into Python code from the command line, effectively acting like standalone applications.
pipx is a tool to install and run any of these thousands of application-containing packages in a safe, convenient, and reliable way. In a way, it turns Python Package Index (PyPI) into a big app store for Python applications. Not all Python packages have entry points, but many do.
If you would like to make your package compatible with pipx, all you need to do is add a console scripts entry point. If you're a poetry user, use these instructions.
pipx enables you to
- Expose CLI entrypoints of packages ("apps") installed to isolated environments with the
installcommand. This guarantees no dependency conflicts and clean uninstalls!
- Easily list, upgrade, and uninstall packages that were installed with pipx
- Run the latest version of a Python application in a temporary environment with the
Best of all, pipx runs with regular user permissions, never calling
sudo pip install (you aren't doing that, are you? 😄).
Walkthrough: Installing a Package and its Applications With
You can globally install an application by running
pipx install PACKAGE
This automatically creates a virtual environment, installs the package, and adds the package's associated applications (entry points) to a location on your
PATH. For example,
pipx install pycowsay makes the
pycowsay command available globally, but sandboxes the pycowsay package in its own virtual environment. pipx never needs to run as sudo to do this.
>> pipx install pycowsay installed package pycowsay 2.0.3, Python 3.7.3 These apps are now globally available - pycowsay done! ✨ 🌟 ✨ >> pipx list venvs are in /home/user/.local/pipx/venvs apps are exposed on your $PATH at /home/user/.local/bin package pycowsay 2.0.3, Python 3.7.3 - pycowsay # Now you can run pycowsay from anywhere >> pycowsay mooo ____ < mooo > ==== \ \ ^__^ (oo)\_______ (__)\ )\/\ ||----w | || ||
Installing from Source Control
You can also install from a git repository. Here,
black is used as an example.
pipx install git+https://github.com/psf/black.git pipx install git+https://github.com/psf/black.git@branch # branch of your choice pipx install git+https://github.com/psf/black.git@ce14fa8b497bae2b50ec48b3bd7022573a59cdb1 # git hash pipx install https://github.com/psf/black/archive/18.9b0.zip # install a release
Walkthrough: Running an Application in a Temporary Virtual Environment
This is an alternative to
pipx run downloads and runs the above mentioned Python "apps" in a one-time, temporary environment, leaving your system untouched afterwards.
This can be handy when you need to run the latest version of an app, but don't necessarily want it installed on your computer.
You may want to do this when you are initializing a new project and want to set up the right directory structure, when you want to view the help text of an application, or if you simply want to run an app in a one-off case and leave your system untouched afterwards.
For example, the blog post How to set up a perfect Python project uses
pipx run to kickstart a new project with cookiecutter, a tool that creates projects from project templates.
A nice side benefit is that you don't have to remember to upgrade the app since
pipx run will automatically run a recent version for you.
Okay, let's see what this looks like in practice!
pipx run APP [ARGS...]
This will install the package in an isolated, temporary directory and invoke the app. Give it a try:
> pipx run pycowsay moo --- < moo > --- \ ^__^ \ (oo)\_______ (__)\ )\/\ ||----w | || ||
Notice that you don't need to execute any install commands to run the app.
Any arguments after the application name will be passed directly to the application:
> pipx run pycowsay these arguments are all passed to pycowsay! ------------------------------------------- < these arguments are all passed to pycowsay! > ------------------------------------------- \ ^__^ \ (oo)\_______ (__)\ )\/\ ||----w | || ||
Re-running the same app is quick because pipx caches Virtual Environments on a per-app basis. The caches only last a few days, and when they expire, pipx will again use the latest version of the package. This way you can be sure you're always running a new version of the package without having to manually upgrade.
If the app name does not match that package name, you can use the
pipx run --spec PACKAGE APP
You can also use the
--spec argument to run a specific version, or use any other
pipx run --spec PACKAGE==1.0.0 APP
Running from Source Control
You can also run from a git repository. Here,
black is used as an example.
pipx run --spec git+https://github.com/psf/black.git black pipx run --spec git+https://github.com/psf/black.git@branch black # branch of your choice pipx run --spec git+https://github.com/psf/black.git@ce14fa8b497bae2b50ec48b3bd7022573a59cdb1 black # git hash pipx run --spec https://github.com/psf/black/archive/18.9b0.zip black # install a release
Running from URL
You can run .py files directly, too.
pipx run https://gist.githubusercontent.com/cs01/fa721a17a326e551ede048c5088f9e0f/raw/6bdfbb6e9c1132b1c38fdd2f195d4a24c540c324/pipx-demo.py pipx is working!
That's it! Those are the most important commands
pipx offers. To see all of pipx's documentation, run
pipx --help or see the docs.
pipx was inspired by pipsi and npx. It was created by Chad Smith and has had lots of help from contributors. The logo was created by @IrishMorales.
pipx is maintained by a team of volunteers (in alphabetical order)
Issues and Pull Requests are definitely welcome! Check out Contributing to get started.
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