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run with this

Project description


RWT (Run With This) provides on-demand dependency resolution, making packages available for the duration of an interpreter session.

  • Allows declaration of dependencies at runtime.
  • Downloads missing dependencies and makes their packages available for import.
  • Installs packages to a special staging location such that they’re not installed after the process exits.
  • Relies on pip to cache downloads of such packages for reuse.
  • Supersedes installed packages when required.
  • Relies on packages already satisfied [1].
  • Re-uses the pip tool chain for package installation.

RWT is not intended to solve production dependency management, but does aim to address the other, one-off scenarios around dependency management:

  • build setup
  • test runners
  • just in time script running
  • interactive development

RWT is a compliment to Pip and Virtualenv and Setuptools, intended to more readily address the on-demand needs and supersede some features like setup_requires.

[1]Except when a requirements file is used.


  • as script launcher
  • as runtime dependency context manager
  • as interactive interpreter in dependency context
  • as module launcher (akin to python -m)

Invoke rwt from the command-line using the console entry script (simply rwt) or using the module executable ( python -m rwt).

Parameters following rwt are passed directly to pip install, so rwt numpy will install numpy (reporting any work done during the install) and rwt -q -r requirements.txt will quietly install all the requirements listed in a file called requirements.txt.

Following the parameters to pip install, one may optionally include a -- after which any parameters will be passed to a Python interpreter in the context.


The examples folder in this project includes some examples demonstrating the power and usefulness of the project. Read the docs on those examples for instructions.

In many of these examples, the option -q is passed to rwt to suppress the output from pip.

Interactive Interpreter

RWT also offers a painless way to run a Python interactive interpreter in the context of certain dependencies:

$ /clean-install/python -m rwt -q boto
>>> import boto

Command Runner

Note that everything after the – is passed to the python invocation, so it’s possible to have a one-liner that runs under a dependency context:

$ python -m rwt -q requests -- -c "import requests; print(requests.get('').status_code)"

Script Runner

Let’s say you have a script that has a one-off purpose. It’s either not part of a library, where dependencies are normally declared, or it is normally executed outside the context of that library. Still, that script probably has dependencies, say on requests. Here’s how you can use rwt to declare the dependencies and launch the script in a context where those dependencies have been resolved.

First, add a __requires__ directive at the head of the script:

#!/usr/bin/env python

__requires__ = ['requests']

import requests

req = requests.get('')

Then, simply invoke that script with rwt:

$ python -m rwt -q --

The format for requirements must follow PEP 508.

Note that URLs specifiers are not supported by pip, but rwt supports a global __dependency_links__ attribute which can be used, for example, to install requirement from a project VCS URL:

#!/usr/bin/env python

__requires__ = ['foo==0.42']
__dependency_links__ = ['git+ssh://']


rwt also recognizes a global __index_url__ attribute. If present, this value will supply --index-url to pip with the attribute value, allowing a script to specify a custom package index:

#!/usr/bin/env python

__requires__ = ['my_private_package']
__index_url__ = 'https://my.private.index/'

import my_private_package

Replacing setup_requires

Following the script example, you can make your file compatible with rwt by declaring your depenedencies in the __requires__ directive:

#!/usr/bin/env python

__requires__ = ['setuptools', 'setuptools_scm']

import setuptools


When invoked with rwt, the dependencies will be assured before the script is run, or if run with setuptools, the dependencies will be loaded using the older technique, so the script is backward compatible.

Replacing tests_require

Although this example is included for completeness, because the technique is somewhat clumsy, the author currently recommends using tox for running tests except in extremely lean environments.

You can also replace tests_require. Consider a package that runs tests using test and relies on the tests_require directive to resolve dependencies needed during testing. Simply declare your dependencies in a separate file, e.g. “tests/requirements.txt”:

cat > tests/requiremenst.txt

For compatibility, expose those same requirements as tests_require in

with'tests/requirements.txt') as tr:
    tests_require = [
            for line in tr
            if re.match('\w+', line)


Then invoke tests with rwt:

$ python -m rwt -r tests/requirements.txt -- test

While still supporting the old technique:

$ python test

Supplying parameters to Pip

If you’ve been using rwt, you may have defined some requirements in the __requires__ of a script, but now you wish to install those to a more permanent environment. rwt provides a routine to facilitate this case:

$ python -m my_dependency

If you’re on Unix, you may pipe this result directly to pip:

$ pip install $(python -m

And since pipenv uses the same syntax, the same technique works for pipenv:

$ pipenv install $(python -m

How Does It Work

RWT effectively does the following:

  • pip install -t $TMPDIR
  • cleanup

For specifics, see


The author created this package with the intention of demonstrating the capability before integrating it directly with pip in a command such as pip run. After proposing the change, the idea was largely rejected in pip 3971.

If you would like to see this functionality made available in pip, please upvote or comment in that ticket.


RWT uses semver, so you can use this library with confidence about the stability of the interface, even during periods of great flux.


Invoke tests with tox.

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