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Installation Instructions


Install setuptools using the provided .exe installer. If you’ve previously installed older versions of setuptools, please delete all setuptools*.egg and setuptools.pth files from your system’s site-packages directory (and any other sys.path directories) FIRST.

If you are upgrading a previous version of setuptools that was installed using an .exe installer, please be sure to also uninstall that older version via your system’s “Add/Remove Programs” feature, BEFORE installing the newer version.

Once installation is complete, you will find an easy_install.exe program in your Python Scripts subdirectory. Be sure to add this directory to your PATH environment variable, if you haven’t already done so.

RPM-Based Systems

Install setuptools using the provided source RPM. The included .spec file assumes you are installing using the default python executable, and is not specific to a particular Python version. The easy_install executable will be installed to a system bin directory such as /usr/bin.

If you wish to install to a location other than the default Python installation’s default site-packages directory (and $prefix/bin for scripts), please use the .egg-based installation approach described in the following section.

Cygwin, Mac OS X, Linux, Other

  1. Download the appropriate egg for your version of Python (e.g. setuptools-0.6c4-py2.4.egg). Do NOT rename it.

  2. Run it as if it were a shell script, e.g. sh setuptools-0.6c4-py2.4.egg. Setuptools will install itself using the matching version of Python (e.g. python2.4), and will place the easy_install executable in the default location for installing Python scripts (as determined by the standard distutils configuration files, or by the Python installation).

If you want to install setuptools to somewhere other than site-packages or your default distutils installation locations for libraries and scripts, you may include EasyInstall command-line options such as --prefix, --install-dir, and so on, following the .egg filename on the same command line. For example:

sh setuptools-0.6c4-py2.4.egg --prefix=~

You can use --help to get a full options list, but we recommend consulting the EasyInstall manual for detailed instructions, especially the section on custom installation locations.

Cygwin Note

If you are trying to install setuptools for the Windows version of Python (as opposed to the Cygwin version that lives in /usr/bin), you must make sure that an appropriate executable (python2.3, python2.4, or python2.5) is on your Cygwin PATH when invoking the egg. For example, doing the following at a Cygwin bash prompt will install setuptools for the Windows Python found at C:\\Python24:

ln -s /cygdrive/c/Python24/python.exe python2.4
PATH=.:$PATH sh setuptools-0.6c4-py2.4.egg
rm python2.4


All setuptools downloads can be found at the project’s home page in the Python Cheese Shop. Scroll to the very bottom of the page to find the links.

Using Setuptools and EasyInstall

Here are some of the available manuals, tutorials, and other resources for learning about Setuptools, Python Eggs, and EasyInstall:

Questions, comments, and bug reports should be directed to the distutils-sig mailing list. If you have written (or know of) any tutorials, documentation, plug-ins, or other resources for setuptools users, please let us know about them there, so this reference list can be updated.


  • The original design for the .egg format and the pkg_resources API was co-created by Phillip Eby and Bob Ippolito. Bob also implemented the first version of pkg_resources, and supplied the OS X operating system version compatibility algorithm.

  • Ian Bicking implemented many early “creature comfort” features of easy_install, including support for downloading via Sourceforge and Subversion repositories. Ian’s comments on the Web-SIG about WSGI application deployment also inspired the concept of “entry points” in eggs, and he has given talks at PyCon and elsewhere to inform and educate the community about eggs and setuptools.

  • Jim Fulton contributed time and effort to build automated tests of various aspects of easy_install, and supplied the doctests for the command-line .exe wrappers on Windows.

  • Phillip J. Eby is the principal author and maintainer of setuptools, and first proposed the idea of an importable binary distribution format for Python application plug-ins.

  • Significant parts of the implementation of setuptools were funded by the Open Source Applications Foundation, to provide a plug-in infrastructure for the Chandler PIM application. In addition, many OSAF staffers (such as Mike “Code Bear” Taylor) contributed their time and stress as guinea pigs for the use of eggs and setuptools, even before eggs were “cool”. (Thanks, guys!)

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