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Customize abi resolution for a given virtualenv setup.

Project description


Modifies pip for a virtualenv to prefer a custom abi tag. This is used to make it easy to install compiled c++ packages like numpy and scipy that work for a given Digital Content Creation software (DCC) like Maya, 3ds Max, Nuke, Houdini, etc.


Here is a example of creating a virtualenv designed to install wheels compatible with DCC's compiled with Visual Studio 2015. Create the virtual environment and activate it.

$ virtualenv msvc2015_64
$ msvc2015_64\Scripts\activate
(python) $ pip install virtualenvconfig

Setting the abi

You can specify the abi(s) that pip will try to download before the normal wheels. In this example pip will try to download wheels with a abi of vc2015. If no matching package is found, it will try to download wheels with a abi of vc2010. If no matching package is found, it will attempt to find a package as pip normally does. Make sure to call python so you use the virtualenv's python, not the system python.

(python) $ cd msvc2015_64\lib\site-packages
(python) $ python --set-abi vc2015 --set-abi vc2010


Up to this point, we haven't actually updated pip's behavior. We need to monkey patch pip so it respects our custom abi settings. This is done by adding/updating When python is being initialized it will attempt to import sitecustomize. Any errors in this file being imported are suppressed.

This command will create

(python) $ --install

If already exists, you need to pass the --overwrite or -o argument

(python) $ python --install -o

This creates in the lib folder not the site-packages folder. This makes it so the sitecustomize python script is only run when activating the virtualenv, not if the site-packages directory is used without activating the virtualenv.

Building custom abi wheels

Now that we can force pip to prefer a given set of abi's, we need to be able to build pip packages for those custom abi's. This can be done by updating your pip package's file to use a the custom bdist_wheel class abi_bdist_wheel. This will add a required command line argument to --abi [abi_name] allowing you to specify the abi used when building the wheel.

An example

from setuptools import setup, find_packages
import virtualenvconfig

	# Force the build command to be passed the target abi as a command line argument
	cmdclass={'bdist_wheel': virtualenvconfig.abi_bdist_wheel()},

Virtualenv setup at Blur

Blur creates a virtualenv for each required Microsoft Visual C++ compiled version required for the DCC software's we need. For example to support Maya 2018/2019, 3ds Max 2018/19, houdini16.5/17 we create C:\blur\lib\msvc2015_64_qt5\{release}\python as a python 2.7 virtualenv. We then activate and pip install all the packages we want access to in python for these DCC's. This includes numpy/scipy compiled for msvc2010, and our custom PyQt and database code compiled with msvc2015 to be compatible with the DCC's. Then as part of our startup scripts we insert C:\blur\lib\msvc2015_64_qt5\{release}\python\Lib\site-packages at the start of sys.path allowing the DCC to use the python modules installed there.

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