Distutils is a mechanism to distribute Python packages and extensions provided in the Python standard library since Python 1.6.
Maintenance of the Python packaging ecosystem has largely moved away from the standard library and the CPython core development team and is now being handled by distutils-sig and the Python Packaging Authority.
For up to date user focused documentation, refer to the Python Packaging User Guide: https://packaging.python.org
For more details on the Python Packaging Authority, its goals, and current activities: https://www.pypa.io
The rest of this page and its subpages relate to a previous attempt at improving the Python packaging ecosystem, known as distutils2. Much of it can likely be deleted, but it should be reviewed first to see if any of it should be preserved.
Historical distutils2 focused content
- plugin systems, entry points
- static metadata
- testing infrastructure
Past distutils2 work
Distutils/Terminology: New terminology
Distutils/VersionComparison : the goal is to come up with a version comparison system that superseds Distutils' current one
Distutils/StandardizeEggInfo : the goal is to finalize PEP 376
Distutils/Metadata : the goal is to finalize PEP 345
Distutils/StaticMetadata : the goal is to come out with a proposal to split setup.py into a static metadata file + a lighter, almost empty script.
Distutils/Friends : the goal is to try to find a project, a person or a group of person on each platform that is willing to maintain a third-party tool that build system-specific distros out of python package.
Distutils/PluginSystem : a Plugin system to extend commands
Distutils/TestingInfrastructure : Testing infrastructure
PyPI's XML-RPC interface for querying the packages database
/Projects - please add a listing to this page if you're working on Distutils (and help us reduce duplication of effort)
/Extensions is a repository of extensions for your "setup.py".
/Tutorial is a small tutorial to introduce the topic. It includes a complete demo, from start to finish.
Python Package Index Tutorial by Jeremy Hylton covers the use of the distutils register command.
Distutils module was included in standard distribution in Python 1.6. It was back in year 2000. Before that Distutils was available in Python 1.5.2 as a separate download. Since then Distutils expanded with new commands, but after almost 10 years basic principles stays the same - there is central setup.py file, which everybody can add its own code to. There is configuration setup.cfg where you can set default options for supported Distutils commands. The flexibility that Distutils architecture promotes, the lack of conventions and API that enforces them resulted in that there still no way to uninstall or list installed packages/modules, no way to query their versions either. Absence of clear border between Distutils and custom code places additional burden on newcomers in Distutils packaging that prefer to learn by example from some other existing configuration.
Distutils/DistributeSprint : Sprint ideas
#distutils - irc channel for Distutils