Sometimes, the alternate installation schemes described in section 3 just don't do what you want. You might want to tweak just one or two directories while keeping everything under the same base directory, or you might want to completely redefine the installation scheme. In either case, you're creating a custom installation scheme.
You probably noticed the column of ``override options'' in the tables describing the alternate installation schemes above. Those options are how you define a custom installation scheme. These override options can be relative, absolute, or explicitly defined in terms of one of the installation base directories. (There are two installation base directories, and they are normally the same--they only differ when you use the Unix ``prefix scheme'' and supply different --prefix and --exec-prefix options.)
For example, say you're installing a module distribution to your home directory under Unix--but you want scripts to go in ~/scripts rather than ~/bin. As you might expect, you can override this directory with the --install-scripts option; in this case, it makes most sense to supply a relative path, which will be interpreted relative to the installation base directory (your home directory, in this case):
python setup.py install --home=~ --install-scripts=scripts
Another Unix example: suppose your Python installation was built and installed with a prefix of /usr/local/python, so under a standard installation scripts will wind up in /usr/local/python/bin. If you want them in /usr/local/bin instead, you would supply this absolute directory for the --install-scripts option:
python setup.py install --install-scripts=/usr/local/bin
(This performs an installation using the ``prefix scheme,'' where the prefix is whatever your Python interpreter was installed with-- /usr/local/python in this case.)
If you maintain Python on Windows, you might want third-party modules to live in a subdirectory of prefix, rather than right in prefix itself. This is almost as easy as customizing the script installation directory--you just have to remember that there are two types of modules to worry about, pure modules and non-pure modules (i.e., modules from a non-pure distribution). For example:
python setup.py install --install-purelib=Site --install-platlib=Site
The specified installation directories are relative to prefix. Of course, you also have to ensure that these directories are in Python's module search path, such as by putting a .pth file in prefix. See section 4.1 to find out how to modify Python's search path.
If you want to define an entire installation scheme, you just have to supply all of the installation directory options. The recommended way to do this is to supply relative paths; for example, if you want to maintain all Python module-related files under python in your home directory, and you want a separate directory for each platform that you use your home directory from, you might define the following installation scheme:
python setup.py install --home=~ \ --install-purelib=python/lib \ --install-platlib=python/lib.$PLAT \ --install-scripts=python/scripts --install-data=python/data
python setup.py install --home=~/python \ --install-purelib=lib \ --install-platlib='lib.$PLAT' \ --install-scripts=scripts --install-data=data
$PLAT is not (necessarily) an environment variable--it will be
expanded by the Distutils as it parses your command line options, just
as it does when parsing your configuration file(s).
Obviously, specifying the entire installation scheme every time you install a new module distribution would be very tedious. Thus, you can put these options into your Distutils config file (see section 5):
[install] install-base=$HOME install-purelib=python/lib install-platlib=python/lib.$PLAT install-scripts=python/scripts install-data=python/data
[install] install-base=$HOME/python install-purelib=lib install-platlib=lib.$PLAT install-scripts=scripts install-data=data
Note that these two are not equivalent if you supply a different installation base directory when you run the setup script. For example,
python setup.py install --install-base=/tmp
would install pure modules to /tmp/python/lib in the first case, and to /tmp/lib in the second case. (For the second case, you probably want to supply an installation base of /tmp/python.)
You probably noticed the use of
$PLAT in the
sample configuration file input. These are Distutils configuration
variables, which bear a strong resemblance to environment variables.
In fact, you can use environment variables in config files on
platforms that have such a notion but the Distutils additionally
define a few extra variables that may not be in your environment, such
$PLAT. (And of course, on systems that don't have
environment variables, such as Mac OS 9, the configuration
variables supplied by the Distutils are the only ones you can use.)
See section 5 for details.
When the Python interpreter executes an import statement, it
searches for both Python code and extension modules along a search
path. A default value for the path is configured into the Python
binary when the interpreter is built. You can determine the path by
importing the sys module and printing the value of
$ python Python 2.2 (#11, Oct 3 2002, 13:31:27) [GCC 2.96 20000731 (Red Hat Linux 7.3 2.96-112)] on linux2 Type ``help'', ``copyright'', ``credits'' or ``license'' for more information. >>> import sys >>> sys.path ['', '/usr/local/lib/python2.3', '/usr/local/lib/python2.3/plat-linux2', '/usr/local/lib/python2.3/lib-tk', '/usr/local/lib/python2.3/lib-dynload', '/usr/local/lib/python2.3/site-packages'] >>>
The null string in
sys.path represents the current working
The expected convention for locally installed packages is to put them
in the .../site-packages/ directory, but you may want to
install Python modules into some arbitrary directory. For example,
your site may have a convention of keeping all software related to the
web server under /www. Add-on Python modules might then belong
in /www/python, and in order to import them, this directory
must be added to
sys.path. There are several different ways to
add the directory.
The most convenient way is to add a path configuration file to a
directory that's already on Python's path, usually to the
.../site-packages/ directory. Path configuration files have an
extension of .pth, and each line must contain a single path
that will be appended to
sys.path. (Because the new paths are
sys.path, modules in the added directories will not
override standard modules. This means you can't use this mechanism
for installing fixed versions of standard modules.)
Paths can be absolute or relative, in which case they're relative to the directory containing the .pth file. Any directories added to the search path will be scanned in turn for .pth files. See site module documentation for more information.
A slightly less convenient way is to edit the site.py file in
Python's standard library, and modify
is automatically imported when the Python interpreter is executed,
unless the -S switch is supplied to suppress this
behaviour. So you could simply edit site.py and add two lines to it:
import sys sys.path.append('/www/python/')
However, if you reinstall the same major version of Python (perhaps when upgrading from 2.2 to 2.2.2, for example) site.py will be overwritten by the stock version. You'd have to remember that it was modified and save a copy before doing the installation.
There are two environment variables that can modify
PYTHONHOME sets an alternate value for the prefix of the
Python installation. For example, if PYTHONHOME is set to
"/www/python", the search path will be set to
The PYTHONPATH variable can be set to a list of paths that
will be added to the beginning of
sys.path. For example, if
PYTHONPATH is set to "/www/python:/opt/py", the search
path will begin with
['/www/python', '/opt/py']. (Note that
directories must exist in order to be added to
site module removes paths that don't exist.)
sys.path is just a regular Python list, so any Python
application can modify it by adding or removing entries.
See About this document... for information on suggesting changes.