[Distutils] Installing large applications

Fred L. Drake, Jr. fdrake at acm.org
Tue Jun 15 12:22:21 EDT 2004

On Tuesday 15 June 2004 09:02 am, Flavio Codeco Coelho wrote:
 > I would hope the installation procedure would keep all the files under a
 > folder in site-packages named after the application name, which is given
 > in the setup.py. That would make is easier to manually remove an
 > application if necessary

If you make you application a script plus a Pyhon package, you'll get 
something closer to what you're asking for.  I've also merged in Phillip 
Eby's package_data support for Python 2.4; this makes it easy to have data 
installed into your package directly.  Your setup.py could be simply:

from distutils.core import setup

      package_data={'mypackage': ['mypackage/*.dat']},

This would cause the installation to be the script itself (still in 
/usr/bin/), and a directory containing the Python package "mypackage" 

The package_data support will be available in Python 2.4, or you can use 
Phillip's "setuptools" package.  For more information about setuptools, see


We've been using setuptools effectively for Zope X3, and have been pleased 
with it.  (We've only been using the package_data functionality, however.)

 > (I reckon distutils does not support unistalls?
 > please correct me if I am wrong).

Distutils is likely to grow an uninstaller at some point, once the 
installation / package database is implemented.  I'm not sure of the status 
of that effort at this time, though I'd like to see it move forward.  I know 
Andrew Kuchling has worked on this and has invited others to participate, but 
I'm sorry to say I've lacked the time.

 > Maybe my frustrations are due to my lack of knowledge of distutils, but
 > the documentation available does not help a lot.

No, the documentation doesn't help much.  If you can offer *specific* 
suggestions, preferrably in the form of bug reports (so they don't get lost), 
I'll do what I can to improve the docs.


Fred L. Drake, Jr.  <fdrake at acm.org>
PythonLabs at Zope Corporation

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