[Distutils] Setuptools and non-system installs

Michael Hoffman hoffman at ebi.ac.uk
Mon Jul 11 16:39:45 CEST 2005

I was trying to install setuptools in my home directory on a system I
don't have root access to using the command "python setup.py install
--home=~". Of course, since it installs as an egg, I can't use it
unless I *specifically* add it to my PYTHONPATH. This would be a pain
should it be necessary to add for every egg I install.

I've added a workaround to my ~/lib/python/sitecustomize.py
(~/lib/python is in PYTHONPATH) which uses the existing machinery in
site.py to process .pth files in all of the entries of sys.path, not
just the default sitedirs.

I've noticed, however, that Guido has rejected a patch
<http://www.python.org/sf/1174614> to have the default site.py search
.pth files in other directories, mainly because all the extra path
searching at each startup might slow down startup on some systems.

The best solution I can think of is to think of is to have some
directory that is explicitly searched for .pth files (or even
.egg/.zip files) and has them added to the path. This would still
require some changes to sitecustomize.py (and hopefully eventually
site.py), so it keeps eggs from working OOTB on this type of system.

What do you think is the best way to have eggs loaded from non-system
Michael Hoffman <hoffman at ebi.ac.uk>
European Bioinformatics Institute

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