[Distutils] pip on windows experience

Thomas Heller theller at ctypes.org
Thu Jan 23 12:48:10 CET 2014

After having used and built bdist_wininst installers for years (well, I
should say decades) I have recently started playing with pip.

In theory, it is a grat solution.  Respects virtual environments
(although I haven't tested them yet), allows to freeze to a requirements
file, and so on.

It would allow to freeze and then commit a requirements file into our
version control system, add a 'pip install -r requirements.txt' to our
build scripts, and any user in out company as well as the build server
would automatically have installed all the required stuff. (We have 8
developers working on our source code, plus a build server that does
automatic builds).

However, does it work in real life?

There are no wheels for important packages like pywin32, numpy, lxml,
at least not on PyPi.  'pip install' using the source packages fails to
build for most but the simplest stuff; probably because distutils has
been extended too much, or because header files or libraries are
missing, or whatever...

Is there a solution to this?  I've seen that the wheel tool can convert
bdist_wininst installers into wheels - does this work for the packages
I mentioned above?  Do we have to build or convert to wheel those
packages, and setup a central place where we store them and make them
available to our developers?

BTW: It seems the pip 1.4.1 doesn't download the wheel built with the
most recent setuptools/wheel version, instead it downloads and tries
to build from the source package.


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