[Distutils] Other ideas from today's packaging meetup at EuroPython

Nick Coghlan ncoghlan at gmail.com
Sat Jul 26 00:08:07 CEST 2014

On 26 Jul 2014 05:56, "Donald Stufft" <donald at stufft.io> wrote:
> On July 25, 2014 at 3:50:30 PM, Wichert Akkerman (wichert at wiggy.net)
>> Will that guarantee the OS-provided Python was used? Or is there still a
risk someone was using a custom compiled Python on an Ubuntu 14.04 system
that is not binary compatible with the Ubuntu-provided Python?
>> Wichert.
> No It won’t guarantee the OS-provided Python is used. It doesn’t even
guarantee that the OS provided libs are being linked to. However at that
point you’ve more or less reached parity with Windows and OSX where Wheels
(and Eggs before them) are generally built to target the “System” Python
and if you’re not using the “System” Python you might end up having a bad

As Donald says, we haven't worked out the exact technical details yet, but
the general idea is that just as a Windows or Mac OS X wheel published on
PyPI should be binary compatible with the corresponding python.org
installer, it should be possible to get the relevant info into wheel
filenames for people to be able to indicate the expected contents of

That's probably *over* specifying things, but Linux distros vary enough
that anything coarser grained would likely be unreliable if used directly
with the system Python.

Another way to go, if softwarecollections.org (aka "virtualenv for your
distro package manager") gets any traction whatsoever on the Debian/Ubuntu
side of the world, would be to publish wheels based on *software
collection* compatibility, rather than distro compatibility. That would be
appealing to me wearing both my packaging hats - making prebuilt binaries
for libraries more readily available to Python users in a way that maps to
Python versions rather than distro variants, while at the same time
encouraging them to get their end user applications the heck out of the
system Python so they aren't tied so closely to the distro upgrade cycle :)

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