[Distutils] [final version?] PEP 513 - A Platform Tag for Portable Linux Built Distributions

Paul Moore p.f.moore at gmail.com
Tue Feb 16 07:26:39 EST 2016

On 16 February 2016 at 11:05, Matthias Klose <doko at ubuntu.com> wrote:
> You may call this sour grapes, but in the light of people installing
> these wheels to replace/upgrade system installed eggs, it becomes an issue.
> It's fine to use such wheels in a virtual environment, however people tell
> users to use these wheels to replace system installed packages, distros will
> have a problem identifying issues.

OK, so are you not simply saying that people shouldn't be using (sudo)
pip to install packages into the system environment instead of using
the system packages?

As a non-Linux user my opinion isn't that relevant, but I don't see an
issue with a statement like this. I gather that people typically do
this when the distro packages aren't available, or don't provide a
sufficiently up to date version, but that's a separate issue.

I don't know to what extent using "sudo pip install" to install
packages into the system Python is considered "supported" by the pip
developers. While we're not going to get into a situation of trying to
enforce distro policies, but there's equally an implicit "but your
distro may not support this" around *any* use of "sudo pip", so it's
not as if we're *encouraging* people to do it.

IMO, manylinux wheels should be viewed as a solution for people using
virtualenvs, for people with their own Python builds, or using pyenv,
or similar. As far as interaction with the distro-packaged Python is
concerned, "you should use the system package manager to manage the
system Python" is the basic message - but if (for whatever reason)
people can't or won't do that, then I'm OK with pip supporting people
who choose to install such wheels into the system Python - if they
have issues, then we'll likely fall back on "you should take it up
with your distro", and we'll be perfectly OK with the distro's
response being "get those manylinux wheels out of our managed


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