Install modules with no root privilegies

Jorgen Grahn grahn+nntp at
Fri Nov 28 10:50:42 CET 2008

On Mon, 24 Nov 2008 20:11:42 +0100, Diez B. Roggisch <deets at> wrote:
> Philipp Pagel wrote:
>> Alfons Nonell-Canals <alfons.nonell at> wrote:
>>> Install python modules in a linux computer is really easy, it is because
>>> the module is a package of the distribution or because the python
>>> installation is really easy. But, in both situations, you need root
>>> privilegies.
>>> I would like to know how to install modules only for one user, with no
>>> root privilegies. Do you know if it is possible and easy.
>> Yes, there is. You can choose among two strategies referred to as "home
>> scheme" and "prefix scheme" in the "Installing Python Modules"
>> documentation:
>> Have a look at Section 3 "Alternate installation".
> That's waaaaaaaaay much more than is actually needed, as thus each user
> would end up with a different installation.

The "home scheme", you mean. It seems to me that this is exactly what
the poster wants -- mess with a bunch of modules without having to
consider anyone else's needs.

> Setting the PYTHONPATH-env-variable to a user writable location allows e.g.
> easy_install and friends to install into that location.

Yes, but the users have to trust everyone with write access to that
place. Someone could replace a module with a trojan horse, or simply
with a newer version which isn't compatible, and things would break.

Sometimes this is OK, but sometimes you only trust root and yourself.

> And installing
> virtualenv globally, everybody can create a "local"
> site-packages-directory.

Cannot comment -- I haven't used it.


  // Jorgen Grahn <grahn@        Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu
\X/>          R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!

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