Sharing Python installation between architectures

Albert van der Horst albert at
Fri Dec 6 14:54:53 CET 2013

In article <mailman.2687.1384556852.18130.python-list at>,
Paul Smith  <paul at> wrote:
>One thing I always liked about Perl was the way you can create a single
>installation directory which can be shared between archictures.  Say
>what you will about the language: the Porters have an enormous amount of
>experience and expertise producing portable and flexible interpreter
>By this I mean, basically, multiple architectures (Linux, Solaris,
>MacOSX, even Windows) sharing the same $prefix/lib/python2.7 directory.
>The large majority of the contents there are completely portable across
>architectures (aren't they?) so why should I have to duplicate many
>megabytes worth of files?

The solution is of course to replace all duplicates by hard links.
A tool for this is useful in a lot of other circumstances too.
In a re-installation of the whole or parts, the hard links
will be removed, and the actual files are only removed if they aren't needed
for any of the installations, so this is transparent for reinstallation.
After a lot of reinstallation you want to run the tool again.

This is of course only possible on real file systems (probably not on FAT),
but your files reside on a server, so chances are they are on a real file

(The above is partly in jest. It is a real solution to storage problems,
but storage problems are unheard of in these days of Tera byte disks.
It doesn't help with the clutter, which was probably the main motivation.)

Symbolic links are not as transparent, but they may work very well too.
Have the common part set apart and replace everything else by symbolic links.

There is always one more way to skin a cat.

Groetjes Albert
Economic growth -- being exponential -- ultimately falters.
albert at spe&ar& &=n

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