Sharing Python installation between architectures

Paul Smith paul at
Sat Nov 16 00:00:28 CET 2013

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 only parts of the install which are not shareable (as far as I can
tell) are the .so dynamic objects (and the python executable itself

If the default sys.path included platform-specific directories as well
as the generic lib-dynload, it would be possible.

I do see that there are "plat-*" directories available in the default
path.  Is it possible to make use of these (say, by renaming each
architecture's lib-dynload to the appropriate plat-* name)?

If that works, the remaining issue is the site-packages directory.
There is no ability (that I can see) to separate out the shareable vs.
non-sharable aspects of the add-on site-packages.

Any comments or suggestions?  Am I overestimating the amount of sharing
that's possible?  Thanks!

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