[Tutor] organisation of folder structure of Python's installation directory

Mats Wichmann mats at wichmann.us
Sun Oct 21 10:32:00 EDT 2018

On 10/21/18 12:52 AM, Malhar Lathkar wrote:
> Hi all.
> I am trying to understand how Python's installation directory is organized.
> I find lib as well as libs folder. what's the difference? I couldn't find
> exact explanation of purpose of various other sub folders like include,
> scripts, share etc. Can you help me understand this? Please share
> documentation link if any.
> thanks.

on a Windows installation, Lib is the python code for the standard
library, while DLLs contains any backing binary objects for the standard
library; meanwhile libs is what is necessary to to link with the python
libraries themselves, as when developing a C-language extension. include
is the header files used for compiling such extensions - so these two
are not part of the Python runtime, but have this special purpose.
(note sometimes when you "python -m pip install" it may try to compile
some code, so this is not always just for you yourself to write extensions).

The rest should be relatively straightforward.

The layout can be quite different on other systems. A /usr/share
directory on Linux is used here for shareable, non-binary pieces like
documentation and license files. The python layout on Linux is normally
packaged along the lines of the Filesystem Hierarchy Standard:


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