I know the obvious answer is to use virtualenv and virtualenvwrapper, but for various reasons I can’t/don’t want to do that.
So how do I modify the command
pip install package_name
pip install the package somewhere other than the default
pip install --install-option="--prefix=$PREFIX_PATH" package_name
You might also want to use
--ignore-installed to force all dependencies to be reinstalled using this new prefix. You can use
--install-option to multiple times to add any of the options you can use with
python setup.py install (
--prefix is probably what you want, but there are a bunch more options you could use).
Installing a Python package often only includes some pure Python files. If the package includes data, scripts and or executables, these are installed in different directories from the pure Python files.
Assuming your package has no data/scripts/executables, and that you want your Python files to go into
/python/packages/package_name (and not some subdirectory a few levels below
/python/packages as when using
--prefix), you can use the one time command:
pip install --install-option="--install-purelib=/python/packages" package_name
If you want all (or most) of your packages to go there, you can edit your
~/.pip/pip.conf to include:
That way you can’t forget about having to specify it again and again.
Any excecutables/data/scripts included in the package will still go to their default places unless you specify addition install options (
--install-scripts, etc., for details look at the custom installation options).
The –target switch is the thing you’re looking for:
pip install --target=d:somewhereotherthanthedefault package_name
But you still need to add
PYTHONPATH to actually use them from that location.
-t, –target <dir>
Install packages into <dir>. By default this will not replace existing files/folders in <dir>.
Use –upgrade to replace existing packages in <dir> with new versions.
Upgrade pip if target switch is not available:
On Linux or OS X:
pip install -U pip
On Windows (this works around an issue):
python -m pip install -U pip
v1.5.6 on Python
v2.7.3 (GNU/Linux), option
--root allows to specify a global installation prefix, (apparently) irrespective of specific package’s options. Try f.i.,
$ pip install --root=/alternative/prefix/path package_name
Just add one point to @Ian Bicking’s answer:
--user option to specify the installed directory also work if one wants to install some Python package into one’s home directory (without sudo user right) on remote server.
pip install --user python-memcached
The command will install the package into one of the directories that listed in your PYTHONPATH.
PYTHONUSERBASE=/path/to/install/to pip install --user
(Or set the
PYTHONUSERBASE directory in your environment before running the command, using
This uses the very useful
--user option but tells it to make the
share and other directories you’d expect under a custom prefix rather than
Then you can add this to your
PYTHONPATH and other variables as you would a normal installation directory.
Note that you may also need to specify the
--ignore-installed options if any packages upon which this depends require newer versions to be installed in the
PYTHONUSERBASE directory, to override the system-provided versions.
PYTHONUSERBASE=/opt/mysterypackage-1.0/python-deps pip install --user --upgrade numpy scipy
..to install the
numpy package most recent versions into a directory which you can then include in your
PYTHONPATH like so (using bash and for python 2.6 on CentOS 6 for this example):
export PYTHONPATH=/opt/mysterypackage-1.0/python-deps/lib64/python2.6/site-packages:$PYTHONPATH export PATH=/opt/mysterypackage-1.0/python-deps/bin:$PATH
Using virtualenv is still a better and neater solution!
To add to the already good advice, as I had an issue installing IPython when I didn’t have write permissions to
pip uses distutils to do its install and this thread discusses how that can cause a problem as it relies on the
My issue happened when the IPython install tried to write to ‘/usr/local/share/man/man1’ with Permission denied. As the install failed it didn’t seem to write the IPython files in the bin directory.
Using “–user” worked and the files were written to ~/.local. Adding ~/.local/bin to the $PATH meant I could use “ipython” from there.
However I’m trying to install this for a number of users and had been given write permission to the
/usr/local/lib/python2.7 directory. I created a “bin” directory under there and set directives for distutils:
vim ~/.pydistutils.cfg [install] install-data=/usr/local/lib/python2.7 install-scripts=/usr/local/lib/python2.7/bin
-I is used to force the install despite previous failures/.local install):
pip install -I ipython
Then I added
I thought I’d include this in case anyone else has similar issues on a machine they don’t have sudo access to.
To pip install a library exactly where I wanted it, I navigated to the location I wanted the directory with the terminal then used
pip install mylibraryName -t .
the logic of which I took from this page: https://cloud.google.com/appengine/docs/python/googlecloudstorageclient/download
Newer versions of
pip (8 or later) can directly use the
pip install --prefix=$PREFIX_PATH package_name
$PREFIX_PATH is the installation prefix where lib, bin and other top-level folders are placed.
I suggest to follow the documentation and create ~/.pip/pip.conf file. Note in the documentation there are missing specified header directory, which leads to following error:
error: install-base or install-platbase supplied, but installation scheme is incomplete
The full working content of conf file is:
[install] install-base=$HOME install-purelib=python/lib install-platlib=python/lib.$PLAT install-scripts=python/scripts install-headers=python/include install-data=python/data
Unfortunatelly I can install, but when try to uninstall pip tells me there is no such package for uninstallation process…. so something is still wrong but the package goes to its predefined location.
Nobody seems to have mentioned the -t option but that the easiest:
pip install -t <direct directory> <package>
If you are using brew with python, unfortunately, pip/pip3 ships with very limited options. You do not have –install-option, –target, –user options as mentioned above.
Note on pip install –user
The normal pip install –user is disabled for brewed Python. This is because of a bug in distutils, because Homebrew writes a distutils.cfg which sets the package prefix.
A possible workaround (which puts executable scripts in ~/Library/Python/./bin) is:
python -m pip install --user --install-option="--prefix=" <package-name>
You might find this line very cumbersome. I suggest use pyenv for management.
If you are using
brew upgrade python python3
Ironically you are actually downgrade pip functionality.
(I post this answer, simply because pip in my mac osx does not have –target option, and I have spent hours fixing it)
Tested these options with python3.5 and pip 9.0.3:
pip install –target /myfolder [packages]
Installs ALL packages including dependencies under /myfolder. Does not take into account that dependent packages are already installed elsewhere in Python. You will find packages from /myfolder/[package_name]. In case you have multiple Python versions, this doesn’t take that into account (no Python version in package folder name).
pip install –prefix /myfolder [packages]
Checks are dependencies already installed. Will install packages into /myfolder/lib/python3.5/site-packages/[packages]
pip install –root /myfolder [packages]
Checks dependencies like –prefix but install location will be /myfolder/usr/local/lib/python3.5/site-packages/[package_name].
pip install –user [packages]
Will install packages into $HOME:
Python searches automatically from this .local path so you don’t need to put it to your PYTHONPATH.
=> In most of the cases –user is the best option to use.
In case home folder can’t be used because of some reason then –prefix.
pip install /path/to/package/
is now possible.
The difference with this and using the
--editable flag is that
-e links to where the package is saved (i.e. your downloads folder), rather than installing it into your python path.
This means if you delete/move the package to another folder, you won’t be able to use it.
pip install packageName -t pathOfDirectory
pip install packageName --target pathOfDirectorty
pip3 install "package_name" -t "target_dir"
-t switch = target
system` option, that will install pip package-bins to /usr/local/bin thats accessible to all users. Installing without this option may not work for all users as things go to user specific dir like $HOME/.local/bin and then it is user specific install which has to be repeated for all users, also there can be path issues if not set for users, then bins won’t work. So if you are looking for all users – yu need to have sudo access:
sudo su - python3 -m pip install --system <module> logout log back in which <module-bin> --> it should be installed on /usr/local/bin/