Use a library locally instead of installing it


I’ve written a script in python that occasionally sends tweets to Twitter
It only uses one library called tweepy. After installing the library it works.

I would like to host the script on a server where I do not have privileges to install anything
It would be great if I can just include it locally from the folder I’ve got it in.
As of right now, all I need to include at the top of my file is:

import tweepy

the tweepy folder (DOES have a file which I believe is important.

How can I use this library without installing it?
basically I want to replace: import tweepy with import local_folder/tweepy/*

Asked By: Trevor Hickey



you should install a virtual python environment so you don’t have to ever worry about having admin privileges, and you can install whatever you want.

Answered By: Jonathan Ong

EDIT: This answer is outdated. You should be using VirtualEnv. If you are allergic to third-party software for some reason (in which case, why are you installing libraries?), there is something called venv, that is literally built into python3, so there is no excuse not to use some kind of virtualization. (Most people active in the community prefer VirtualEnv, however. See

VirtualEnv installs a local python interpreter, with a local packages folder and everything. In addition to this entirely solving the issue of administrative privileges, the most important feature of VirtualEnv is that it allows you to keep your environments separate. If you have one project that needs Foo version 2.3 and another that needs Foo version 1.5, you can’t have them share the same environment; you have to keep their environments separate with VirtualEnv.

There are a few possibilities:

If you already know how to install Python modules, the default distutils setup already includes a per-user installation option. Just run python install --user instead of python install. This is the easiest, since this does not necessitate the addition of any source code.

You could also run the script with the directory of tweepy as the current working directory.

You could add an environment variable named PYTHONPATH to whatever environment (e.g., the shell) you use to run your script, and make it contain the path to tweepy.

If all else fails, and you really do want to edit your source code, you’ll need to edit sys.path. sys.path is a list of locations where Python will look for code.

In your code, write:

import sys

import tweepy
Answered By: HardlyKnowEm

Also if you want to use it frequently like in script .
Easy way to export “PYTHONPATH” in bashrc/zshrc file and give path to the directory containing your code .

For example:

export PYTHONPATH=$PYTHONPATH:$HOME/path/to/module

This way you don’t need to do sys.path everytime you restart .

Happy Coding

Answered By: igauravsehrawat

Simple and clean solution:

import sys
sys.path.insert(0, '/absolute/path/to/package')

other answer with ‘append’ doesn’t work with packages which are installed as well

Answered By: user2846569

Option 1: venv

Just create a virtual environment with venv and install it in that:

$ python -m venv venv
$ source venv/bin/activate

# Form here on, pip is the pip from venv!
$ pip --version
pip 20.3 from /home/math/venv/lib/python3.8/site-packages/pip (python 3.8)
$ pip install tweepy

Option 2: –user

Install the package in the user directory with --user

$ pip install tweepy --user
Answered By: Martin Thoma
Categories: questions Tags: , ,
Answers are sorted by their score. The answer accepted by the question owner as the best is marked with
at the top-right corner.