Chapter 37 - How to Add Your Code to PyPI

We created a package called mymath in the previous chapter. In this chapter, we will learn how to share it on the Python Packaging Index (PyPI). To do that, we will first need to learn how to create a file. Just to review, here is our current folder hierarchy:


This means that you have a mymath folder with the following files in it:,,, and You will also have an adv folder inside the mymath folder. In the adv folder, you will have two files: and

Creating a File

We will start out by creating a super simple script. Here’s a bare-bones one:

from distutils.core import setup

      packages=['mymath', 'mymath.adv'],

This is something you might write for a package internally. To upload to PyPI, you will need to include a little more information:

from distutils.core import setup

      description='A silly math package',
      author='Mike Driscoll',
      packages=['mymath', 'mymath.adv'],

Now that we’re done with that, we should test our script. You can create a virtual environment using the directions from chapter 35 or you can just install your code to your Python installation by calling the following command:

python install

Alternatively, you can use the method at the end of the last chapter in which you created a special that you installed in develop mode. You will note that in the last chapter, we used setuptools whereas in this chapter we used distutils. The only reason we did this is that setuptools has the develop command and distutils does not.

Now we need to register our package with PyPI!

Registering Packages

Registering you package is very easy. Since this is your first package, you will want to register with the Test PyPI server instead of the real one. You may need to create a .pypirc file and enter the Test PyPI server address. See the next section for more information. Once you have done that, you just need to run the following command:

python register

You will receive a list of options that ask you to login, register, have the server send you a password or quit. If you have your username and password saved on your machine, you won’t see that message. If you’re already registered, you can login and your package’s metadata will be uploaded.

Uploading Packages to PyPI

You will probably want to start out by testing with PyPI’s test server, which is at You will have to register with that site too as it uses a different database than the main site. Once you’ve done that, you may want to create a .pypirc file somewhere on your operating system’s path. On Linux, you can use $HOME to find it and on Windows, you can use the HOME environ variable. This path is where you would save that file. Following is a sample of what could go in your pypirc file from


repository =
username = richard
password = <your password goes here>

repository =
username = richard
password = <your password goes here>

I would highly recommend that you read the documentation in depth to understand all the options you can add to this configuration file.

To upload some files to PyPI, you will need to create some distributions.

python sdist bdist_wininst upload

When you run the command above, it will create a dist folder. The sdist command will create an archive file (a zip on Windows, a tarball on Linux). The bdist_wininst will create a simple Windows installer executable. The upload command will then upload these two files to PyPI.

In your file, you can add a long_description field that will be used by PyPI to generate a home page for your package on PyPI. You can use reStructuredText to format your description. Or you can skip adding the description and accept PyPI’s default formatting.

If you would like a full listing of the commands you can use with, try running the following command:

python --help-commands

You should also add a README.txt file that explains how to install and use your package. It can also contain a “Thank You” section if you have a lot of contributors.

Wrapping Up

Now you know the basics for adding your package to the Python Packaging Index. If you want to add a Python egg to PyPI, you will need to use easy_install instead of distutils. When you release your next version, you may want to add a CHANGES.txt file that lists the changes to your code. There is a great website called The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Packaging which would be a great place for you to check out for additional information on this exciting topic. Alternatively, you may also want to check out this tutorial by Scott Torborg to get a different take on the process.