6. Registering with the Package Index

The Python Package Index (PyPI) holds meta-data describing distributions packaged with distutils. The distutils command register is used to submit your distribution’s meta-data to the index. It is invoked as follows:

python setup.py register

Distutils will respond with the following prompt:

running register
We need to know who you are, so please choose either:
    1. use your existing login,
    2. register as a new user,
    3. have the server generate a new password for you (and email it to you), or
    4. quit
Your selection [default 1]:

Note: if your username and password are saved locally, you will not see this menu.

If you have not registered with PyPI, then you will need to do so now. You should choose option 2, and enter your details as required. Soon after submitting your details, you will receive an email which will be used to confirm your registration.

Once you are registered, you may choose option 1 from the menu. You will be prompted for your PyPI username and password, and register will then submit your meta-data to the index.

You may submit any number of versions of your distribution to the index. If you alter the meta-data for a particular version, you may submit it again and the index will be updated.

PyPI holds a record for each (name, version) combination submitted. The first user to submit information for a given name is designated the Owner of that name. They may submit changes through the register command or through the web interface. They may also designate other users as Owners or Maintainers. Maintainers may edit the package information, but not designate other Owners or Maintainers.

By default PyPI will list all versions of a given package. To hide certain versions, the Hidden property should be set to yes. This must be edited through the web interface.

6.1. The .pypirc file

The format of the .pypirc file is as follows:

index-servers =

repository: <repository-url>
username: <username>
password: <password>

The distutils section defines a index-servers variable that lists the name of all sections describing a repository.

Each section describing a repository defines three variables:

  • repository, that defines the url of the PyPI server. Defaults to


  • username, which is the registered username on the PyPI server.

  • password, that will be used to authenticate. If omitted the user

    will be prompt to type it when needed.

If you want to define another server a new section can be created and listed in the index-servers variable:

index-servers =

repository: <repository-url>
username: <username>
password: <password>

repository: http://example.com/pypi
username: <username>
password: <password>

register can then be called with the -r option to point the repository to work with:

python setup.py register -r http://example.com/pypi

For convenience, the name of the section that describes the repository may also be used:

python setup.py register -r other

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