Distributing Python Modules (Legacy version)


Greg Ward, Anthony Baxter



See also

Distributing Python Modules

The up to date module distribution documentations


The entire distutils package has been deprecated and will be removed in Python 3.12. This documentation is retained as a reference only, and will be removed with the package. See the What’s New entry for more information.


This document is being retained solely until the setuptools documentation at https://setuptools.readthedocs.io/en/latest/setuptools.html independently covers all of the relevant information currently included here.


This guide only covers the basic tools for building and distributing extensions that are provided as part of this version of Python. Third party tools offer easier to use and more secure alternatives. Refer to the quick recommendations section in the Python Packaging User Guide for more information.

This document describes the Python Distribution Utilities (“Distutils”) from the module developer’s point of view, describing the underlying capabilities that setuptools builds on to allow Python developers to make Python modules and extensions readily available to a wider audience.