sysconfig --- Provide access to Python's configuration information

Added in version 3.2.

Source code: Lib/sysconfig


The sysconfig module provides access to Python's configuration information like the list of installation paths and the configuration variables relevant for the current platform.

Configuration variables

A Python distribution contains a Makefile and a pyconfig.h header file that are necessary to build both the Python binary itself and third-party C extensions compiled using setuptools.

sysconfig puts all variables found in these files in a dictionary that can be accessed using get_config_vars() or get_config_var().

Notice that on Windows, it's a much smaller set.

sysconfig.get_config_vars(*args)

With no arguments, return a dictionary of all configuration variables relevant for the current platform.

With arguments, return a list of values that result from looking up each argument in the configuration variable dictionary.

For each argument, if the value is not found, return None.

sysconfig.get_config_var(name)

Return the value of a single variable name. Equivalent to get_config_vars().get(name).

If name is not found, return None.

Example of usage:

>>> import sysconfig
>>> sysconfig.get_config_var('Py_ENABLE_SHARED')
0
>>> sysconfig.get_config_var('LIBDIR')
'/usr/local/lib'
>>> sysconfig.get_config_vars('AR', 'CXX')
['ar', 'g++']

Installation paths

Python uses an installation scheme that differs depending on the platform and on the installation options. These schemes are stored in sysconfig under unique identifiers based on the value returned by os.name. The schemes are used by package installers to determine where to copy files to.

Python currently supports nine schemes:

  • posix_prefix: scheme for POSIX platforms like Linux or macOS. This is the default scheme used when Python or a component is installed.

  • posix_home: scheme for POSIX platforms, when the home option is used. This scheme defines paths located under a specific home prefix.

  • posix_user: scheme for POSIX platforms, when the user option is used. This scheme defines paths located under the user's home directory (site.USER_BASE).

  • posix_venv: scheme for Python virtual environments on POSIX platforms; by default it is the same as posix_prefix.

  • nt: scheme for Windows. This is the default scheme used when Python or a component is installed.

  • nt_user: scheme for Windows, when the user option is used.

  • nt_venv: scheme for Python virtual environments on Windows; by default it is the same as nt.

  • venv: a scheme with values from either posix_venv or nt_venv depending on the platform Python runs on.

  • osx_framework_user: scheme for macOS, when the user option is used.

Each scheme is itself composed of a series of paths and each path has a unique identifier. Python currently uses eight paths:

  • stdlib: directory containing the standard Python library files that are not platform-specific.

  • platstdlib: directory containing the standard Python library files that are platform-specific.

  • platlib: directory for site-specific, platform-specific files.

  • purelib: directory for site-specific, non-platform-specific files ('pure' Python).

  • include: directory for non-platform-specific header files for the Python C-API.

  • platinclude: directory for platform-specific header files for the Python C-API.

  • scripts: directory for script files.

  • data: directory for data files.

User scheme

This scheme is designed to be the most convenient solution for users that don't have write permission to the global site-packages directory or don't want to install into it.

Files will be installed into subdirectories of site.USER_BASE (written as userbase hereafter). This scheme installs pure Python modules and extension modules in the same location (also known as site.USER_SITE).

posix_user

Path

Installation directory

stdlib

userbase/lib/pythonX.Y

platstdlib

userbase/lib/pythonX.Y

platlib

userbase/lib/pythonX.Y/site-packages

purelib

userbase/lib/pythonX.Y/site-packages

include

userbase/include/pythonX.Y

scripts

userbase/bin

data

userbase

nt_user

Path

Installation directory

stdlib

userbase\PythonXY

platstdlib

userbase\PythonXY

platlib

userbase\PythonXY\site-packages

purelib

userbase\PythonXY\site-packages

include

userbase\PythonXY\Include

scripts

userbase\PythonXY\Scripts

data

userbase

osx_framework_user

Path

Installation directory

stdlib

userbase/lib/python

platstdlib

userbase/lib/python

platlib

userbase/lib/python/site-packages

purelib

userbase/lib/python/site-packages

include

userbase/include/pythonX.Y

scripts

userbase/bin

data

userbase

Home scheme

The idea behind the "home scheme" is that you build and maintain a personal stash of Python modules. This scheme's name is derived from the idea of a "home" directory on Unix, since it's not unusual for a Unix user to make their home directory have a layout similar to /usr/ or /usr/local/. This scheme can be used by anyone, regardless of the operating system they are installing for.

posix_home

Path

Installation directory

stdlib

home/lib/python

platstdlib

home/lib/python

platlib

home/lib/python

purelib

home/lib/python

include

home/include/python

platinclude

home/include/python

scripts

home/bin

data

home

Prefix scheme

The "prefix scheme" is useful when you wish to use one Python installation to perform the build/install (i.e., to run the setup script), but install modules into the third-party module directory of a different Python installation (or something that looks like a different Python installation). If this sounds a trifle unusual, it is---that's why the user and home schemes come before. However, there are at least two known cases where the prefix scheme will be useful.

First, consider that many Linux distributions put Python in /usr, rather than the more traditional /usr/local. This is entirely appropriate, since in those cases Python is part of "the system" rather than a local add-on. However, if you are installing Python modules from source, you probably want them to go in /usr/local/lib/python2.X rather than /usr/lib/python2.X.

Another possibility is a network filesystem where the name used to write to a remote directory is different from the name used to read it: for example, the Python interpreter accessed as /usr/local/bin/python might search for modules in /usr/local/lib/python2.X, but those modules would have to be installed to, say, /mnt/@server/export/lib/python2.X.

posix_prefix

Path

Installation directory

stdlib

prefix/lib/pythonX.Y

platstdlib

prefix/lib/pythonX.Y

platlib

prefix/lib/pythonX.Y/site-packages

purelib

prefix/lib/pythonX.Y/site-packages

include

prefix/include/pythonX.Y

platinclude

prefix/include/pythonX.Y

scripts

prefix/bin

data

prefix

nt

Path

Installation directory

stdlib

prefix\Lib

platstdlib

prefix\Lib

platlib

prefix\Lib\site-packages

purelib

prefix\Lib\site-packages

include

prefix\Include

platinclude

prefix\Include

scripts

prefix\Scripts

data

prefix

Installation path functions

sysconfig provides some functions to determine these installation paths.

sysconfig.get_scheme_names()

Return a tuple containing all schemes currently supported in sysconfig.

sysconfig.get_default_scheme()

Return the default scheme name for the current platform.

Added in version 3.10: This function was previously named _get_default_scheme() and considered an implementation detail.

Modifié dans la version 3.11: When Python runs from a virtual environment, the venv scheme is returned.

sysconfig.get_preferred_scheme(key)

Return a preferred scheme name for an installation layout specified by key.

key must be either "prefix", "home", or "user".

The return value is a scheme name listed in get_scheme_names(). It can be passed to sysconfig functions that take a scheme argument, such as get_paths().

Added in version 3.10.

Modifié dans la version 3.11: When Python runs from a virtual environment and key="prefix", the venv scheme is returned.

sysconfig._get_preferred_schemes()

Return a dict containing preferred scheme names on the current platform. Python implementers and redistributors may add their preferred schemes to the _INSTALL_SCHEMES module-level global value, and modify this function to return those scheme names, to e.g. provide different schemes for system and language package managers to use, so packages installed by either do not mix with those by the other.

End users should not use this function, but get_default_scheme() and get_preferred_scheme() instead.

Added in version 3.10.

sysconfig.get_path_names()

Return a tuple containing all path names currently supported in sysconfig.

sysconfig.get_path(name[, scheme[, vars[, expand]]])

Return an installation path corresponding to the path name, from the install scheme named scheme.

name has to be a value from the list returned by get_path_names().

sysconfig stores installation paths corresponding to each path name, for each platform, with variables to be expanded. For instance the stdlib path for the nt scheme is: {base}/Lib.

get_path() will use the variables returned by get_config_vars() to expand the path. All variables have default values for each platform so one may call this function and get the default value.

If scheme is provided, it must be a value from the list returned by get_scheme_names(). Otherwise, the default scheme for the current platform is used.

If vars is provided, it must be a dictionary of variables that will update the dictionary returned by get_config_vars().

If expand is set to False, the path will not be expanded using the variables.

If name is not found, raise a KeyError.

sysconfig.get_paths([scheme[, vars[, expand]]])

Return a dictionary containing all installation paths corresponding to an installation scheme. See get_path() for more information.

If scheme is not provided, will use the default scheme for the current platform.

If vars is provided, it must be a dictionary of variables that will update the dictionary used to expand the paths.

If expand is set to false, the paths will not be expanded.

If scheme is not an existing scheme, get_paths() will raise a KeyError.

Autres fonctions

sysconfig.get_python_version()

Return the MAJOR.MINOR Python version number as a string. Similar to '%d.%d' % sys.version_info[:2].

sysconfig.get_platform()

Return a string that identifies the current platform.

This is used mainly to distinguish platform-specific build directories and platform-specific built distributions. Typically includes the OS name and version and the architecture (as supplied by 'os.uname()'), although the exact information included depends on the OS; e.g., on Linux, the kernel version isn't particularly important.

Exemples de valeurs renvoyées :

  • linux-i586

  • linux-alpha (?)

  • solaris-2.6-sun4u

Windows will return one of:

  • win-amd64 (64bit Windows on AMD64, aka x86_64, Intel64, and EM64T)

  • win32 (all others - specifically, sys.platform is returned)

macOS can return:

  • macosx-10.6-ppc

  • macosx-10.4-ppc64

  • macosx-10.3-i386

  • macosx-10.4-fat

For other non-POSIX platforms, currently just returns sys.platform.

sysconfig.is_python_build()

Return True if the running Python interpreter was built from source and is being run from its built location, and not from a location resulting from e.g. running make install or installing via a binary installer.

sysconfig.parse_config_h(fp[, vars])

Parse a config.h-style file.

fp is a file-like object pointing to the config.h-like file.

A dictionary containing name/value pairs is returned. If an optional dictionary is passed in as the second argument, it is used instead of a new dictionary, and updated with the values read in the file.

sysconfig.get_config_h_filename()

Return the path of pyconfig.h.

sysconfig.get_makefile_filename()

Return the path of Makefile.

Using sysconfig as a script

You can use sysconfig as a script with Python's -m option:

$ python -m sysconfig
Platform: "macosx-10.4-i386"
Python version: "3.2"
Current installation scheme: "posix_prefix"

Paths:
        data = "/usr/local"
        include = "/Users/tarek/Dev/svn.python.org/py3k/Include"
        platinclude = "."
        platlib = "/usr/local/lib/python3.2/site-packages"
        platstdlib = "/usr/local/lib/python3.2"
        purelib = "/usr/local/lib/python3.2/site-packages"
        scripts = "/usr/local/bin"
        stdlib = "/usr/local/lib/python3.2"

Variables:
        AC_APPLE_UNIVERSAL_BUILD = "0"
        AIX_GENUINE_CPLUSPLUS = "0"
        AR = "ar"
        ARFLAGS = "rc"
        ...

This call will print in the standard output the information returned by get_platform(), get_python_version(), get_path() and get_config_vars().