Flaviu's Blog - Read'n'Code

Problems With Easy_install

I work on OS X 10.6, which makes package management much more of a challenge than any Linux distro.

Sure, I’ve tried MacPorts, homebrew, and even fink. None makes it as easy as apt-get, though I recommend homebrew.

Anyway, I joyfully start a new python project in a clean virtual environment with virtualenv and it’s companion, virtualenvwrapper (not sure why these are not part of the same project).

I specify the –no-site-packages to make sure I don’t get system packages in my virtualenv (not sure why this is not the default), like so:

mkvirtualenv --no-site-packages happy_virtual_env

But then it turns out I still have access to system wide packages, like django. Hmm…

…insert some 20 hours of modifying the Python Path and getting errors like:

UserWarning: Module pkg_resources was already imported from


pkg_resources.DistributionNotFound: setuptools==0.6c9

…saddened, I finally “sudo rm -rf” pkg_resources.py, setuptools, pip, virtualenv, virtualenvwrapper, from both /Library/Python/2.6/site-packages/ and /usr/local/bin/

Then I manually installed setuptools (see here) and then “easy_install pip”, “pip install virtualenv”, and now it all works as expected.

So, while I wish I knew more about package management, “nuke and pave” is sometimes ok.


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