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Original author(s)Phillip J. Eby
Developer(s)Jason R. Coombs
Stable release
65.6.0[1] / 19 November 2022; 15 days ago (19 November 2022)
Written inPython
Operating systemCross-platform
TypePackage manager
LicenseMIT Edit this at Wikidata, PyPI page

setuptools is a package development process library designed to facilitate packaging Python projects by enhancing the Python standard library distutils (distribution utilities). It includes:

  • Python package and module definitions
  • Distribution package metadata
  • Test hooks
  • Project installation
  • Platform-specific details
  • Python 3 support


On 2004-03-17, Phillip J. Eby announced the existence of the project.[2] In 2013, Distribute, a fork of setuptools, was merged back into setuptools 0.7.

Package format[edit]

Original author(s)Daniel Holth
Stable release
0.34.2 / January 30, 2020; 2 years ago (2020-01-30)
Written inPython
Operating systemCross-platform
TypePackage format

Python wheels have replaced eggs.[3]

Python eggs are a way of bundling additional information with a Python project, that allows the project's dependencies to be checked and satisfied at runtime, as well as allowing projects to provide plugins for other projects.

"Eggs are to Pythons as Jars are to Java..."

Package manager[edit]

Python pip has replaced EasyInstall.[4]

EasyInstall is a package manager for Python that provides a standard format for distributing Python programs and libraries (based on the Python Eggs format). EasyInstall is a module bundled with setuptools.[5] It is analogous to RubyGems for Ruby.

EasyInstall is not a fully fledged package manager. It cannot list local packages nor update them all. Pip and Python Package Manager (PyPM) are Python applications designed to fulfill a similar role as EasyInstall. The Distribute fork was created specifically due to the lack of progress in EasyInstall development.[6]

By default, EasyInstall looks in the Python Package Index (PyPI) for the desired packages and uses the metadata there to download and install the package and its dependencies.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Release 65.6.0". 19 November 2022. Retrieved 23 November 2022.
  2. ^ Eby, Phillip J. ""setuptools" package preview". Distutils-SIG. Retrieved 17 July 2021.
  3. ^ "Wheel: A built-package format for Python".
  4. ^ jaraco: Replace easy_install with pip install. Jan 9, 2017.
  5. ^ September 1, 2009
  6. ^ Tarek Ziade. "The strange world of packaging – forking setuptools". Retrieved 10 October 2011.

External links[edit]