Note to self: How to publish packages on PyPI

One of the least favorite things about python is package and release management. Even though it's getting better, there is still room for improvement. There are guides of how to publish package on PyPI out there, but many are out of date and/or recommend methods that leak your password (DON'T use upload or register!).

This guide is mostly for myself because I tend to forget things, but maybe it's useful for someone else. The authoritative source -- and everybody should know about it -- is python packaging. It's a bit lengthy but really good.


The goal is to release an already existing package (which works with python 2&3 and does not include any compiled stuff) on PyPI as source distribution and as universal wheel so it's easy to pip install.


The tools we're going to be using:

  • use setuptools in your,
  • use pip for installing,
  • use wheels to generate binary universal wheel, and
  • use twine to upload the packages to PyPI (twine uses an encrypted connection whereas upload leaks your password).

See packaging tools for more details.

Preperation: Create accounts

Even if you only want to publish your package on PyPI you should have accounts on PyPITest (for testing purposes) and PyPI (for the real thing). Create accounts on both platforms. Work with PyPITest until you have the workflow down. Then actually release your package on PyPI.

After you registered on PyPI and PyPITest you should create a file ~/.pypirc and add your credentials:

# .pypirc

username=<your user name goes here>
password=<your password goes here>

username=<your user name goes here>
password=<your password goes here>

Your Package Should Have

... a file, a setup.cfg file, and a README.rst file (and a bunch of python code that actually does something).

How to structure your is described here.

The setup.cfg is needed to create a universal wheels and should look like this:

# setup.cfg
# univesal wheel

I use README.rst because PyPI recognizes the rst format and I can reuse the README.rst with sphinx.

Steps to upload to PyPI(Test)

Given a proper setup package your can build the package:

# create a source distribution
python sdist
# create a universal wheel for
# (py2&3 without any ompiled stuff)
python bdist_wheel --universal

If the package is not on PyPI yet you have to register it first. Register your package on PyPI by uploading the PKG-INFO from myproject.egg-info/PKG-INFO via the PyPITest web form or the PyPI web form. DON'T use python register because it leaks your password!

Then upload it to PyPITest:

twine upload --repository pypitest dist/*

or PyPI:

twine upload --repository pypi dist/*


Congratulations, you're done! Once you know what to do it's not that hard :)

I think it's a pain that default tools leak your password and you're forced to upload PKG PKG-INFO via a web form and install twine to upload the packages. Hopefully that changes at some point...