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Python - Manage global packages with pipx

Python comes with many tools that help manage versions and dependencies.

  • pyenv - manage Python versions
  • virtual environments (like venv) that help isolate dependencies on a per project basis

What about “global” packages like code linters (flake8, pylint), code formatter (black), or virtualennwrapper (virtual environment manager)?

That question came up when I wanted to use cfn-lint for linting Cloudformation. Regardless of what project I’m working on, I’d like to have cfn-lint ready.

When installing pipx, I took the option of changing where pipx installs packages through the two environment variables PIPX_BIN_DIR and PIPX_HOME:

  • Set PIPX_BIN_DIR to C:\opt\Python\pipx\pipx-apps-bins
  • Set PIPX_HOME to C:\opt\Python\pipx\pipx-venv

Install pipx with PS> python -m pip install --user pipx and then PS> python -m pipx ensurepath.

The output should be: Success! Added C:\opt\Python\pipx\pipx-apps-bins to the PATH environment variable.

Now, when I install a package globally, say PS> python -m pipx install cfn-lint, I know where to find cfn-lint. I find it easier to remeber C:\opt rather than ~/.local/* (sometimes Windows hides folders prefixed with a dot).

This post is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by the author.

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