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See Language-specific package helpers for a list of tools to package python packages.

Prepare Packaging

When you want to package a new software from a local checkout with the inputs coming from nixpkgs (and not virtualenv+pip) you can use the following shell.nix [1]:

with import <nixpkgs> {};
with pkgs.python3Packages;

buildPythonPackage rec {
  name = "mypackage";
  src = ./path/to/source;
  propagatedBuildInputs = [ pytest numpy pkgs.libsndfile ];

You can now run nix-shell and it will drop you in a shell similar to the python develop mode which uses the local code in ./path/to/source as input. propagatedBuildInputs will contain the packages you need in your project. After you've finished developing you can replace the relative path with fetchFromGitHub { ... } or fetchPypi { ... }.

Pip and Virtualenv enabled nix-shell

It might be the case that you simply need to prototype fast small projects with pip and virtualenv without the need for relying on the dependencies being already packaged in nixpkgs. {{Notice|Keep in mind that the virtualenv symlinks will be invalidated if you update your system!||

For a local working python environment you can use the following shell.nix[2].

{ pkgs ? import <nixpkgs> { } }:

  pythonEnv = pkgs.python3.withPackages(ps: [ ]);

pkgs.mkShell {
  packages = [

When invoked with nix-shell, this environment gives you a readline-enabled Python, plus virtualenv and pip, from which you can create a virtual environment and then proceed to fill it with pip-installed packages from requirements.txt or any other source of packages.

And the only other thing you need to do is figure out which non-Python packages your pip-installable packages will need, and include them in buildInputs.


ModuleNotFoundError: No module named 'pkg_resources'

If you see this runtime error

ModuleNotFoundError: No module named 'pkg_resources'

add setuptools to your derivation

buildPythonPackage {
  # ...
  propagatedBuildInputs = [
    # ...

Please report such issues at

HTTP 404 with fetchPypi

example error:

curl: (22) The requested URL returned error: 404
error: cannot download stt-1.2.0.tar.gz from any mirror

when we look at we see only *.whl files:

  • stt-1.2.0-cp310-cp310-win_amd64.whl
  • stt-1.2.0-cp310-cp310-manylinux_2_24_x86_64.whl
  • stt-1.2.0-cp310-cp310-macosx_10_10_universal2.whl
  • ...

this means, this is a binary release, so we have two options:

  1. build from source
  2. install binary release

build from source

replace this

    buildPythonPackage {
      pname = "TODO";
      version = "TODO";
      src = fetchPypi {
        inherit pname version;
        sha256 = ""; # TODO

with this

    buildPythonPackage {
      pname = "TODO";
      version = "TODO";
      src = fetchFromGitHub {
        owner = "TODO";
        repo = "TODO";
        rev = "v${version}";
        sha256 = ""; # TODO

install binary release

replace this

    buildPythonPackage {
      pname = "TODO";
      version = "TODO";
      src = fetchPypi {
        inherit pname version;
        sha256 = ""; # TODO

with this

    buildPythonPackage {
      pname = "TODO";
      version = "TODO";
      format = "wheel";
      src = fetchPypi rec {
        inherit pname version format;
        sha256 = ""; # TODO
        dist = python;
        python = "py3";
        #abi = "none";
        #platform = "any";

... or use fetchurl to download the *.whl file directly.

reference: fetchPypi implementation

Fix Missing

The file is required for buildPythonPackage, but it's missing in some packages. If you get the following error, you need to one of the workarounds below.

FileNotFoundError: [Errno 2] No such file or directory: ''

If the package has a pyproject.toml file, set

buildPythonPackage {
  format = "pyproject";

If both and pyproject.toml are missing, you have to add one of these files.

Note: sometimes you will be able to find pyproject.toml in the source for a package despite it not being present in a .whl file. You can inspect the contents of a .whl file by downloading it from PyPi and then extracting it with nix shell -p python311Packages.wheel --command wheel unpack path/to/package.whl.

For example, you can create the in the preBuild phase.

buildPythonPackage {
  preBuild = ''
    cat > << EOF
from setuptools import setup

with open('requirements.txt') as f:
    install_requires =

    # example: file -> function main
    #'console_scripts': ['someprogram=some_module:main']

More info about the can be found here.

scripts is useful for self-contained python scripts with no local imports.

If a python script has local imports, for example from .some_module import some_function, either include all files in the scripts array, or add only the entry function to entry_points.

In this example, would be installed as $out/bin/
To rename the binary, for example to remove the .py file extension, you can use postInstall

buildPythonPackage {
  # ...
  postInstall = ''
    mv -v $out/bin/ $out/bin/someprogram


requirements.txt in it's simplest form is a list of python packages


buildPythonPackage will check these dependencies, but you still must declare the nix dependencies in buildInputs, propagatedBuildInputs, checkInputs, ...

Automatic packaging

TODO - 400 stars

TODO - 100 stars

TODO - 200 stars - archived

Testing via this command is deprecated

In most cases, tests will pass anyway and you can ignore the warning.

In some cases, tests will fail, for example:

running test
WARNING: Testing via this command is deprecated and will be removed in a future version. Users looking for a generic test entry point independent of test runner are encouraged to use tox.
[ ... ]
TypeError: some_function() missing 1 required positional argument: 'some_argument'

quick fix: run tests with python's unittest module

  checkPhase = ''
    runHook preCheck
    ${python3.interpreter} -m unittest
    runHook postCheck

See also