Creating Python packages

A Python package is simply an organized collection of python modules. A python module is simply a single python file.

To create a python package, create a directory and then add a file. Creating a package with is all about making it easier to develop large Python projects. It provides an easy way for you to group large folders of many python scripts into a single importable module.

Use PyPI to distribute your package

PyPI is the Python Package Index a repository of software for the Python programming language. To upload your project you will need:

  • Create an account on Pypi
  • Structure your code:
Repository               # Root repository folder
├── package
|   ├──	     # To make a python directory, for imports                           
|   └──	     # Module of the package	  
├── tests
|   ├──	     
|   └──   # Tests of the module
├── Readme.rst


This is the key file that describe your python package. You can create the following the guidelines on how to package and distribute your project.

Basic example

Here is a basic example of what you need to create your package. The minimum.

from setuptools import setup

      description='Package description',

Add more information

Other Attributes

You can add some nice other things to your package:

  • The long_description: Usually you put your readme there in .rst format
  • The classifiers: You need to know which classifier to put, copy them from pypi/classifier to avoid typos.
  • The install_requires to specify dependencies to run the project
  • The tests_require to specify dependencies to test the project

Script entry point

The entry_points is another special attribute which is what the program will do when called a certain way depending on the context. Here is an example from the command line:

entry_points = {'console_scripts': ['package_hello = package.module:hello_world']}

What it does is once you’ve installed the package_name, then when you call it in bash using the command package_hello: It will execute the hello_world function of the module module that is inside the package package.

$ package_hello
> hello world!


As for an example from my gitlab_stats package:

Create the Readme.rst

In PyPI, you need to use the .rst format for your readme which is basically the front page of your package. So if you are more familiar with .md, you can always use pandoc to convert your file from .md to .rst:

pandoc --from=markdown --to=rst --output=README.rst docs/

Package and upload

  • Package your project into a .tar:
python sdist
  • Download and install twine which will allow you to safely upload your project.
pip install twine
  • Upload your project
python -m twine upload dist/*

When you upload your project, it might be refused due to naming problem. If that’s the case you will have to rename your project.

Get started with a python seed template