How do I find the location of my Python site-packages directory? How do I find the location of my Python site-packages directory? python python

How do I find the location of my Python site-packages directory?


There are two types of site-packages directories, global and per user.

  1. Global site-packages ("dist-packages") directories are listed in sys.path when you run:

    python -m site

    For a more concise list run getsitepackages from the site module in Python code:

    python -c 'import site; print(site.getsitepackages())'

    Note: With virtualenvs getsitepackages is not available, sys.path from above will list the virtualenv's site-packages directory correctly, though. In Python 3, you may use the sysconfig module instead:

    python3 -c 'import sysconfig; print(sysconfig.get_paths()["purelib"])'
  2. The per user site-packages directory (PEP 370) is where Python installs your local packages:

    python -m site --user-site

    If this points to a non-existing directory check the exit status of Python and see python -m site --help for explanations.

    Hint: Running pip list --user or pip freeze --user gives you a list of all installed per user site-packages.


Practical Tips

  • <package>.__path__ lets you identify the location(s) of a specific package: (details)

    $ python -c "import setuptools as _; print(_.__path__)"['/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/setuptools']
  • <module>.__file__ lets you identify the location of a specific module: (difference)

    $ python3 -c "import os as _; print(_.__file__)"/usr/lib/python3.6/os.py
  • Run pip show <package> to show Debian-style package information:

    $ pip show pytestName: pytestVersion: 3.8.2Summary: pytest: simple powerful testing with PythonHome-page: https://docs.pytest.org/en/latest/Author: Holger Krekel, Bruno Oliveira, Ronny Pfannschmidt, Floris Bruynooghe, Brianna Laugher, Florian Bruhin and othersAuthor-email: NoneLicense: MIT licenseLocation: /home/peter/.local/lib/python3.4/site-packagesRequires: more-itertools, atomicwrites, setuptools, attrs, pathlib2, six, py, pluggy


>>> import site; site.getsitepackages()['/usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages', '/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages']

(or just first item with site.getsitepackages()[0])


A solution that:

  • outside of virtualenv - provides the path of global site-packages,
  • insidue a virtualenv - provides the virtualenv's site-packages

...is this one-liner:

python -c "from distutils.sysconfig import get_python_lib; print(get_python_lib())"

Formatted for readability (rather than use as a one-liner), that looks like the following:

from distutils.sysconfig import get_python_libprint(get_python_lib())


Source: an very old version of "How to Install Django" documentation (though this is useful to more than just Django installation)


matomo