Installing Setuptools and PIP for Python

python-logo-master-v3-TM-flattenedI’ve installed a lot of Python packages over the years using Distutils, SetupTools/easy_install and PIP. Distutils is Python’s built-in package distribution module and is pretty easy to use. However, it has some limitations, primarily that you have to manually download the package dependencies and there is no method to uninstall packages.

The Setuptools easy_install script takes care of downloading packages and package dependencies but still lacks certain features you would want from a fully functioning package manager. It doesn’t provide version control support, package tracking and uninstallation. There is a lot more to the Python package discussion but there is no point in bringing it up.

Anyway, while I use package distribution tools I rarely have to install the tools themselves since they only get loaded once. When I do have to set up a new machine or upgrade someone elses, I always forget the steps to get Setuptools and PIP installed. So I thought I would document the steps here. Now I just have to remember to come back here when I need them.

 Installing Setuptools:

1. Right click on this link and save the file to your Python Scripts folder (If you have ArcGIS loaded you will usually find this at C:\Python27\ArcGIS10.x\Scripts).

2. Open a command prompt and change into the SCRIPTS directory.

3. Type

then hit enter to execute the code. This will run the script which will download and install setuptools on your system.

For the official installation instructions for setuptools, which includes instructions for installing on Windows 8 with Powershell visit

Installing PIP:

1. Open a command prompt and change into the C:\Python27 directory.

2. Type

then hit enter to execute. Pip should now be installed on your system.

To actually install a package using PIP from a command prompt you simply type

and everything will be taken care of for you. To explore the more than 54,000 packages that are available for Pip to load visit PyPI – the Python Package Index.

2 comments on “Installing Setuptools and PIP for Python

  1. Good notes. PIP has been really helpful when working on some of my side projects. Having been dumbed down by the package managers available with other IDEs, I appreciate python people making it easy to load new packages.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *