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Python Project Boilerplate

This repo provides a standardized template for modern Python projects based on the layout recommended by Kenneth Reitz.


  • Editable install support
  • Support for installing development dependencies through
  • PyTest unit-test support
  • PyLint
  • An .editorconfig file
  • Sphinx documentation generation
  • pyproject.toml PEP 517/518 support

Getting Started

The project is ready to run as is. You will need Python 2.7 or later.

Create a Virtual Environment

After cloning or downloading the repo, create a Python virtual environment with:

python -m venv .virtualenv

for Python 3.x.

For Python 2.7, use the virtualenv command.

This will create the virtual environment in the project directory as .virtualenv. This is the convention I prefer as it keeps projects isolated from one another, but you can create your virtual environment whereever you like.

Activate the Virtual Environment

Now activate the virtual environment. on macOS, Linux and Unix systems, use:

source .virtualenv/bin/activate

On Windows with cmd.exe:


Or Windows with PowerShell:


Install the Development Environment

Now run:

pip install -e .[dev]

This will install the packages the project depends on in production as well as packages needed during development.

  • The -e option specifies that you wish to install the package in "editable" mode for development.
  • The .[dev] argument directs pip to install the package that is defined by the file the in the current directory and to additionally install the extra depdencies defined in the "dev" group. The additional dependencies include things lik ethe Sphinx documentation generator, pytest, pylint and other development packages that end-users of the package will not need.

Refer to the pip install documentation for more information on these options.

At this point, you are ready to start modifying to template for your own needs.


You can run unit tests through with:

python test

or just run pytest directly:



To generate Sphinx documentation, run:

python build_sphinx

The generated documentation will be available in build/sphinx


When you are ready to distribute your Python package, build a wheel with:

python bdist_wheel

Alternatively, you can add the --universal option to the bdist_wheel command to build a "univeral" distribution that can be used with both Python 3.x and 2.7.x.

The wheel will be generated in th dist directory.


A standardized shrink-wrap project template for Python with unit-test support and documentation





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