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relocatable python virtual environment

package inspired a lot by ian bicking's virtualenv but created in fashion that it can be relocated freely through the filesystem, renamed, backuped, ...

second nice feature is, that you can customize your python environment via {{ENV}}/ in any curious way you want.

works with python3, pypy


you can install this package from pypi:

pip install RVirtualEnv

# or
easy_install RVirtualEnv

# or just clone this repository
git clone

you should definitely try development version

to create new virtual environment just call:

rvirtualenv ~/PYENV1

# or directly from this repo

./ ~/PYENV2


to enable environment, do:

# on unix

# on windows

after that, you can call any python command (eg: pip or easy_install, ipython, ...) and it will have access to your virtual environment.

if you don't want to mess up with environment, just call our wrapper:

# on unix
~/PYENV1/bin/python [any [params]]

# on win
c:\PYENV1\bin\python.bat [any [params]]

it should work with mod-wsgi python-path option as well, and you can enable it in runtime via site.addsitedir(venv_directory).


if you are interested in testing this package, it should support many standard ways of running tests. nose is used for test discovery.

you can run any of these commands:

  • python test
  • nosetests
  • ./tests/

package was tested on:

  • archlinux with python 3.2
  • archlinux with python 2.7
  • macosx 10.6 python 2.6
  • ms windows with python 2.6
  • ubuntu 10.04 python 2.6
  • debian lenny with python 2.5
  • debian etch with python 2.4

but there is no build environment yet.


main reasons why this package came into existence:

  • it does not copy python binary
  • it does not symlink core python libraries
  • you can just set up PYTHONPATH env variable and you can use any system-wide command (eg: easy_install, pip)
  • you can tune file to your needs in any curious ways (useful for debugging/testing)


you can use the issue tracker for more (or in TODO.rst in this repo) but some of the long term goals are here

  • test building and installing some c extension
  • test install tools (pip, easy_install and others)
  • better virtualenv inheritance (and handle more virtualenvs defined on pythonpath)





aka branch releases/rvirtualenv-0.3


  • sorry, this version does not work in interactive mode on windows, we will try hard to solve bill's issue
  • a subprocess call in replaced with os.execvp, which means less forks and gunicorn via supervisor should work when called via our python wrapper (see issue #2 for more)
  • system-wide installed rvirtualenv does work and creates virtualenvs correctly - there were issues with read only fs for non privileged users
  • repository cleanup before upload to pypi, so it should be installable (without any notes from build env - like #!/usr/bin/python2 in issue #1)
  • setuptools_dummy replaced in favour of plain


  • implemented cmd-line virtualenv compatible options (--no-site-packages, --python, --prompt)
  • no site packages option for pythonrc
  • non python data installed to python package (fixed bug introduced in 0.3.0)


  • python3 support - it really works, tests are passing
  • support for virtualenv wrapper (via: source PY/bin/activate)
  • inherit one virtualenv to another
  • bin/activate works, also on windows and relocatable
  • complete rewrite of venv
  • custom install command so you can define your own layout
  • proper functionality on macos and ubuntu


aka branch releases/rvirtualenv-0.2

  • installing extensions into virtual environment works
  • not released, but merged to 0.3


  • fixing problems with relative path when creating virtualenv
  • more compatibility with pip and uninstalling system packages (sys.real_prefix)
  • tests passing with distribute (aka setuptools fork)


initial versions (<=0.2.2)