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Getting Started

As covered in our main README, there are a few high level things you're going to have to decide:

  • Decide how you want to host your artifacts.
  • Decide how you want to distribute and install a custom setuptools distribution class.
  • Author your build.gradle file.

We'll cover each of these topics in more detail below. If you're reading this, you should be familiar with the topics in the Gradle User Guide.


The Python community maintains The Python Package Index, or PyPI for short, to host open source Python artifacts.

Unfortunately, PyGradle cannot leverage PyPI yet for one primary reason: open source Python artifacts don't publish Ivy metadata. Ivy metadata is a requirement for Gradle to do proper dependency management. Until the entire Python community is emitting Ivy metadata, we'll need to find an alternative to PyPI.

LinkedIn uses Artifactory to host artifacts. Artifactory is well suited for a number of artifact hosting purposes and comes with many plugins that you can install. One of these plugins is a PyPI-compatible interface. Although not needed for the purposes of PyGradle, it's a nifty interface for making open source and internal Python projects play nicely together.

LinkedIn's main use of Artifactory is to host two types of artifacts:

  • Artifacts that we've mirrored from open source and enhanced with Ivy metadata.
  • Artifacts that we've built and published using PyGradle which automatically have Ivy metadata.

The core concept to walk away with from this section is this: you need Ivy metadata and a way to host them for your artifacts to be usable within a Gradle ecosystem.


LinkedIn's public Artifactory instance is an example of an artifact hosting server that has examples of both types of artifacts: those that we've mirrored and enhanced with Ivy metadata, and those that we've published using PyGradle.

If you would like to use this demonstrative Artifactory instance, you can configure your project to use it with the following code in your build.gradle.

repositories {

Remember, if you configure your project to use LinkedIn's demonstrative Artifactory instance, only those artifacts hosted there will be available to your project.

If you choose to use Artifactory, you can refer to JFrog's User Guide to get started.


Observant readers will realize that mirroring and enhancing open source artifacts could be very tedious. It is. So, we've built tooling to make this easier: pivy-importer helps create Ivy metadata for a given project that is suitable for publication to your artifact hosting server of choice.

Please note, pivy-importer is a tool provided as-is, and was only used for building our demonstrative Artifactory instance for the examples. We're happy to review and pull requests that harden the pivy-importer tool!


We'd love to hear from someone else using PyGradle without Artifactory. If you are doing this, please submit a pull request to tell us how you set up your environment!


You'll use a custom setuptools distribution class to take care of passing information from Gradle (i.e., your build.gradle file) to Python (i.e., your file).

For example, the following distribution class is a very simple one that takes the project's name and version from environment variables passed in by Gradle plugin.

from setuptools import setup, find_packages

class GradleDistribution(Distribution, object):
    def __init__(self, attrs):
        attrs['name'] = os.getenv('PYGRADLE_PROJECT_NAME')
        attrs['version'] = os.getenv('PYGRADLE_PROJECT_VERSION')

    package_dir={'': 'src'},

This is a pretty trivial example. In practice, your distribution class will probably look more like this.

If you'd like to use our suggested template, you can make use of the generateSetupPy task that is provided as part of PyGradle. This task uses a template to automatically generate your project's file. Be careful, this task will overwrite any existing in the project.


Finally, lets write some Gradle code.

plugins {
  id "com.linkedin.python-sdist" version "0.3.9"

dependencies {
    python 'pypi:requests:2.9.1'
    test 'pypi:mock:2.0.0'

repositories {

This build.gradle file is nice and simple: it applies the PyGradle source distribution plugin, it declares two dependencies, and lastly, registers our demonstrative Artifactory instance as the server from which artifacts will be pulled.


You will very likely want to customize PyGradle to fit the needs of your particular project or enterprise. Gradle makes this easy.

We suggest that you customize PyGradle by wrapping it within your own plugins.

Wrapping PyGradle within your own plugins gives you a good way to do things like register your artifact hosting server with all of your projects. It also gives you the ability to do things like marry PyGradle with your enterprise's proprietary way of managing project name or version. It could even be used to leverage entirely new metadata formats.

The sky is the limit!


For hands on examples, see the example project in examples.