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This directory contains Python bindings to allow you to access the libmagic api. At the moment their status is "experimental" and they are not built by default. You may need to edit include and library search paths in setup.py so that python's distutils build process can find the magic header and lib files. In order to be able to compile magic-python you need to have python and the python-dev packages installed. Python libraries are always built for a particular version of Python (2.2, 2.3, etc), and libraries built for one version will not be seen by another. To build: $ python setup.py build Now, you can install the modules: $ cp build/lib.*/magic.so /usr/lib/python2.3/lib-dynload/ (the directory /usr/lib/python2.3 may vary, depending on your installation) magic-python should work now!