Python wheels that work on any linux (almost)
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Latest commit 185b5bf Aug 13, 2018





Older archives:!forum/manylinux-discuss

The goal of the manylinux project is to provide a convenient way to distribute binary Python extensions as wheels on Linux. This effort has produced PEP 513 which defines the manylinux1_x86_64 and manylinux1_i686 platform tags.

Wheel packages compliant with those tags can be uploaded to PyPI (for instance with twine) and can be installed with pip 8.1 and later.

The manylinux1 tags allow projects to distribute wheels that are automatically installed (and work!) on the vast majority of desktop and server Linux distributions.

This repository hosts several manylinux-related things:

Docker images

Building manylinux-compatible wheels is not trivial; as a general rule, binaries built on one Linux distro will only work on other Linux distros that are the same age or newer. Therefore, if we want to make binaries that run on most Linux distros, we have to use a very old distro -- CentOS 5.

Rather than forcing you to install CentOS 5 yourself, install Python, etc., we provide two Docker images where we've done the work for you:

64-bit image (x86-64):

32-bit image (i686):

These images are rebuilt using Travis-CI on every commit to this repository; see the docker/ directory for source code.

The images currently contain:

  • CPython 2.7, 3.4, 3.5, 3.6 and 3.7, installed in /opt/python/<python tag>-<abi tag>. The directories are named after the PEP 425 tags for each environment -- e.g. /opt/python/cp27-cp27mu contains a wide-unicode CPython 2.7 build, and can be used to produce wheels named like <pkg>-<version>-cp27-cp27mu-<arch>.whl.
  • Devel packages for all the libraries that PEP 513 allows you to assume are present on the host system
  • The auditwheel tool

Note that prior to CPython 3.3, there were two ABI-incompatible ways of building CPython: --enable-unicode=ucs2 and --enable-unicode=ucs4. We provide both versions (e.g. /opt/python/cp27-cp27m for narrow-unicode, /opt/python/cp27-cp27mu for wide-unicode). NB: essentially all Linux distributions configure CPython in mu (--enable-unicode=ucs4) mode, but --enable-unicode=ucs2 builds are also encountered in the wild. Other less common or virtually unheard of flag combinations (such as --with-pydebug (d) and --without-pymalloc (absence of m)) are not provided.

Building Docker images

Due to the age of CentOS 5, its version of wget is unable to fetch OpenSSL and curl source tarballs. Modern versions of these are needed in order to fetch the remaining sources.

To build the Docker images, you will need to fetch the tarballs to docker/sources/ prior to building. This can be done with the provided prefetch script, after which you can proceed with building. Please run the following command from the current (root) directory:

`bash $ PLATFORM=$(uname -m) TRAVIS_COMMIT=latest ./ `


An example project which builds 32- and 64-bit wheels for each Python interpreter version can be found here:

This demonstrates how to use these docker images in conjunction with auditwheel to build manylinux-compatible wheels using the free travis ci continuous integration service.

(NB: for the 32-bit images running on a 64-bit host machine, it's necessary to run everything under the command line program linux32, which changes reported architecture in new program environment. See this example invocation)

The PEP itself

The official version of PEP 513 is stored in the PEP repository, but we also have our own copy here. This is where the PEP was originally written, so if for some reason you really want to see the full history of edits it went through, then this is the place to look.

This repo also has some analysis code that was used when putting together the original proposal in the policy-info/ directory (might be useful someday in the future for writing a manylinux2 policy).

If you want to read the full discussion that led to the original policy, then lots of that is here:!forum/manylinux-discuss

The distutils-sig archives for January 2016 also contain several threads.

Code of Conduct

Everyone interacting in the manylinux project's codebases, issue trackers, chat rooms, and mailing lists is expected to follow the PyPA Code of Conduct.