[SciPy-User] ubuntu's PYTHONPATH and installing scipy

John Schulman joschu@caltech....
Tue Dec 8 18:10:35 CST 2009

There's an issue with ubuntu PYTHONPATH that causes problems for scipy
installation. I eventually found a workaround, but I want to point out
the problem.

PYTHONPATH is different when sudoing, so that packages installed by
aptitute appear first in the path.*

The svn version scipy imports numpy in the setup script. "python
setup.py build" works as it should, but then "sudo python setup.py
install" gives the error "ImportError: cannot import name get_info",
since it's trying to use numpy1.3 (which was a dependency for some
package I installed).

The workaround is simple:
sudo PYTHONPATH=/usr/local/lib/python2.6/dist-packages: python setup.py install

*In ubuntu, packages that you install through the apt package manager
goes into /usr/lib/python2.6/dist-packages, but python setup.py
install puts stuff in /usr/local/lib/python2.6/dist-packages. There's
a line in /etc/profile (I didn't put it there--it must be Ubuntu):
export PYTHONPATH=/usr/local/lib/python2.6/dist-packages:$PYTHONPATH.
I guess this is a kludge to fix the problem.

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