setuptools (also known as python-setuptools) is an open source command-line software written in the Python programming language and designed to allow users to easily and quickly download, compile, upgrade, install and uninstall Python packages in any Linux-based operating system.
Boasts an abundance of command-line options
The setuptools package includes the easy_install command, which boasts an abundance of command-line options that allow you to add an installation prefix, install a Python package as a ZIP file, make apps have a to require a version, force upgrade of a package, install a Python package to a specific directory, as well as to exclude scripts from the installation.
In addition, the program can copy all the required packages to the installation directory, list all the folders where .pth files work, compile a Python package with optimizations, run verbosely or quietly. Also, it allows building of Python egg files from local checkouts, lets you to specify the pattern(s) that hostnames must match, as well as to install specified Python packages in editable form.
Another interesting feature is the ability to add a base URL of Python Package Index and extra URLs where the program will search for Python packages. Detailed installation instructions can be found on the project’s website (see the link at the end of the article).
Supports all Python branches and works on mainstream OSes
Taking a look under the hood of the setuptools package, we can notice that it has been written entirely in the Python programming language, which was pretty obvious considering the fact that the tool is engineered to handle Python packages.
Being written in Python, setuptools works across all mainstream operating systems where Python is supported, including all GNU/Linux distributions, as well as Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X.
setuptools supports all the stable Python branches, including Python 2.6 or later. If you still use Python 2.4 or Python 2.5, you must use the bootstrap script for the 1.x branch of the setuptools package.