Python distributions & packaging roundtable

Hi all,

There’s going to be Python Distribution & Packaging Roundtable on Tuesday and Nix project is going to be part of it.

With @FRidh we’ve created a draft what to present as strong and weak of Python packaging in Nix and we’d like to get more input from the community.



Looks really good. Please post this here for posterity once it’s submitted. This is a nice piece of history.


Just for info, the event will happen on 2023-05-09T15:00:00Z2023-05-09T17:00:00Z.


Is there a link to the stream without email registration?

In the email the link you get sent contains a UUID and the mail also has a sentence explaining that the link is personalized. So I doubt it.

Would love to hear how things went. Is there a document that captures the result of the discussions?

The first meeting was about all projects to introduce what they are doing and opening up the discussion.

My takeaways are:

  • there seems to be consensus that adding more metadata to pyproject would help distributions, things like pkgconfig support, etc
  • there’s consensus that explosion of build tools and installation tools has made things better as anyone can install what works best, but it also made those that distribute python a really hard job
  • there’s a lot of work done on the front of native dependency handling in Python, specifically GitHub - mesonbuild/meson-python: Meson PEP 517 Python build backend, but it’s going to be tricky for us as now Python is invoking native builds instead of being a separate package see this issue.
  • there’s a lot to dig into, we only had less than an hour to scratch the surface!



I will note that this is a trend visible in all language-specific package managers. It is probably a theme/problem/evolution the Nix community would be well-placed to try to work on. In particular, it would be interesting to think of what would be needed from these tools and from nix to better integrate. Right now our solution is mostly to “copy” or “re implement” a lot of their logic in tools.

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Are there any follow-up meetings scheduled for this?


There are no follow up meetings, but we did start addressing find_library issues that we’re facing in Nix and how to improve Python (essentially for everyone).

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I saw this relevant PEP proposal about specifying external dependencies in pyproject.toml: PEP 725: Specifying external dependencies in pyproject.toml - Standards - Discussions on

A review from the nix side might be helpful to them?

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It was reviewed/seen by @FRidh, who is pretty involved with Nix and a member here