Pip Install not installing into correct directory?

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I can’t seem to use sudo pip install correctly so that it installs into the following directory:


so that I can then import the module using python

I’ve run

sudo pip install scikit-learn --upgrade


Requirement already up-to-date: scikit-learn in /usr/local/lib/python2.7/site-packages
Cleaning up...

However, it’s not in the correct directory

How do I get sudo pip install to install into correct directory?

In addition, I’ve tried

sudo pip install Scrappy

I get the following message

new-host-2:site-packages Chris$ sudo pip install Scrapy
Requirement already satisfied (use --upgrade to upgrade): Scrapy in /usr/local/lib/python2.7/site-packages
Requirement already satisfied (use --upgrade to upgrade): Twisted>=10.0.0 in /usr/local/lib/python2.7/site-packages (from Scrapy)
Requirement already satisfied (use --upgrade to upgrade): w3lib>=1.8.0 in /usr/local/lib/python2.7/site-packages (from Scrapy)
Requirement already satisfied (use --upgrade to upgrade): queuelib in /usr/local/lib/python2.7/site-packages (from Scrapy)
Requirement already satisfied (use --upgrade to upgrade): lxml in /usr/local/lib/python2.7/site-packages (from Scrapy)
Requirement already satisfied (use --upgrade to upgrade): pyOpenSSL in /usr/local/lib/python2.7/site-packages (from Scrapy)
Requirement already satisfied (use --upgrade to upgrade): cssselect>=0.9 in /usr/local/lib/python2.7/site-packages (from Scrapy)
Requirement already satisfied (use --upgrade to upgrade): six>=1.5.2 in /usr/local/lib/python2.7/site-packages (from Scrapy)
Requirement already satisfied (use --upgrade to upgrade): zope.interface>=3.6.0 in /usr/local/lib/python2.7/site-packages (from Twisted>=10.0.0->Scrapy)
Requirement already satisfied (use --upgrade to upgrade): cryptography>=0.2.1 in /usr/local/lib/python2.7/site-packages (from pyOpenSSL->Scrapy)
Requirement already satisfied (use --upgrade to upgrade): setuptools in /usr/local/lib/python2.7/site-packages (from zope.interface>=3.6.0->Twisted>=10.0.0->Scrapy)
Requirement already satisfied (use --upgrade to upgrade): cffi>=0.8 in /usr/local/lib/python2.7/site-packages (from cryptography>=0.2.1->pyOpenSSL->Scrapy)
Requirement already satisfied (use --upgrade to upgrade): pycparser in /usr/local/lib/python2.7/site-packages (from cffi>=0.8->cryptography>=0.2.1->pyOpenSSL->Scrapy)

Both these instances demonstrate that it’s been installed but not correctly. For example, when I run the following import in python:

import scrapy
ImportError                               Traceback (most recent call last)
<ipython-input-6-51c73a18167b> in <module>()
----> 1 import scrapy

ImportError: No module named scrapy

I’ve tried the following:

sudo ln -s /Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/lib/python2.7/site-packages/

From the comments to the original question, it seems that you have multiple versions of python installed and that pip just goes to the wrong version.

First, to know which version of python you’re using, just type which python. You should either see:

which python

if you’re going to the right version of python, or:

which python

If you’re going to the ‘wrong’ version. To make pip go to the right version, you first have to change the path:

 export PATH=/Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/bin/python:${PATH}

typing ‘which python’ would now get you to the right result. Next, install pip (if it’s not already installed for this installation of python). Finally, use it. you should be fine now.

This is what worked for me on Windows. The cause being multiple python installations

  1. update path with correct python
  2. uninstall pip using python -m pip uninstall pip setuptools
  3. restart windows didn’t work until a restart

Virtualenv is your friend

Even if you want to add a package to your primary install, it’s still best to do it in a virtual environment first, to ensure compatibility with your other packages. However, if you get familiar with virtualenv, you’ll probably find there’s really no reason to install anything in your base install.

1 – Something that might work

The pip executable is actually a Python script.

By default it contains (on Linux):

# EASY-INSTALL-ENTRY-SCRIPT: 'pip==1.5.6','console_scripts','pip'
__requires__ = 'pip==1.5.6'
import sys
from pkg_resources import load_entry_point

if __name__ == '__main__':
        load_entry_point('pip==1.5.6', 'console_scripts', 'pip')()

So if you got the same in MacOS, pip would always use /usr/bin/python.

But this is a default. You can still provide the version of python you want either by editing the file or by using python explicitly.

If which python returns /usr/bin/python then something went wrong when you installed your own version. If it is /Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/2.7/bin/python, you can directly call:

sudo python `which pip` install scikit-learn --upgrade

However, chances are high that it won’t work. The reason is that sudo is resetting all your environment variables. To make it work, the easiest would be to use:

sudo -E pip install scikit-learn --upgrade


sudo -E python `which pip` install scikit-learn --upgrade

depending on your setup.

2 – What you should do

pip was not thought of as something that root should execute. The actual best way to use it is to install a local, non-root, python version. You just have to make sure that you use it by default by setting up the correct environment variables (such as PATH on Linux) and then install pip without sudo using that python version.

An even better way would be to setup virtualenvs from your root install.

This way, you can install/update whatever you want without root privileges and never bother again about why sudo pip is not working. You would also avoid to provide root privileges to whatever is on Pypi and that would warrant that you don’t mix system libs with your own.

I totally agree with the guys, it’s better to use virtualenv so you can set a custom environment for every project. It ideal for maintenance because it’s like a different world for every project and every update of an application you make won’t interfere with other projects.

Here you can find a nutshell of virtualenv related to installation and first steps.

  1. download pip at https://pypi.python.org/pypi/pip (tar)
  2. unzip tar file
  3. cd to the file’s directory
  4. sudo python2.7 setup.py install

You could just change the shebang line. I do this all the time on new systems.

If you want pip to install to a current version of Python installed just update the shebang line to the correct version of pythons path.

For example, to change pip (not pip3) to install to Python 3:




Any module you install using pip should install to Python not Python.

Or you could just change the path.

I’ve tried this and it worked for me,

curl -O  https://files.pythonhosted.org/packages/c0/4d/d2cd1171f93245131686b67d905f38cab53bf0edc3fd1a06b9c667c9d046/boto3-1.14.29.tar.gz

tar -zxvf boto3-1.14.29.tar.gz

cd boto3-1.14.29/

Replace X with your required python interpreter, for mine it was python3

sudo pythonX setup.py install

Make sure you pip version matches your python version.

to get your python version use:

python -V

then install the correct pip. You might already have intall in that case try to use:

pip-2.5 install …

pip-2.7 install …

or for those of you using macports make sure your version match using.

port select –list pip

then change to the same python version you are using.

sudo port select –set pip pip27

Hope this helps. It work on my end.

You Should uninstall the existed python,then download new version.

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