[Solved] using pip3: module “importlib._bootstrap” has no attribute “SourceFileLoader”

I have installed pip for python 3.6 on Ubuntu 14. After I run

sudo apt-get install python3-pip

to install pip3, it works very well. However, after installation, when I am trying to run

pip3 install packagename

to install a new package, something strange occurs:

File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/", line 1479, in <module>
 register_loader-type(importlib_bootstrap.SourceFileLoader, DefaultProvider)
AttributeError: module "importlib._bootstrap" has no attribute "SourceFileLoader"

It seems that I did nothing wrong, and I really cannot figure out the reason.

Solution #1:

Faced the same problem. I think this is because python3.6 and pip3 were installed from different sources.
I suggest using python’s inbuilt facility to install pip i.e

python3 -m ensurepip --upgrade

This should install pip3 and pip3.x where x in python3.x.
Same works for python2 also.

Respondent: azhar22k

Solution #2:

I can’t edit my existing answer, so I had to add another one:

This worked for me:

sudo pip install python-dotenv
Respondent: Rod McLaughlin

Solution #3:

I had the same problem on my ubuntu 18.04 with python 3.6. None of the above methods helped, but this one solved the problem:

pip3 uninstall setuptools

Respondent: mishadr

Solution #4:

Tried to install Tensorflow in venv on Windows 10 machine with python 3.8 and got the same issue.

What helped for me was:

pip install setuptools --upgrade

Respondent: fbrand

Solution #5:

when update python3.4 to python3.6 on ubuntu 14.04. The following solved me:

wget -O - | python3
Respondent: neighbor wang

Solution #6:

that’s because you are using an old version of setuptools, check up this issue.

Solution #7:

If you face this issue in anaconda environment, simply upgrade setuptools using the following:

conda install -c conda-forge setuptools
Respondent: M Subramanian

Solution #8:

I met the same problem, this is the key:

curl -sS | sudo python3
Respondent: Tom Kruise

Solution #9:

pip install setuptools --upgrade

This command fixed my problem

Respondent: Jeex Box

Solution #10:

I am facing the same problem, which is solved by downloading the source files of the setuptools and installing the module manually.

The setuptools can be downloaded here:

After downloading, unzip the package first, then cd to the directory and run

python install --user
Respondent: Lutong Zhang

Solution #11:

For me the error happened while trying to create a virtual env with python 3.8:

sudo virtualenv venv -ppython3.8

And after trying all the answers here, finally the problem solved by installing the new version of virtualenv (20.0.7):

sudo pip3 install virtualenv
Respondent: Alex Jolig

Solution #12:

I had faced the same issue on Ubuntu 19.10 and now I upgraded to Ubuntu 20.04 and faced the issue again. This issue is due to broken pip3. So whenever you enter pip3 and hit enter it will show the same error. So instead of using “pip3 uninstall setuptools” use the below code

python3 -m pip uninstall setuptools

It resolved my issue 3rd time

Respondent: Mayank Banga

Solution #13:

I encountered this error message triggered by a slightly different situation which I’ll mention here for anyone who finds this.

This same error also occurs when installing the distribute Python package (which is currently just a compatibility layer in front of setuptools) in Python 3.6 or newer.

In my specific situation I discovered this as I was using pyzmail which has been somewhat abandoned and depends on distribute.

Collecting distribute
  Downloading (145 kB)
    ERROR: Command errored out with exit status 1:
     command: /var/lang/bin/python -c 'import sys, setuptools, tokenize; sys.argv[0] = '"'"'/tmp/pip-install-ssqyqflj/distribute/'"'"'; __file__='"'"'/tmp/pip-install-ssqyqflj/distribute/'"'"';f=getattr(tokenize, '"'"'open'"'"', open)(__file__);'"'"'rn'"'"', '"'"'n'"'"');f.close();exec(compile(code, __file__, '"'"'exec'"'"'))' egg_info --egg-base /tmp/pip-pip-egg-info-hgbjn0js
         cwd: /tmp/pip-install-ssqyqflj/distribute/
    Complete output (15 lines):
    Traceback (most recent call last):
      File "<string>", line 1, in <module>
      File "/tmp/pip-install-ssqyqflj/distribute/setuptools/", line 2, in <module>
        from setuptools.extension import Extension, Library
      File "/tmp/pip-install-ssqyqflj/distribute/setuptools/", line 5, in <module>
        from setuptools.dist import _get_unpatched
      File "/tmp/pip-install-ssqyqflj/distribute/setuptools/", line 7, in <module>
        from setuptools.command.install import install
      File "/tmp/pip-install-ssqyqflj/distribute/setuptools/command/", line 8, in <module>
        from setuptools.command import install_scripts
      File "/tmp/pip-install-ssqyqflj/distribute/setuptools/command/", line 3, in <module>
        from pkg_resources import Distribution, PathMetadata, ensure_directory
      File "/tmp/pip-install-ssqyqflj/distribute/", line 1518, in <module>
        register_loader_type(importlib_bootstrap.SourceFileLoader, DefaultProvider)
    AttributeError: module 'importlib._bootstrap' has no attribute 'SourceFileLoader'
Respondent: gene_wood

Solution #14:

I had the same error whatever I asked to pip. I gave a look to this page:

That line is the one that solved my problem:

python3 -m pip install --upgrade pip setuptools wheel
Respondent: FourchetteVerte

Solution #15:

I had the same issue when I tried to install the Slate package in Windows 10, Python 3.7.4 version:

AttributeError: module ‘importlib._bootstrap’ has no attribute ‘SourceFileLoader’

The instruction that generated the error:

C:WINDOWSsystem32>python -m pip install slate

The instruction that worked:

C:WINDOWSsystem32>python -m pip install
Respondent: Mario Aldana

Solution #16:

Traceback (most recent call last):
File "/usr/bin/pipenv", line 6, in <module>
from pkg_resources import load_entry_point
File "/home/myuser/.local/lib/python3.7/site-packages/", line 
1479, in <module>

Mine looked pretty similar, but for some reason I had a python installation in my home directory .local folder.

I did some of the other answers in this thread to ensure I had good local copy of python, then did:

rm -rf ~/.local
Respondent: user2312718

Solution #17:

I had the same problem with my cloud computer. If all above didn’t work for you don’t worry. Here’s how I resolved it:

  1. Download the pip file (pip-version.tar.gz) from:

For cloud, use this

curl --output pip.tar.gz
  1. Extract the content of the file and cd into the directory.
  2. Run the following in the directory
python3 install --user

You should have pip3 working without errors.

Respondent: i Raaj

Solution #18:

just go inside the /usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/ first copy setuptools file somewhere and then delete the setuptools everything will be okay for deleting you can use

sudo rm -r setuptools

for copying

sudo cp -r setuptools /...Desktop/

after that if it gives errors just

sudo pip3 install setuptools==3.8.1

download again

Respondent: Dev Ran

Solution #19:

This is For Python 2

curl the package

curl "" -o ""

And do python

This is Important use command pip2 not pip

Respondent: CodeTheBlank

The answers/resolutions are collected from stackoverflow, are licensed under cc by-sa 2.5 , cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0 .

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