Python 3.4 and pyvenv

As you’ll see in the following Python Enhancement Proposal (PEP–0453) article, Python 3.4 brings pip and pyvenv by default which is a great move to simplify Python dependencies management by offering a pre-built standard to download and install Python Modules and easily build virtual Python environments. In this article I’ll details how to install Python 3.4.2 from source and I’ll show you how to use pyvenv and pip.

Installation from source

First install the pre-requisite to compile Python 3.4 from source

    # sudo apt-get install build-essential

Download the latest source code from

    $ wget
    $ tar xvfz Python-3.4.2.tgz
    $ cd Python-3.4.2

Configure the source tree with the location of the target installation

    $ ./configure --prefix=~/python3.4

Compile Python 3.4.2

    $ make

Install it to your target directory

    $ make install

Virtual Environment

Linux distribution comes with their own version of Python, so to use the one you just compiled, the easiest way is to use the bundled pyvenv tool.

Create a new virtual environment

    $ cd myproject
    $ ~/python3.4/bin/pyvenv env34

Activate this environment

    $ source env34/bin/activate

You can now check everything looks good

    $ python --version
    Python 3.4.2

    $ which python

You should also see (env34) prepended to your shell prompt.

Python Package installation

After you’ve activated your virtual environment, you can now install Modules into it by using pip install the usual way :

    $ pip install pyYAML

It will download and install the requested package in env34/lib/python3.4/site-packages

You can search for Modules within the Python Package Index (PyPI)

    $ pip search pecan

You can also upgrade pip

    $ python -m ensurepip --upgrade

Deactivate your virtual environment

If you want to get back to the standard Python use


I hope this article will help you simplify your Python development workflow.