Florian's rambling place

A buildout to tame the snake pit

published 2008-12-14 15:16:00

After reading philiKON's post about building Python 2.5 with readline on Mac OS X Leopard and getting my new MacBook Pro, I decided to create a buildout which does all the hard work and is reproducible when I managed to mess up the Python installation.

If you know how to run a buildout and don't want to know any of the details, then just fetch it from http://svn.plone.org/svn/collective/buildout/python-macosx/. It will build Python 2.4, 2.5, 2.6 and 3.0. For the 2.x Python's it will also create a virtualenv and install zc.buildout and PIL into it. A script called 'install-links' will be created, which will link the main scripts and binaries into /opt/local/bin when run.

The biggest issue I ran into while creating the buildout was getting the readline library properly picked up by the configuration part of the Python build. The only way I got it working, was to use a common installation prefix for readline and Python.

The buildout does several things:

  • It builds Python 2.4-2.6 and Python 3.0 with readline support
  • It creates virtualenv's for the 2.x Python's
  • It installs zc.buildout and PIL into those virtualenv's (You should make sure that any dependencies for PIL are already installed, on Leopard with just XCode, you need to install the jpeg library. I use MacPorts for that, with the following command: sudo port install jpeg.)
  • It creates a script which links the main scripts and binaries into /opt/local/bin

You can easily customize the destination of the links by using a custom cfg file which extends the main buildout.cfg one like this:

extends = buildout.cfg

prefix = /opt/local

The /bin will be appended by default.