Passwords, PyPI Uploads, twine, and .pypirc

This document describes some pitfalls of interacting with PyPI.


setuptools is a 3rd party enhancement of the Python standard library's distutils. It's hard for me to tell where on begins and the other ends, especially because setuptools often operates by subclassing distutils features. Some of the blame below aimed at setuptools might more properly be directed at distutils.

Uploading with setuptools

Uploading wheels to PyPI is a little awkward. The obvious way to do it is with this setuptools command --

python bdist_wheel upload

There's already a shortcoming there, which is that one must create the wheel and upload it in the same step. There's no way to create the wheel, test it, and then upload it. That's just a quibble, though, since one can just create the wheel, test it, and then re-create it for the upload step. It's annoying if your wheel takes a long time to build. Fortunately, none of ours do.

setuptools, Uploads and Passwords

Another annoyance is that setuptools relies on ~/.pypirc for authentication information, and it's a bit stupid about it.

If there's no authentication info present, it tries to upload your wheel without authentication, resulting in this:

Upload failed (401): You must be identified to edit package information

If there's partial authentication info present (say, a username without a password, which would be a convenient setup), rather than prompting you for a password, setuptools just passes the password None to distutils which then fails with this --

File "/Users/vespa/miniconda2/lib/python2.7/distutils/command/", line 135, in upload_file
TypeError: cannot concatenate 'str' and 'NoneType' objects

This is an easy problem to fix -- just add the username and password to ~/.pypirc. Now you have a much bigger problem, which is that your password is stored in cleartext on your hard drive.

setuptools, Package Registration and Passwords

For some reason, setuptools is smarter when running this command --

python register

If your password isn't in .pypirc, it prompts you for it. Go figger.

Real Solution #1 - keyring

KeyRing is a Python package that interacts with the OS keychain (Windows Credential Vault, Mac Keychain, etc.). This allows you to store your passwords securely and still access them with Python.

setuptools can use keyring if it's available. I haven't figured out how to set it up yet, though.

Real Solution #2 - twine

Twine is a Python package that does one thing -- upload stuff to PyPI. It allows you to upload your wheels independently of creating them, which is nice.

More importantly, it is smart enough to prompt you for a username/password if there isn't one present in .pypirc.

Unfortunately, twine doesn't use keyring, so you have to manually enter your username/password when prompted.

Last modified 3 years ago Last modified on May 16, 2016, 3:44:26 PM