Building Tahoe-LAFS On A Desert Island
(or an airplane, or anywhere else without internet connectivity)
Here’s the story: you leave for the airport in an hour, you know you want to do some Tahoe hacking on the flight. What can you grab right now that will let you install the necessary dependencies later, when you are offline?
Pip can help, with a technique described in the pip documentation https://pip.pypa.io/en/stable/user_guide/#installing-from-local-packages .
First, do two setup steps:
[global] find-links = ~/.pip/wheels
(the filename may vary on non-unix platforms: check the pip documentation for details)
This instructs all
pip install commands to look in your local directory
for compiled wheels, in addition to asking PyPI and the normal wheel cache.
Before you get shipwrecked (or leave the internet for a while), do this from your tahoe source tree (or any python source tree that you want to hack on):
pip wheel -w ~/.pip/wheels .
That command will require network and time: it will download and compile whatever is necessary right away. Schedule your shipwreck for after it completes.
Specifically, it will get wheels for everything that the current project
(“.”, i.e. tahoe) needs, and write them to the
It will query PyPI to learn the current version of every dependency, then
acquire wheels from the first source that has one:
copy from our
copy from the local wheel cache (see below for where this lives)
download a wheel from PyPI
build a wheel from a tarball (cached or downloaded)
Later, on the plane, do this:
virtualenv --no-download ve
pip install --no-index --editable .
That tells virtualenv/pip to not try to contact PyPI, and your
“find-links” tells them to use the wheels in
How This Works
The pip wheel cache
Modern versions of pip and setuptools will, by default, cache both their HTTP downloads and their generated wheels. When pip is asked to install a package, it will first check with PyPI. If the PyPI index says it needs to download a newer version, but it can find a copy of the tarball/zipball/wheel in the HTTP cache, it will not actually download anything. Then it tries to build a wheel: if it already has one in the wheel cache (downloaded or built earlier), it will not actually build anything.
If it cannot contact PyPI, it will fail. The
--no-index above is to tell
it to skip the PyPI step, but that leaves it with no source of packages. The
find-links setting is what provides an alternate source of packages.
The HTTP and wheel caches are not single flat directories: they use a
hierarchy of subdirectories, named after a hash of the URL or name of the
object being stored (this is to avoid filesystem limitations on the size of a
directory). As a result, the wheel cache is not suitable for use as a
find-links target (but see below).
There is a command named
pip wheel which only creates wheels (and stores
--wheel-dir=, which defaults to the current directory). This
command does not populate the wheel cache: it reads from (and writes to) the
HTTP cache, and reads from the wheel cache, but will only save the generated
wheels into the directory you specify with
Where Does The Cache Live?
Pip’s cache location depends upon the platform. On linux, it defaults to ~/.cache/pip/ (both http/ and wheels/). On OS-X (homebrew), it uses ~/Library/Caches/pip/ . On Windows, try ~AppDataLocalpipcache .
The location can be overridden by
pip.conf. Look for the “wheel-dir”,
“cache-dir”, and “find-links” options.
How Can I Tell If It’s Using The Cache?
When “pip install” has to download a source tarball (and build a wheel), it will say things like:
Collecting zfec Downloading zfec-1.4.24.tar.gz (175kB) Building wheels for collected packages: zfec Running setup.py bdist_wheel for zfec ... done Stored in directory: $CACHEDIR Successfully built zfec Installing collected packages: zfec Successfully installed zfec-1.4.24
When “pip install” can use a cached downloaded tarball, but does not have a cached wheel, it will say:
Collecting zfec Using cached zfec-1.4.24.tar.gz Building wheels for collected packages: zfec Running setup.py bdist_wheel for zfec ... done Stored in directory: $CACHEDIR Successfully built zfec Installing collected packages: zfec Successfully installed zfec-1.4.24
When “pip install” can use a cached wheel, it will just say:
Collecting zfec Installed collected packages: zfec Successfully installed zfec-1.4.24
Many packages publish pre-built wheels next to their source tarballs. This is common for non-platform-specific (pure-python) packages. It is also common for them to provide pre-compiled windows and OS-X wheel, so users do not have to have a compiler installed (pre-compiled Linux wheels are not common, because there are too many platform variations). When “pip install” can use a downloaded wheel like this, it will say:
Collecting six Downloading six-1.10.0-py2.py3-none-any.whl Installing collected packages: six Successfully installed six-1.10.0
Note that older versions of pip do not always use wheels, or the cache. Pip 8.0.0 or newer should be ok. The version of setuptools may also be significant.