Python 3: ImportError “No Module named Setuptools”

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Question :

Python 3: ImportError “No Module named Setuptools”

I’m having troubles with installing packages in Python 3.

I have always installed packages with install. But now, when I try to install the ansicolors package I get:

importerror “No Module named Setuptools”

I have no idea what to do because I didn’t have setuptools installed in the past. Still, I was able to install many packages with install without setuptools. Why should I get setuptools now?

I can’t even install setuptools because I have Python 3.3 and setuptools doesn’t support Python 3.

Why doesn’t my install command work anymore?

Answer #1:

Your file needs setuptools. Some Python packages used to use distutils for distribution, but most now use setuptools, a more complete package. Here is a question about the differences between them.

To install setuptools on Debian:

sudo apt-get install python3-setuptools

For an older version of Python (Python 2.x):

sudo apt-get install python-setuptools
Answered By: tiago

Answer #2:

EDIT: Official setuptools dox page:

If you have Python 2 >=2.7.9 or Python 3 >=3.4 installed from, you will already have pip and setuptools, but will need to
upgrade to the latest version:

On Linux or OS X:

pip install -U pip setuptools 

On Windows:

python -m pip install -U pip setuptools

Therefore the rest of this post is probably obsolete (e.g. some links don’t work).

Distribute – is a setuptools fork which “offers Python 3 support”. Installation instructions for distribute(setuptools) + pip:

curl -O
easy_install pip

Similar issue here.

UPDATE: Distribute seems to be obsolete, i.e. merged into Setuptools: Distribute is a deprecated fork of the Setuptools project. Since the Setuptools 0.7 release, Setuptools and Distribute have merged and Distribute is no longer being maintained. All ongoing effort should reference the Setuptools project and the Setuptools documentation.

You may try with instructions found on setuptools pypi page (I haven’t tested this, sorry 🙁 ):

wget -O - | python
easy_install pip
Answered By: Robert Lujo

Answer #3:

I was doing this inside a virtualenv on Oracle Linux 6.4 using python-2.6 so the apt-based solutions weren’t an option for me, nor were the python-2.7 ideas. My fix was to upgrade my version of setuptools that had been installed by virtualenv:

pip install --upgrade setuptools

After that, I was able to install packages into the virtualenv. I know this question has already had an answer selected but I hope this answer will help others in my situation.

Answered By: Dawngerpony

Answer #4:

pip uninstall setuptools

and then:

pip install setuptools

This works for me and fix my issue.

Answered By: gonjay

Answer #5:

The solution which worked for me was to upgrade my setuptools:

python3 -m pip install --upgrade pip setuptools wheel
Answered By: Yaakov Bressler

Answer #6:

The distribute package provides a Python 3-compatible version of setuptools:

Also, use pip to install the modules. It automatically finds dependencies and installs them for you.

It works just fine for me with your package:

[~] pip --version                                                              
pip 1.2.1 from /usr/lib/python3.3/site-packages (python 3.3)
[~] sudo pip install ansicolors                                                
Downloading/unpacking ansicolors
  Downloading ansicolors-1.0.2.tar.gz
  Running egg_info for package ansicolors

Installing collected packages: ansicolors
  Running install for ansicolors

Successfully installed ansicolors
Cleaning up...
Answered By: Blender

Answer #7:

Windows 7:

I have given a complete solution here for python selenium webdriver

1. Setup easy install (windows - simplified)
    a. download ( from ''
    b. move to C:Python27
    c. open cmd prompt
    d. cd C:Python27
    e. C:Python27python.exe install
Answered By: Sathish

Answer #8:

For others with the same issue due to a different reason: This can also happen when there’s a pyproject.toml in the same directory as the, even when setuptools is available.

Removing pyproject.toml fixed the issue for me.

Answered By: Jan Rüegg

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