Installing Python packages
Some Python packages can be found in the Raspberry Pi OS archives and can be installed using apt. For example:
sudo apt update sudo apt install python3-picamera
This is the preferred method of installing software, as it means that the modules you install can be kept up to date easily with the usual
sudo apt update and
sudo apt full-upgrade commands.
Python packages in Raspberry Pi OS which are compatible with Python 2.x will always have a
python- prefix. So, the
picamera package for Python 2.x is named
python-picamera (as shown in the example above). Python 3 packages always have a
python3- prefix. So, to install
picamera for Python 3 you would use:
sudo apt install python3-picamera
Uninstalling packages installed via APT can be accomplished as follows:
sudo apt remove python3-picamera
They can be completely removed with
sudo apt purge python3-picamera
Not all Python packages are available in the Raspberry Pi OS archives, and those that are can sometimes be out-of-date. If you can't find a suitable version in the Raspberry Pi OS archives, you can install packages from the Python Package Index (PyPI). To do so, use the
pip is installed by default in Raspberry Pi OS Desktop images (but not Raspberry Pi OS Lite). You can install it with
sudo apt install python3-pip
To get the Python 2 version:
sudo apt install python-pip
pip3 installs modules for Python 3, and
pip installs modules for Python 2.
For example, the following command installs the Unicorn HAT library for Python 3:
sudo pip3 install unicornhat
The following command installs the Unicorn HAT library for Python 2:
sudo pip install unicornhat
Uninstall Python modules with
sudo pip3 uninstall or
sudo pip uninstall.
Upload your own Python modules to
pip with the guide at PyPI.
The official Python Package Index (PyPI) hosts files uploaded by package maintainers. Some packages require compilation (compiling C/C++ or similar code) in order to install them, which can be a time-consuming task, particlarly on the single-core Raspberry Pi 1 or Pi Zero.
piwheels is a service providing pre-compiled packages (called Python wheels) ready for use on the Raspberry Pi. Raspberry Pi OS is pre-configured to use piwheels for pip. Read more about the piwheels project at www.piwheels.org.