8.51. Python-3.12.2

The Python 3 package contains the Python development environment. It is useful for object-oriented programming, writing scripts, prototyping large programs, and developing entire applications. Python is an interpreted computer language.

Approximate build time: 1.8 SBU
Required disk space: 485 MB

8.51.1. Installation of Python 3

Prepare Python for compilation:

./configure --prefix=/usr        \
            --enable-shared      \
            --with-system-expat  \

The meaning of the configure options:


This switch enables linking against the system version of Expat.


This switch enables extensive, but time-consuming, optimization steps. The interpreter is built twice; tests performed on the first build are used to improve the optimized final version.

Compile the package:


Running the tests at this point is not recommended. The tests are known to hang indefinitely in the partial LFS environment. If desired, the tests can be rerun at the end of this chapter, or when Python 3 is reinstalled in BLFS. To run the tests anyway, issue make test.

Install the package:

make install

We use the pip3 command to install Python 3 programs and modules for all users as root in several places in this book. This conflicts with the Python developers' recommendation: to install packages into a virtual environment, or into the home directory of a regular user (by running pip3 as this user). A multi-line warning is triggered whenever pip3 is issued by the root user.

The main reason for the recommendation is to avoid conflicts with the system's package manager (dpkg, for example). LFS does not have a system-wide package manager, so this is not a problem. Also, pip3 will check for a new version of itself whenever it's run. Since domain name resolution is not yet configured in the LFS chroot environment, pip3 cannot check for a new version of itself, and will produce a warning.

After we boot the LFS system and set up a network connection, a different warning will be issued, telling the user to update pip3 from a pre-built wheel on PyPI (whenever a new version is available). But LFS considers pip3 to be a part of Python 3, so it should not be updated separately. Also, an update from a pre-built wheel would deviate from our objective: to build a Linux system from source code. So the warning about a new version of pip3 should be ignored as well. If you wish, you can suppress all these warnings by running the following command, which creates a configuration file:

cat > /etc/pip.conf << EOF
root-user-action = ignore
disable-pip-version-check = true


In LFS and BLFS we normally build and install Python modules with the pip3 command. Please be sure that the pip3 install commands in both books are run as the root user (unless it's for a Python virtual environment). Running pip3 install as a non-root user may seem to work, but it will cause the installed module to be inaccessible by other users.

pip3 install will not reinstall an already installed module automatically. When using the pip3 install command to upgrade a module (for example, from meson-0.61.3 to meson-0.62.0), insert the option --upgrade into the command line. If it's really necessary to downgrade a module, or reinstall the same version for some reason, insert --force-reinstall --no-deps into the command line.

If desired, install the preformatted documentation:

install -v -dm755 /usr/share/doc/python-3.12.2/html

tar --no-same-owner \
    -xvf ../python-3.12.2-docs-html.tar.bz2
cp -R --no-preserve=mode python-3.12.2-docs-html/* \

The meaning of the documentation install commands:

--no-same-owner (tar) and --no-preserve=mode (cp)

Ensure the installed files have the correct ownership and permissions. Without these options, tar will install the package files with the upstream creator's values and files would have restrictive permissions.

8.51.2. Contents of Python 3

Installed programs: 2to3, idle3, pip3, pydoc3, python3, and python3-config
Installed library: libpython3.12.so and libpython3.so
Installed directories: /usr/include/python3.12, /usr/lib/python3, and /usr/share/doc/python-3.12.2

Short Descriptions


is a Python program that reads Python 2.x source code and applies a series of fixes to transform it into valid Python 3.x code


is a wrapper script that opens a Python aware GUI editor. For this script to run, you must have installed Tk before Python, so that the Tkinter Python module is built.


The package installer for Python. You can use pip to install packages from Python Package Index and other indexes.


is the Python documentation tool


is the interpreter for Python, an interpreted, interactive, object-oriented programming language