Upgrading python virtualenv to the latest version on Ubuntu


Virtualenv is great, you should use it! However Ubuntu comes with an old virtualenv, including it's basic dependencies setuptools and pip. The latest version of virtualenv only includes setuptools and pip when you create a new venv so you want up to date versions of those in your global install.

Here's what I like to do to get a good setup.

First you need a basic version of setuptools:

sudo apt-get install python-setuptools

Now we want to install the latest verion of pip:

Download the .tar.gz from https://pypi.python.org/pypi/pip

tar -zxf pip-X.Y.Z.tar.gz
cd pip-X.Y.Z/
sudo python setup.py install
pip -V

And then we use pip to install up to date versions of virtualenv and setuptools:

sudo pip install --upgrade setuptools virtualenv

You can now maintain this setup by regularly running:

sudo pip install --upgrade pip setuptools virtualenv
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