Python development on Windows – Setuptools & Pip configuration

Sometimes installing Python modules on Windows is a pain. You have seen the setuptools error message complaining that you don’t have Visual Studio 2003 installed? Yes, well then you have probably seen that the fix is easy:

python build –compiler=mingw32 install

But what if you want to install using easy_install or pip? or you want to use a pip requirements.txt file in a virtualenv? I have the solution for you.

First: Install MinGw including gcc, make and all the other regular goodies you would have on a Unix system.

Second: Add your \MinGw\bin directory to your path.

Third: If you are using an older version of Python (pre 2.6.6) you will have to manually set your HOME environment variable to your user directory…