python – No module named pkg_resources

The Question :

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I’m deploying a Django app to a dev server and am hitting this error when I run pip install -r requirements.txt:

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/var/www/mydir/virtualenvs/dev/bin/pip", line 5, in <module>
    from pkg_resources import load_entry_point
ImportError: No module named pkg_resources

pkg_resources appears to be distributed with setuptools. Initially I thought this might not be installed to the Python in the virtualenv, so I installed setuptools 2.6 (same version as Python) to the Python site-packages in the virtualenv with the following command:

sh setuptools-0.6c11-py2.6.egg --install-dir /var/www/mydir/virtualenvs/dev/lib/python2.6/site-packages

EDIT: This only happens inside the virtualenv. If I open a console outside the virtualenv then pkg_resources is present, but I am still getting the same error.

Any ideas as to why pkg_resources is not on the path?

The Question Comments :
  • When installing nltk,same problem happens.Good question and helpful answer
  • pip uninstall -y setuptools and then pip install setuptools==39.1.0 worked for me on Anaconda on Windows 10.
  • @Ryan worked for me on Ubuntu 16.04 as well, thank you kind Sir!

The Answer 1

665 people think this answer is useful

July 2018 Update

Most people should now use pip install setuptools (possibly with sudo).

Some may need to (re)install the python-setuptools package via their package manager (apt-get install, yum install, etc.).

This issue can be highly dependent on your OS and dev environment. See the legacy/other answers below if the above isn’t working for you.


This error message is caused by a missing/broken Python setuptools package. Per Matt M.’s comment and setuptools issue #581, the bootstrap script referred to below is no longer the recommended installation method.

The bootstrap script instructions will remain below, in case it’s still helpful to anyone.

Legacy Answer

I encountered the same ImportError today while trying to use pip. Somehow the setuptools package had been deleted in my Python environment.

To fix the issue, run the setup script for setuptools:

wget -O - | python

(or if you don’t have wget installed (e.g. OS X), try

curl | python

possibly with sudo prepended.)

If you have any version of distribute, or any setuptools below 0.6, you will have to uninstall it first.*

See Installation Instructions for further details.

* If you already have a working distribute, upgrading it to the “compatibility wrapper” that switches you over to setuptools is easier. But if things are already broken, don’t try that.

The Answer 2

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sudo apt-get install --reinstall python-pkg-resources

fixed it for me in Debian. Seems like uninstalling some .deb packages (twisted set in my case) has broken the path python uses to find packages

The Answer 3

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I have seen this error while trying to install rhodecode to a virtualenv on ubuntu 13.10. For me the solution was to run

pip install --upgrade setuptools
pip install --upgrade distribute 

before I run easy_install rhodecode.

The Answer 4

36 people think this answer is useful

It also happened to me. I think the problem will happen if the requirements.txt contains a “distribute” entry while the virtualenv uses setuptools. Pip will try to patch setuptools to make room for distribute, but unfortunately it will fail half way.

The easy solution is delete your current virtualenv then make a new virtualenv with –distribute argument.

An example if using virtualenvwrapper:

$ deactivate
$ rmvirtualenv yourenv
$ mkvirtualenv yourenv --distribute
$ workon yourenv
$ pip install -r requirements.txt

The Answer 5

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In CentOS 6 installing the package python-setuptools fixed it.

yum install python-setuptools

The Answer 6

14 people think this answer is useful

I had this error earlier and the highest rated answer gave me an error trying to download the file. I found another source so you can run the command:

curl | python

I found that I also had to use sudo to get it working, so you may need to run:

sudo curl | sudo python

I’ve also created another location that the script can be downloaded from:

The Answer 7

14 people think this answer is useful

After trying several of these answers, then reaching out to a colleague, what worked for me on Ubuntu 16.04 was:

pip install --force-reinstall -U setuptools
pip install --force-reinstall -U pip

In my case, it was only an old version of pillow 3.1.1 that was having trouble (pillow 4.x worked fine), and that’s now resolved!

The Answer 8

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Needed a little bit more sudo. Then used easy_install to install pip. Works.

sudo wget -O - | sudo python
sudo easy_install pip

The Answer 9

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I fixed the error with virtualenv by doing this:

Copied from




This may be a cheap workaround, but it worked for me.


If setup tools doesn’t exist, you can try installing system-site-packages by typing virtualenv --system-site-packages /DESTINATION DIRECTORY, changing the last part to be the directory you want to install to. will be under that directory in lib/python2.7/site-packages

The Answer 10

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the simple resoluition is that you can use conda to upgrade setuptools or entire enviroment. (Specially for windows user.)

conda upgrade -c anaconda setuptools

if the setuptools is removed, you need to install setuptools again.

conda install -c anaconda setuptools

if these all methodes doesn’t work, you can upgrade conda environement. But I do not recommend that you need to reinstall and uninstall some packages because after that it will exacerbate the situation.

The Answer 11

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For me, this error was being caused because I had a subdirectory called “site”! I don’t know if this is a pip bug or not, but I started with:

/some/dir/requirements.txt /some/dir/site/

pip install -r requirements.txt wouldn’t work, giving me the above error!

renaming the subfolder from “site” to “src” fixed the problem! Maybe pip is looking for “site-packages”? Crazy.

The Answer 12

2 people think this answer is useful

I had this problem when I had activated my virtualenv as a different user than the one who created it. It seems to be a permission problem. I discovered this when I tried the answer by @cwc and saw this in the output:

Installing easy_install script to /path/env/bin
error: /path/env/bin/easy_install: Permission denied

Switching back to the user that created the virtualenv, then running the original pip install command went without problems. Hope this helps!

The Answer 13

2 people think this answer is useful

I had this problem today as well. I only got the problem inside the virtual env.

The solution for me was deactivating the virtual env, deleting and then uninstalling virtualenv with pip and reinstalling it. After that I created a new virtual env for my project, then pip worked fine both inside the virtual environment as in the normal environment.

The Answer 14

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Looks like they have moved away from bitbucket and are now on github (

Command to run is:

wget -O - | sudo python

The Answer 15

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For me, it turned out to be a permissions problem on site-packages. Since it’s only my dev environment, I raised the permissions and everything is working again:

sudo chmod -R a+rwx /path/to/my/venv/lib/python2.7/site-packages/

The Answer 16

2 people think this answer is useful

If you are encountering this issue with an application installed via conda, the solution (as stated in this bug report) is simply to install setup-tools with:

conda install setuptools

The Answer 17

2 people think this answer is useful

On Windows, with python 3.7, this worked for me:

pip install --upgrade setuptools --user

--user installs packages in your home directory, which doesn’t require admin privileges.

The Answer 18

1 people think this answer is useful

Apparently you’re missing setuptools. Some virtualenv versions use distribute instead of setuptools by default. Use the --setuptools option when creating the virtualenv or set the VIRTUALENV_SETUPTOOLS=1 in your environment.

The Answer 19

1 people think this answer is useful

In my case, I had 2 python versions installed initially and later I had deleted the older one. So while creating the virtual environment

virtualenv venv

was referring to the uninstalled python

What worked for me

python3 -m virtualenv venv

Same is true when you are trying to use pip.

The Answer 20

1 people think this answer is useful

A lot of answers are recommending the following but if you read through the source of that script, you’ll realise it’s deprecated.

wget -O - | python

If your pip is also broken, this won’t work either.

pip install setuptools

I found I had to run the command from Ensure pip, setuptools, and wheel are up to date, to get pip working again.

python -m pip install --upgrade pip setuptools wheel

The Answer 21

0 people think this answer is useful

I came across this answer when I was trying to follow this guide for OSX. What worked for me was, after running python get-pip, I had to ALSO easy_install pip. That fixed the issue of not being able to run pip at all. I did have a bunch of old macport stuff installed. That may have conflicted.

The Answer 22

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On windows, I installed pip downloaded from then encontered this problem.

So I should have installed setuptools(easy_install) first.

The Answer 23

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just reinstall your setuptools by :

$ sudo wget
$ tar -zxvf setuptools-0.6c11.tar.gz
$ cd setuptools-0.6c11/
$ sudo python build
$ sudo python install
$ sudo pip install --upgrade setuptools

then everything will be fine.

The Answer 24

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I use CentOS 6.7, and my python was just upgrade from 2.6.6 to 2.7.11, after tried so many different answer, finally the following one does the job:

sudo yum install python-devel

Hope help someone in the same situation.

The Answer 25

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None of the posted answers worked for me, so I reinstalled pip and it worked!

sudo apt-get install python-setuptools python-dev build-essential 

sudo easy_install pip 

pip install --upgrade setuptools


The Answer 26

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I ran into this problem after updating my Ubuntu build. It seems to have gone through and removed set up tools in all of my virtual environments.

To remedy this I reinstalled the virtual environment back into the target directory. This cleaned up missing setup tools and got things running again.


~/RepoDir/TestProject$ virtualenv TestEnvironmentDir

The Answer 27

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For me a good fix was to use --no-download option to virtualenv (VIRTUALENV_NO_DOWNLOAD=1 tox for tox.)

The Answer 28

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On Opensuse 42.1 the following fixed this issue:

zypper in python-Pygments

The Answer 29

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ImportError: No module named pkg_resources: the solution is to reinstall python pip using the following Command are under.

Step: 1 Login in root user.

sudo su root

Step: 2 Uninstall python-pip package if existing.

apt-get purge -y python-pip

Step: 3 Download files using wget command(File download in pwd )


Step: 4 Run python file.

python ./

Step: 5 Finaly exicute installation command.

apt-get install python-pip

Note: User must be root.

The Answer 30

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I experienced that error in my Google App Engine environment. And pip install -t lib setuptools fixed the issue.

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