Python 3: ImportError “No Module named Setuptools”

The Question :

321 people think this question is useful

I’m having troubles with installing packages in Python 3.

I have always installed packages with install. But now, when I try to install the ansicolors package I get:

importerror “No Module named Setuptools”

I have no idea what to do because I didn’t have setuptools installed in the past. Still, I was able to install many packages with install without setuptools. Why should I get setuptools now?

I can’t even install setuptools because I have Python 3.3 and setuptools doesn’t support Python 3.

Why doesn’t my install command work anymore?

The Question Comments :

The Answer 1

598 people think this answer is useful

Your file needs setuptools. Some Python packages used to use distutils for distribution, but most now use setuptools, a more complete package. Here is a question about the differences between them.

To install setuptools on Debian:

sudo apt-get install python3-setuptools

For an older version of Python (Python 2.x):

sudo apt-get install python-setuptools

The Answer 2

102 people think this answer is useful

EDIT: Official setuptools dox page:

If you have Python 2 >=2.7.9 or Python 3 >=3.4 installed from, you will already have pip and setuptools, but will need to upgrade to the latest version:

On Linux or OS X:

pip install -U pip setuptools 

On Windows:

python -m pip install -U pip setuptools

Therefore the rest of this post is probably obsolete (e.g. some links don’t work).

Distribute – is a setuptools fork which “offers Python 3 support”. Installation instructions for distribute(setuptools) + pip:

curl -O
easy_install pip

Similar issue here.

UPDATE: Distribute seems to be obsolete, i.e. merged into Setuptools: Distribute is a deprecated fork of the Setuptools project. Since the Setuptools 0.7 release, Setuptools and Distribute have merged and Distribute is no longer being maintained. All ongoing effort should reference the Setuptools project and the Setuptools documentation.

You may try with instructions found on setuptools pypi page (I haven’t tested this, sorry 🙁 ):

wget -O - | python
easy_install pip

The Answer 3

25 people think this answer is useful

I was doing this inside a virtualenv on Oracle Linux 6.4 using python-2.6 so the apt-based solutions weren’t an option for me, nor were the python-2.7 ideas. My fix was to upgrade my version of setuptools that had been installed by virtualenv:

pip install --upgrade setuptools

After that, I was able to install packages into the virtualenv. I know this question has already had an answer selected but I hope this answer will help others in my situation.

The Answer 4

15 people think this answer is useful

pip uninstall setuptools

and then:

pip install setuptools

This works for me and fix my issue.

The Answer 5

9 people think this answer is useful

The solution which worked for me was to upgrade my setuptools:

python3 -m pip install --upgrade pip setuptools wheel

The Answer 6

4 people think this answer is useful

The distribute package provides a Python 3-compatible version of setuptools:

Also, use pip to install the modules. It automatically finds dependencies and installs them for you.

It works just fine for me with your package:

[~] pip --version                                                              
pip 1.2.1 from /usr/lib/python3.3/site-packages (python 3.3)
[~] sudo pip install ansicolors                                                
Downloading/unpacking ansicolors
  Downloading ansicolors-1.0.2.tar.gz
  Running egg_info for package ansicolors

Installing collected packages: ansicolors
  Running install for ansicolors

Successfully installed ansicolors
Cleaning up...

The Answer 7

3 people think this answer is useful

Windows 7:

I have given a complete solution here for python selenium webdriver

1. Setup easy install (windows - simplified)
    a. download ( from ''
    b. move to C:\Python27\
    c. open cmd prompt
    d. cd C:\Python27\
    e. C:\Python27\python.exe install

The Answer 8

1 people think this answer is useful

The PyPA recommended tool for installing and managing Python packages is pip. pip is included with Python 3.4 (PEP 453), but for older versions here’s how to install it (on Windows):


Downloading/unpacking pip
Downloading/unpacking setuptools
Installing collected packages: pip, setuptools
Successfully installed pip setuptools
Cleaning up...

>c:\Python33\Scripts\pip.exe install pymysql
Downloading/unpacking pymysql
Installing collected packages: pymysql
Successfully installed pymysql
Cleaning up...

The Answer 9

1 people think this answer is useful

A few years ago I inherited a python (2.7.1) project running under Django-1.2.3 and now was asked to enhance it with QR possibilities. Got the same problem and did not find pip or apt-get either. So I solved it in a totally different but easy way. I /bin/vi-ed the and changed the line “from setuptools import setup” into: “from distutils.core import setup” That did it for me, so I thought I should post this for other users running old pythons. Regards, Roger Vermeir

Add a Comment