A Short Primer On “extra_requires“ in setup.py

To include optional installation capabilities in your Python module’s setup.py file, you can use the extras_require parameter. The extras_require parameter allows you to define groups of optional dependencies that users can install by specifying an extra name when running pip install.

Here’s an example setup.py file that includes an optional dependency group for running tests:

from setuptools import setup, find_packages

    description='My awesome module',
        # Required dependencies go here
        'test': [
            # Optional dependencies for testing go here

In this example, the install_requires parameter lists the required dependencies for your module, which are required for installation regardless of which optional dependency groups are installed.

The extras_require parameter defines an optional dependency group called test, which includes the pytest and coverage packages. Users can install these packages by running pip install mymodule[test].

One can define multiple optional dependency groups by adding additional keys to the extras_require dictionary.

Using optional dependencies with the extras_require parameter in your Python module’s setup.py file has several advantages:

  • It allows users to install only the dependencies they need: By defining optional dependency groups, users can choose which additional dependencies to install based on their needs. This can help to reduce the amount of disk space used and minimize potential conflicts between packages.
  • It makes your module more flexible: By offering optional dependency groups, your module becomes more flexible and can be used in a wider range of contexts. Users can customize their installation to fit their needs, which can improve the overall user experience.
  • It simplifies dependency management: By clearly defining which dependencies are required and which are optional, you can simplify dependency management for your module. This can make it easier for users to understand what they need to install and help to prevent dependency-related issues.
  • It can improve module performance: By offering optional dependencies, you can optimize your module’s performance for different use cases. For example, you can include additional packages for visualization or data processing that are only needed in certain scenarios. This can help to improve performance and reduce memory usage for users who don’t need these features.



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