A leaner ActivePython distribution


I seldomly develop in Python. For most of the time I only need a runtime. And if I develop, than it’s mostly to write the one or other plugin for an application (like now Calibre eBook Management). I also am interested to use Python as ‘PythonScript’ in a Microsoft ActiveScripting environment (though, so far I only used JScript and VBScript).

I always had an ActivePython on my Windows system, the last two I have installed are 2.7 and 3.5.

Now I wanted to update the 3.5 to a later version and got greeted by all the state/build/whatever tools and am quite confused.

All I want is a, mostly basic, Python installation, that supports COM (MS ActiveScripting/ActiveX), Win32API, virtualenv and some other stuff, mostly XML, ideally with a comfortable package manager.

The ActivePython install for 3.8 I get offered is over a 500MB in compressed package size!! I don’t want all the Goolge libs and similar stuff. All I want is a lean Python runtime, that allows me to expand as time goes by and as needs arise!

Is there such a package, maybe below a 100MB? I can’t find it.


Hi Bmix,

You’re question is exactly why we created the platform and started making new tools. You can get a lean and mean Python distribution by creating a new python project and only selecting the python packages you need.

Once you have your new project you can then choose to install it with an installer OR use the state tool to install it. State tool can also be used to manage your project from your local machine.

Hmmm…I preferred relying on your expertise and choice of important packages, that a - mostly non Python-developer - would want to have in his runtime installation. If more is needed, I still could install new packages. But currently your default installer is >500MB in size and, even if I could remove packages in the configuration, I don’t know, which ones are safer to remove than others (which XML parser, which JSON library, etc.)

May I suggest to also create a starter pack, that is below 100MB installer size, that installs a runtime with oft needed packages, just as Java had it with the JRE vs. JDK for people who do not want to go into headache inducing full system administration and dev-tooling mode :wink: ?

Thanks a lot!

Curious. For Perl 5.32 (in progress for Python 3.9 as we speak and we’ll look to back porting afterwards ). We introduced the concept of ‘Curated Bundles’ which are preselected sets of packages based on a specific use case. For example we have a Sys-Admin bundle and others for specific Web Frameworks. You can combine them to make a larger project. Would this help? Or are you imagining a general purpose distribution just smaller. If so any guidelines for us on what should or should not be in it?

By the way thanks for taking time and suggesting these things, it’s very useful to get this kind of feedback!