Python and Python Utilities

The StratusLab command line client and other tools are written Python and are packaged to take advantage of the Python installation tools.

An environment with an acceptable version of Python must be used. In addition, it is strongly recommended that pip and virtualenv be used to manage the installation and configuration of the StratusLab tools.


All of the StratusLab python code requires a recent version of Python 2, version 2.6 or later. The StratusLab code is not compatible with Python 3.

Linux Operating Systems

Python packages are a standard part of all Linux distributions and can be installed via the distribution’s standard package management tools.

Once installing Python verify that a version compatible with StratusLab has been installed:

$ python --version
Python 2.6.6

If the version is not a recent Python 2 version (2.6+), then you must install a separate version that is compatible with StratusLab and modify your environment. You will find the virtualenv section below useful in this case.

Mac OS X

All recent versions of Mac OS X provide a version of Python that works with StratusLab. No special configuration is needed for Python itself.


Python is not a standard part of the Windows distributions. Consequently, you must install and configure Python yourself. You can find installation packages on the website. Be sure to select an installer for Python 2 and not Python 3.


Pip is a tool for installing and managing Python packages. It allows packages to be installed, listed, queried, upgraded, and uninstalled. It uses information in the downloaded packages to automatically resolve dependencies.

If pip is not already installed on your system, then you can find out how to download and install it on the website. This website also contains information on how to use it.

StratusLab strongly recommends using pip to manage the installation of the its Python-based tools. The easy_install command can also be used, but pip provides better management capabilities.


The virtualenv package allows users to create customized virtual Python environments. This avoids having to modify the global system environment, permits use of different Python versions, and avoids potential dependency conflicts between installed packages.

The virtualenv page in pypi provides complete information on installing and using virtualenv.

StratusLab recommends using virtualenv, especially if you are on a machine with a shared environment that you cannot easily change.