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Why does “pip install” inside Python raise a SyntaxError?

Posted by: admin November 1, 2017 Leave a comment

Questions:

I’m trying to use pip to install a package. I try to run pip install from the Python shell, but I get a SyntaxError. Why do I get this error? How do I use pip to install the package?

>>> pip install selenium
              ^
SyntaxError: invalid syntax
Answers:

pip is run from the command line, not the Python interpreter. It is a program that installs modules, so you can use them from Python. Once you have installed the module, then you can open the Python shell and do import selenium.

The Python shell is not a command line, it is an interactive interpreter. You type Python code into it, not commands.

Questions:
Answers:

Use the command line, not the Python shell (DOS, PowerShell in Windows).

C:\Program Files\Python2.7\Scripts> pip install XYZ

If you installed Python into your PATH using the latest installers, you don’t need to be in that folder to run pip

Terminal in Mac or Linux

$ pip install XYZ

Questions:
Answers:

If you want to use pip inside the Python interpreter, try this:

import pip

package_names=['selenium', 'requests'] #packages to install
pip.main(['install'] + [package_names] + ['--upgrade']) 
# --upgrade to install or update existing packages

If you need to update every installed package, use following:

import pip

for i in pip.get_installed_distributions():
    pip.main(['install', i.key, '--upgrade'])

If you want to stop installing other packages if any installation fails, use it in one single pip.main([]) call:

import pip

package_names = [i.key for i in pip.get_installed_distributions()]
pip.main(['install'] + package_names + ['--upgrade'])

Note: When you install from list in file with -r / --requirement parameter you do NOT need open() function.

pip.main(['install', '-r', 'filename'])

Warning: Some parameters as simple --help may cause python interpreter to stop.

Curiosity: By using pip.exe you actually use python interpreter and pip module anyway. If you unpack pip.exe or pip3.exe regardless it’s python 2.x or 3.x, inside is the SAME single file __main__.py:

# -*- coding: utf-8 -*-
import re
import sys

from pip import main

if __name__ == '__main__':
    sys.argv[0] = re.sub(r'(-script\.pyw?|\.exe)?$', '', sys.argv[0])
    sys.exit(main())

Questions:
Answers:

To run pip as of Python 3.4, just follow the instructions on Python’s page: Installing Python Modules.

python -m pip install SomePackage

Note that this is run from the command line and not the python shell (the reason for syntax error in the original question).