Configuration

pip allows a user to change its behaviour via 3 mechanisms:

  • command line options

  • environment variables

  • configuration files

This page explains how the configuration files and environment variables work, and how they are related to pip’s various command line options.

Configuration Files

Configuration files can change the default values for command line option. They are written using a standard INI style configuration files.

pip has 3 “levels” of configuration files:

  • global: system-wide configuration file, shared across users.

  • user: per-user configuration file.

  • site: per-environment configuration file; i.e. per-virtualenv.

Location

pip’s configuration files are located in fairly standard locations. This location is different on different operating systems, and has some additional complexity for backwards compatibility reasons.

Global

/etc/pip.conf

Alternatively, it may be in a “pip” subdirectory of any of the paths set in the environment variable XDG_CONFIG_DIRS (if it exists), for example /etc/xdg/pip/pip.conf.

User

$HOME/.config/pip/pip.conf, which respects the XDG_CONFIG_HOME environment variable.

The legacy “per-user” configuration file is also loaded, if it exists: $HOME/.pip/pip.conf.

Site

$VIRTUAL_ENV/pip.conf

Global

/Library/Application Support/pip/pip.conf

User

$HOME/Library/Application Support/pip/pip.conf if directory $HOME/Library/Application Support/pip exists else $HOME/.config/pip/pip.conf

The legacy “per-user” configuration file is also loaded, if it exists: $HOME/.pip/pip.conf.

Site

$VIRTUAL_ENV/pip.conf

Global
  • On Windows 7 and later: C:\ProgramData\pip\pip.ini (hidden but writeable)

  • On Windows Vista: Global configuration is not supported.

  • On Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\pip\pip.ini

User

%APPDATA%\pip\pip.ini

The legacy “per-user” configuration file is also loaded, if it exists: %HOME%\pip\pip.ini

Site

%VIRTUAL_ENV%\pip.ini

PIP_CONFIG_FILE

Additionally, the environment variable PIP_CONFIG_FILE can be used to specify a configuration file that’s loaded first, and whose values are overridden by the values set in the aforementioned files. Setting this to os.devnull disables the loading of all configuration files.

Loading order

When multiple configuration files are found, pip combines them in the following order:

  • PIP_CONFIG_FILE, if given.

  • Global

  • User

  • Site

Each file read overrides any values read from previous files, so if the global timeout is specified in both the global file and the per-user file then the latter value will be used.

Naming

The names of the settings are derived from the long command line option.

As an example, if you want to use a different package index (--index-url) and set the HTTP timeout (--default-timeout) to 60 seconds, your config file would look like this:

[global]
timeout = 60
index-url = https://download.zope.org/ppix

Per-command section

Each subcommand can be configured optionally in its own section. This overrides the global setting with the same name.

As an example, if you want to decrease the timeout to 10 seconds when running the pip freeze, and use 60 seconds for all other commands:

[global]
timeout = 60

[freeze]
timeout = 10

Boolean options

Boolean options like --ignore-installed or --no-dependencies can be set like this:

[install]
ignore-installed = true
no-dependencies = yes

To enable the boolean options --no-compile, --no-warn-script-location and --no-cache-dir, falsy values have to be used:

[global]
no-cache-dir = false

[install]
no-compile = no
no-warn-script-location = false

Repeatable options

For options which can be repeated like --verbose and --quiet, a non-negative integer can be used to represent the level to be specified:

[global]
quiet = 0
verbose = 2

It is possible to append values to a section within a configuration file. This is applicable to appending options like --find-links or --trusted-host, which can be written on multiple lines:

[global]
find-links =
    http://download.example.com

[install]
find-links =
    http://mirror1.example.com
    http://mirror2.example.com

trusted-host =
    mirror1.example.com
    mirror2.example.com

This enables users to add additional values in the order of entry for such command line arguments.

Environment Variables

pip’s command line options can be set with environment variables using the format PIP_<UPPER_LONG_NAME> . Dashes (-) have to be replaced with underscores (_).

  • PIP_DEFAULT_TIMEOUT=60 is the same as --default-timeout=60

  • PIP_FIND_LINKS="http://mirror1.example.com http://mirror2.example.com"
    

    is the same as

    --find-links=http://mirror1.example.com --find-links=http://mirror2.example.com
    

Repeatable options that do not take a value (such as --verbose) can be specified using the number of repetitions:

  • PIP_VERBOSE=3 is the same as pip install -vvv

Note

Environment variables set to an empty string (like with export X= on Unix) will not be treated as false. Use no, false or 0 instead.

Precedence / Override order

Command line options have override environment variables, which override the values in a configuration file. Within the configuration file, values in command-specific sections over values in the global section.

Examples:

  • --host=foo overrides PIP_HOST=foo

  • PIP_HOST=foo overrides a config file with [global] host = foo

  • A command specific section in the config file [<command>] host = bar overrides the option with same name in the [global] config file section.