In Ubuntu 10.10, I have installed python 2.7. I would like to use apt-get to install packages to this version of python but I haven't been able to figure out how.

Things I have tried without success:

changing the symlink at /usr/bin/python to point to /usr/bin/python2.7 - even after doing this apt-get still installs stuff to python2.6.

Set up python2.7 as the primary alternative using update-alternatives - doesn't work.

Any ideas? Thanks!

  • Did you install python 2.7 with apt-get? Oct 27, 2010 at 13:22
  • yes, I installed python 2.7 with apt-get Oct 28, 2010 at 4:19

3 Answers 3


The set of currently supported python versions can be found in /usr/share/python/debian_defaults. Check whenever python-2.7 is listed there as supported.

There is a so-called python-support system in Debian. When python-support-aware package (i.e., when maintainer used python-support stuff while packaging) says that it supports specific range of Python versions, dpkg calls hooks for updates to installed runtimes as a part of postinst process. There's also alternative python-central system, which does the same thing.


Have you considered the Python setuptools? After you install it, installing additional packages is typically as easy as:

$ easy_install package-name

(depending on how you installed python 2.7, you might need to use sudo)

  • 1
    Yes, I have setuptools working with virtualenv right now. The original question is basically a matter of curiousity now. I guess apt-get is only set up to modify the system install of python? Oct 28, 2010 at 4:20

Sounds like a problem from the repository?
You should send a bugreport to ubuntu no?
Otherwise you can install it by hand where you want :-) (but of course it's more tricky than apt-get foo)

  • the repository seems to be fine to me - what I was trying to do was install the updates to a different version of python. Oct 29, 2010 at 4:41

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