I'm an Ubuntu newbie and have been trying to install python's easy_install so that I don't have to deal with source files when install Python libraries.

I"ve ran the following, and it seems to install the correct applications:

sudo apt-get install python-setuptools

However, when i run easy_install sqlalchemy or easy_install pysqlite3, it doesn't work.

I get the following error message:

install_dir /usr/local/lib/python2.6/dist-packages/
error: can't create or remove files in install directory

The following error occurred while trying to add or remove files in the
installation directory:

    [Errno 13] Permission denied: '/usr/local/lib/python2.6/dist-packages/test-easy-install-1674.pth'

The installation directory you specified (via --install-dir, --prefix, or
the distutils default setting) was:


Perhaps your account does not have write access to this directory?  If the
installation directory is a system-owned directory, you may need to sign in
as the administrator or "root" account.  If you do not have administrative
access to this machine, you may wish to choose a different installation
directory, preferably one that is listed in your PYTHONPATH environment

For information on other options, you may wish to consult the
documentation at:


Please make the appropriate changes for your system and try again.



1 Answer 1


The answer is very simple, just run sudo easy_install.

However, if for some reason you don't want to do that, it's also possible to install Python packages in your home directory. The process is described in details in this article, and involves modifying the PYTHONPATH environment variable.

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