To build lxml from source, you need libxml2 and libxslt properly installed, including the header files. These are likely shipped in separate -dev or -devel packages like libxml2-dev, which you must install before trying to build lxml.
The lxml.etree and lxml.objectify modules are written in Cython. Since we distribute the Cython-generated .c files with lxml releases, however, you do not need Cython to build lxml from the normal release sources. We even encourage you to not install Cython for a normal release build, as the generated C code can vary quite heavily between Cython versions, which may or may not generate correct code for lxml. The pre-generated release sources were tested and therefore are known to work.
So, if you want a reliable build of lxml, we suggest to a) use a source release of lxml and b) disable or uninstall Cython for the build.
Only if you are interested in building lxml from a checkout of the developer sources (e.g. to test a bug fix that has not been release yet) or if you want to be an lxml developer, then you do need a working Cython installation. You can use pip to install it:
pip install -r requirements.txt
lxml currently requires at least Cython 0.20, later release versions should work as well.
hg clone git://github.com/lxml/lxml.git lxml
This will create a directory lxml and download the source into it, including the complete development history. Don't be afraid, the download is fairly quick. You can also browse the lxml repository through the web.
Clone the source repository as described above (or download the source tar-ball and unpack it) and then type:
python setup.py build
python setup.py bdist_egg # requires 'setuptools' or 'distribute'
To (re-)build the C sources with Cython, you must additionally pass the option --with-cython:
python setup.py build --with-cython
If you want to test lxml from the source directory, it is better to build it in-place like this:
python setup.py build_ext -i --with-cython
or, in Unix-like environments:
To speed up the build in test environments (e.g. on a continuous integration server), set the CFLAGS environment variable to disable C compiler optimisations (e.g. "-O0" for gcc, that's minus-oh-zero), for example:
CFLAGS="-O0" make inplace
If you get errors about missing header files (e.g. Python.h or libxml/xmlversion.h) then you need to make sure the development packages of Python, libxml2 and libxslt are properly installed. On Linux distributions, they are usually called something like libxml2-dev or libxslt-devel. If these packages were installed in non-standard places, try passing the following option to setup.py to make sure the right config is found:
python setup.py build --with-xslt-config=/path/to/xslt-config
If this doesn't help, you may have to add the location of the header files to the include path like:
python setup.py build_ext -i -I /usr/include/libxml2
where the file is in /usr/include/libxml2/libxml/xmlversion.h
To use lxml.etree in-place, you can place lxml's src directory on your Python module search path (PYTHONPATH) and then import lxml.etree to play with it:
# cd lxml # PYTHONPATH=src python Python 2.7.2 Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information. >>> from lxml import etree >>>
To make sure everything gets recompiled cleanly after changes, you can run make clean or delete the file src/lxml/etree.c.
The source distribution (tgz) and the source repository contain a test suite for lxml. You can run it from the top-level directory:
Note that the test script only tests the in-place build (see distutils building above), as it searches the src directory. You can use the following one-step command to trigger an in-place build and test it:
This also runs the ElementTree and cElementTree compatibility tests. To call them separately, make sure you have lxml on your PYTHONPATH first, then run:
If the tests give failures, errors, or worse, segmentation faults, we'd really like to know. Please contact us on the mailing list, and please specify the version of lxml, libxml2, libxslt and Python you were using, as well as your operating system type (Linux, Windows, MacOS-X, ...).
This is the procedure to make an lxml egg or wheel for your platform. It assumes that you have setuptools or distribute installed, as well as the wheel package.
First, download the lxml-x.y.tar.gz release. This contains the pregenerated C files so that you can be sure you build exactly from the release sources. Unpack them and cd into the resulting directory. Then, to build a wheel, simply run the command
python setup.py bdist_wheel
or, to build a statically linked wheel with all of libxml2, libxslt and friends compiled in, run
python setup.py bdist_wheel --static-deps
The resulting .whl file will be written into the dist directory.
To build an egg file, run
python setup.py build_egg
If you are on a Unix-like platform, you can first build the extension modules using
python setup.py build
and then cd into the directory build/lib.your.platform to call strip on any .so file you find there. This reduces the size of the binary distribution considerably. Then, from the package root directory, call
python setup.py bdist_egg
This will quickly package the pre-built packages into an egg file and drop it into the dist directory.
Apple regularly ships new system releases with horribly outdated system libraries. This is specifically the case for libxml2 and libxslt, where the system provided versions are too old to build lxml.
While the Unix environment in MacOS-X makes it relatively easy to install Unix/Linux style package management tools and new software, it actually seems to be hard to get libraries set up for exclusive usage that MacOS-X ships in an older version. Alternative distributions (like macports) install their libraries in addition to the system libraries, but the compiler and the runtime loader on MacOS still sees the system libraries before the new libraries. This can lead to undebuggable crashes where the newer library seems to be loaded but the older system library is used.
Apple discourages static building against libraries, which would help working around this problem. Apple does not ship static library binaries with its system and several package management systems follow this decision. Therefore, building static binaries requires building the dependencies first. The setup.py script does this automatically when you call it like this:
python setup.py build --static-deps
This will download and build the latest versions of libxml2 and libxslt from the official FTP download site. If you want to use specific versions, or want to prevent any online access, you can download both tar.gz release files yourself, place them into a subdirectory libs in the lxml distribution, and call setup.py with the desired target versions like this:
python setup.py build --static-deps \ --libxml2-version=2.7.8 \ --libxslt-version=1.1.27 \ sudo python setup.py install
Instead of build, you can use any target, like bdist_egg if you want to use setuptools to build an installable egg.
Note that this also works with pip. Since you can't pass command line options in this case, you have to use an environment variable instead:
STATIC_DEPS=true pip install lxml
To install the package into the system Python package directory, run the installation with "sudo":
STATIC_DEPS=true sudo pip install lxml
The STATICBUILD environment variable is handled equivalently to the STATIC_DEPS variable, but is used by some other extension packages, too.
Andreas Pakulat proposed the following approach.
In case dpkg-buildpackage tells you that some dependecies are missing, you can either install them manually or run apt-get build-dep lxml.
That will give you .deb packages in the parent directory which can be installed using dpkg -i.