bootstrapping virtualenv

2015/06/19

I worked on a cluster, and I wanted to set up my own python environment. The network of incompatibilities eventually showed me that I would need to download my own Python source code (I wanted 3.4) and my own version of virtualenv. I installed Python locally using the typical

<code>./configure --prefix=$HOME/local
make
make install
</code>

but I was suddenly in a pickle, because when I tried to open a virtual environment by bootstrapping, I was told that Python did not have the zlib module installed.

Only after some consternation did I find that I had to separately download and install zlib from source, and then re-install Python using

<code>./configure --prefix=$HOME/local --with-zlib=$HOME/local/include
</code>

After this, I could start up my own virtual environment

<code>cd ~
/path/to/local/python3 /path/to/virtualenv-13.0.3/virtualenv.py my_env_name
</code>