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Manage project#

PDM can act as a PEP 517 build backend, to enable that, write the following lines in your pyproject.toml. If you used pdm init to create it for you, it should be done already.

requires = ["pdm"]
build-backend = ""

pip will read the backend settings to install or build a package.

About editable installation

As described, PEP 517 doesn't provide a way to specify how to install a package in editable mode. So you can't install a PEP 517 package by pip install -e <path_or_url>. But PDM can install a "PDM package" in editable mode.

Choose a Python interpreter#

If you have used pdm init, you must have already seen how PDM detects and selects the Python interpreter. After initialized, you can also change the settings by pdm use <python_version_or_path>. The argument can be either a version specifier of any length, or a relative or absolute path to the python interpreter, but remember the Python interpreter must be compatible with python_requires constraint in the project file.

How python_requires controls the project#

PDM respects the value of python_requires in the way that it tries to pick package candidates that can work on all python versions that python_requires contains. For example if python_requires is >=2.7, PDM will try to find the latest version of foo, whose python_requires version range is a superset of >=2.7.

So, make sure you write python_requires properly if you don't want any outdated packages to be locked.

Build distribution artifacts#

$ pdm build
- Building sdist...
- Built pdm-test-0.0.0.tar.gz
- Building wheel...
- Built pdm_test-0.0.0-py3-none-any.whl

The artifacts can then be uploaded to PyPI by twine.

Show the current Python environment#

$ pdm info
Python Interpreter: D:/Programs/Python/Python38/python.exe (3.8.0)
Project Root:       D:/Workspace/pdm
$ pdm info --env
  "implementation_name": "cpython",
  "implementation_version": "3.8.0",
  "os_name": "nt",
  "platform_machine": "AMD64",
  "platform_release": "10",
  "platform_system": "Windows",
  "platform_version": "10.0.18362",
  "python_full_version": "3.8.0",
  "platform_python_implementaiton": "CPython",
  "python_version": "3.8",
  "sys_platform": "win32"

Configrate the project#

Show the configurations:

$ pdm config

Get one single configuration:

$ pdm config get pypi.url

Change a configuration value and store in home configuration:

$ pdm config set pypi.url ""

Change a configuration value and store in .pdm.toml:

$ pdm config set --local pypi.url ""

The configuration files are searched in the following order:

  1. <PROJECT_ROOT>/.pdm.toml - The project configuration
  2. ~/.pdm/config.toml - The home configuration

If -g/--global option is used, ~/.pdm/global-project/.pdm.toml will replace the first item.

Manage global project#

Sometimes users may want to keep track of the dependencies of global Python interpreter. It is easy to do it with PDM, via -g/--global option which is supported by most subcommands.

If the option is passed, ~/.pdm/global-project will be used as the project directory, which is almost the same as normal project except that pyproject.toml will be created automatically for you and it doesn't support build features. The idea is taken from Haskell's stack.

However, unlike stack, by default, PDM won't use global project automatically if a local project is not found. Users should pass -g/--global explicitly to activate it, since it is not very pleasing if packages go to a wrong place. To change this behavior, simply change the config auto_global to true.

If you want global project to track another project file other than ~/.pdm/global-project, you can provide the project path following -g/--global.


Be careful with remove and sync --clean commands when global project is used. Because it may remove packages installed in your system Python.

Working with a virtualenv#

Although PDM enforces PEP 582 by default, it also allows users to install packages into the virtualenv. It is controlled by the configuration item use_venv. When it is set to True PDM will use the virtualenv if:

  • an virtualenv is already activated.
  • any of venv, .venv, env is an valid virtualenv folder.

Import project metadata from existing project files#

If you are already other package manager tools like Pipenv or Poetry, it is easy to migrate to PDM. PDM provides import command so that you don't have to initialize the project manually, it now supports:

  1. Pipenv's Pipfile
  2. Poetry's section in pyproject.toml
  3. Flit's section in pyproject.toml
  4. requirements.txt format used by Pip

Also, when you are executing pdm init or pdm install, PDM can auto-detect possible files to import if your PDM project has not been initialized yet.

Export locked packeges to alternative formats#

You can also export pdm.lock to other formats, to ease the CI flow or image building process. Currently, only requirements.txt format is supported:

$ pdm export -o requirements.txt


Config Item Description Default Value Available in Project Env var
cache_dir The root directory of cached files The default cache location on OS No
auto_global Use global package implicity if no local project is found False No PDM_AUTO_GLOBAL
use_venv Install packages into the activated venv site packages instead of PEP 582 False Yes PDM_USE_VENV
parallel_install Whether to perform installation and uninstallation in parallel True Yes PDM_PARALLEL_INSTALL
python.path The Python interpreter path Yes PDM_PYTHON_PATH
python.use_pyenv Use the pyenv interpreter True Yes
pypi.url The URL of PyPI mirror Read index-url in pip.conf, or if not found Yes PDM_PYPI_URL
pypi.verify_ssl Verify SSL certificate when query PyPI Read trusted-hosts in pip.conf, defaults to True Yes
pypi.json_api Consult PyPI's JSON API for package metadata False Yes PDM_PYPI_JSON_API

If the env var is set, the value will take precendence over what is saved in the config file.