Python Wheels for the Raspberry Pi

piwheels is a Python package repository providing Arm platform wheels (pre-compiled binary Python packages) specifically for the Raspberry Pi, making pip installations much faster. Packages are natively compiled on Raspberry Pi 3 hardware using the Mythic Beasts Pi cloud.

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Raspberry Pi OS (formerly known as Raspbian) includes configuration for pip to use piwheels by default, which lives at /etc/pip.conf:


With this simple configuration change, pip should now search piwheels for built distributions of packages and use them in preference to building from source. You can test this out by creating a virtual environment and attempting to install scipy which usually involves a fairly lengthy compilation:

$ sudo apt install virtualenv python3-virtualenv -y
$ virtualenv -p /usr/bin/python3 testpip
$ source testpip/bin/activate
(testpip) $ pip install scipy
(testpip) $ deactivate
$ rm -rf testpip/
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Wheels provided support all Raspberry Pi models (Pi 4, Pi 3, Pi 2, Pi 1 and Pi Zero). Wheels are provided for Raspbian Jessie (Python 3.4), Raspbian Stretch (Python 3.5) and Raspberry Pi OS / Raspbian Buster (Python 3.7) — though currently only the 32-bit OS is supported, not 64-bit.

See each package's project page for information on available wheels, and see the FAQ for more technical details.

Page last updated 2021-06-14 12:29 UTC