docs community blog github

Python Buildpack Reference

This reference documentation offers an in-depth description of the behavior and configuration options of the Paketo Python Buildpack. For explanations of how to use the buildpack for several common use-cases, see the Paketo Python Buildpack How To documentation.

Supported Dependencies

The Python buildpack supports several versions of CPython, Pip and Pipenv. For more details on the specific versions supported in a given buildpack version, see the release notes.

Buildpack-Set Environment Variables

The Python Buildpack sets a few environment variables during the build and launch phases of the app lifecycle. The sections below describe each environment variable and its impact on your app.


The PYTHONPATH environment variable is used to add directories where python will look for modules.

  • Set by: CPython, Pip and Pipenv
  • Phases: build and launch

The CPython buildpack sets the PYTHONPATH value to its installation location, and the Pip, Pipenv buildpack prepends their site-packages location to it. site-packages is the target directory where packages are installed to.


The PYTHONUSERBASE environment variable is used to set the user base directory.

  • Set by: Pip Install and Pipenv Install
  • Phases: build and launch

The value of PYTHONUSERBASE is set to the location where these buildapcks install the application packages so that it can be consumed by the app source code.

Start Command

The Python Buildpack sets the default start command python. This starts the Python REPL (read-eval-print loop) at launch.

The Python Buildpack comes with support for Procfile that lets users set custom start commands easily.


Last modified: January 20, 2022