User Guide

Building Wheels

To build a wheel for your project:

python -m pip install build
python -m build --wheel

This will build any C extensions in the project and then package those and the pure Python code into a .whl file in the dist directory.

If your project contains no C extensions and is expected to work on both Python 2 and 3, you will want to tell wheel to produce universal wheels by adding this to your setup.cfg file:

universal = 1

Including license files in the generated wheel file

Several open source licenses require the license text to be included in every distributable artifact of the project. By default, wheel conveniently includes files matching the following glob patterns in the .dist-info directory:





This can be overridden by setting the license_files option in the [metadata] section of the project’s setup.cfg. For example:

license_files =

No matter the path, all the matching license files are written in the wheel in the .dist-info directory based on their file name only.

By specifying an empty license_files option, you can disable this functionality entirely.


There used to be an option called license_file (singular). As of wheel v0.32, this option has been deprecated in favor of the more versatile license_files option.

Converting Eggs to Wheels

The wheel tool is capable of converting eggs to the wheel format. It works on both .egg files and .egg directories, and you can convert multiple eggs with a single command:

wheel convert blah-1.2.3-py2.7.egg foo-2.0b1-py3.5.egg

The command supports wildcard expansion as well (via iglob()) to accommodate shells that do not do such expansion natively:

wheel convert *.egg

By default, the resulting wheels are written to the current working directory. This can be changed with the --dest-dir option:

wheel convert --dest-dir /tmp blah-1.2.3-py2.7.egg

Installing Wheels

To install a wheel file, use pip:

$ pip install someproject-1.5.0-py2-py3-none.whl