Introduction to Python 2

The Python 2 package contains the Python development environment. It is useful for object-oriented programming, writing scripts, prototyping large programs or developing entire applications. This version is for backward compatibility with other dependent packages.



Python2 has been deprecated by the upstream developers. Support for Python2 will be discontinued on January 1st, 2020.

BLFS is attempting to use Python3 as much as possible, but some packages have not been updated to support Python3.

This package is known to build and work properly using an LFS-9.0 platform.

Package Information

Additional Downloads

Python 2 Dependencies


BlueZ-5.50 and Valgrind-3.15.0

Optional (For Additional Modules)

SQLite-3.29.0 and Tk-8.6.9

User Notes:

Installation of Python 2



If updating pip2 with the command pip2 install --upgrade pip, it will remove pip3 and the symlink pip installed in LFS. To restore pip and pip3, run, as the root user:

python3 -m pip install --force pip

Install Python 2 by running the following commands:

./configure --prefix=/usr       \
            --enable-shared     \
            --with-system-expat \
            --with-system-ffi   \
            --with-ensurepip=yes \
            --enable-unicode=ucs4 &&

To test the results, issue: make -k test. Three tests fail for unknown reasons.

Now, as the root user:

make install &&
chmod -v 755 /usr/lib/

Since Python 2 is in maintenance mode, and Python 3 is recommended by upstream for development, you probably do not need to install the documentation. However, if you still want to install documentation for both Python versions, be sure to define the PYTHONDOCS variable for the version you want to use, each time you need to consult the documentation. If you have downloaded the preformatted documentation from, install it as the root user:

install -v -dm755 /usr/share/doc/python-2.7.16 &&

tar --strip-components=1                     \
    --no-same-owner                          \
    --directory /usr/share/doc/python-2.7.16 \
    -xvf ../python-2.7.16-docs-html.tar.bz2 &&

find /usr/share/doc/python-2.7.16 -type d -exec chmod 0755 {} \; &&
find /usr/share/doc/python-2.7.16 -type f -exec chmod 0644 {} \;

Command Explanations

--with-system-expat: This switch enables linking against system version of Expat.

--with-system-ffi: This switch enables linking against system version of libffi.

--with-ensurepip=yes : This switch enables building pip and setuptools packaging programs. setuptools is needed for building some Python modules.

--enable-unicode=ucs4: This switch enables 32bit Unicode support in Python.

--with-dbmliborder=bdb:gdbm:ndbm: Use this switch if you want to build Python DBM Module against Berkeley DB instead of GDBM.

chmod ...: Fix permissions for libraries to be consistent with other libraries.

Configuring Python 2

In order for python to find the installed documentation, you must add the following environment variable to individual user's or the system's profile:

export PYTHONDOCS=/usr/share/doc/python-2.7.16


Installed Programs: 2to3, pip2, pydoc, python (symlink), python-config (symlink), python2 (symlink), python2-config (symlink), python2.7, python2.7-config,, and idle
Installed Library:
Installed Directories: /usr/{include,lib}/python2.7 and /usr/share/doc/python-2.7.16

Short Descriptions


is a Python program that reads Python 2.x source code and applies a series of fixes to transform it into valid Python 3.x code.


is the package manager for Python 2.x. It is used to automate management of Python 2.x modules.


is a wrapper script that opens a Python aware GUI editor. For this script to run, you must have installed Tk before Python so that the Tkinter Python module is built.


is the Python documentation tool.


is an interpreted, interactive, object-oriented programming language.


is a version-specific name for the python program.

is an SMTP proxy implemented in Python.

Last updated on 2019-08-16 15:28:01 -0700