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We will cover binary wheels on the next page, but if you do not have a compiled extension, this is called a universal (pure Python) package, and the procedure to make a “built” wheel is simple.

Note: Why make a wheel when there is nothing to compile? There are a multitude of reasons that a wheel is better than only providing an sdist:

  • Wheels do not run, but simply install files into locations
    • Lower install requirements - users don’t need your setup tools
    • Faster installs
    • Safer installs - no arbitrary code execution
    • Highly consistent installs
  • Wheels pre-compile bytecode when they install
    • Initial import is not slower than subsequent import
    • Less chance of a permission issue
  • You can look in the .whl (it’s a .tar.gz, really) and see where everything is going to go

Job setup

name: CD

    - published


This will run when you manually trigger a build (workflow_dispatch), or when you publish a release. Later, we will make sure that the actual publish step requires the event to be a publish event, so that manual triggers (and branches/PRs, if those are enabled).

If you want tags instead of releases, you can add the on: push: tags: "v*" key instead of the releases - however, please remember to make a GitHub release of your tag! It shows up in the GUI and it notifies anyone watching releases(-only). You will also need to change the event filter below.

You can merge the CI job and the CD job if you want. To do that, preferably with the name “CI/CD”, you can just combine the two on dicts.

Distribution: Pure Python wheels

    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    - uses: actions/checkout@v1
    - uses: actions/setup-python@v2

    - name: Install wheel and SDist requirements
      run: python -m pip install "setuptools>=42.0" "setuptools_scm[toml]>=4.1" "wheel" "twine"

    - name: Build SDist
      run: python sdist

    - uses: actions/upload-artifact@v2
        path: dist/*

    - name: Build wheel
      run: >
        python -m pip wheel . -w wheels

    - uses: actions/upload-artifact@v2
        path: wheels/<packagename>-*.whl

    - name: Check metadata
      run: twine check dist/* wheels/*

A few things to note that are new to this job:

We install SDist requirements by hand since python sdist does not get the benefits of having pip install things. If you have any special requirements in your pyproject.toml, you’ll need to list them here. This is special just for the SDist, not for making wheels (which should be done by the PEP 517/518 process for you).

You need to put your base package name in for <packagename> in the upload command; pip will put all wheels needed in the directory you specify, and you need to just pick out your wheels for upload. You don’t want to upload NumPy or some other wheel it had to build (not common anymore, but can happen).

You can also use here instead of pip.

We upload the artifact just to make it available via the GitHub PR/Checks API. You can download a file to test locally if you want without making a release.

We also add an optional check using twine for the metadata (it will be tested later in the upload action for the release job, as well).

And then, you need a release job:

    needs: [dist]
    runs-on: ubuntu-latest
    if: github.event_name == 'release' && github.event.action == 'published'

    - uses: actions/download-artifact@v2
        name: artifact
        path: dist

    - uses: pypa/gh-action-pypi-publish@v1.2.2
        user: __token__
        password: ${{ secrets.pypi_password }}

When you make a GitHub release in the web UI, we publish to PyPI. You’ll need to go to PyPI, generate a token for your project, and put it into pypi_password on your repo’s secrets page.