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Title: Use pkg-config autoconf macros to detect flags for Modules/Setup
Type: enhancement Stage: patch review
Components: Build Versions: Python 3.11
Status: open Resolution:
Dependencies: Superseder: Detect SQLite in
View: 45774
Assigned To: christian.heimes Nosy List: brett.cannon, christian.heimes, erlendaasland, ned.deily, twouters
Priority: normal Keywords: patch

Created on 2021-10-22 15:22 by christian.heimes, last changed 2022-04-11 14:59 by admin.

Pull Requests
URL Status Linked Edit
PR 29164 closed christian.heimes, 2021-10-22 15:25
PR 29534 open christian.heimes, 2021-11-12 09:08
PR 29559 merged christian.heimes, 2021-11-14 18:40
PR 29594 merged christian.heimes, 2021-11-17 14:44
PR 29614 merged christian.heimes, 2021-11-18 09:02
PR 29615 merged christian.heimes, 2021-11-18 11:20
PR 29616 merged christian.heimes, 2021-11-18 12:32
Messages (14)
msg404781 - (view) Author: Christian Heimes (christian.heimes) * (Python committer) Date: 2021-10-22 15:22
pkg-config [1] is a standard tool on Linux and other platforms to detect presence of dependencies as well as to figure out which compiler and linker flags they require. Development packages provide a .pc file, e.g. ncurses provides a ncursesw.pc file.

$ pkg-config --libs --cflags ncursesw
-D_DEFAULT_SOURCE -D_XOPEN_SOURCE=600 -lncursesw -ltinfo

I propose to use a modified version of pkg-config's PKG_HAVE_DEFINE_WITH_MODULES macro in our configure script. On succss the modified macro defines:

* FOO_CFLAGS="some compile flags"
* FOO_LIBS="some library flags for linker"

On error, it sets nothing and does not cause configure to stop with an error.

The macro also allows users to override flags by setting FOO_CFLAGS and FOO_LIBS env vars. HAVE_FOO is added to pyconfig.h. The FOO_CFLAGS/LIBS are added to Makefile, from where it can be consumed by Modules/Setup.

Eventually Python could use the flags in, too. For now I would like to start with Modules/Setup. It is only used by some power users and has less risk of breaking the setup of beginners.

msg404783 - (view) Author: Christian Heimes (christian.heimes) * (Python committer) Date: 2021-10-22 15:28
I added some whitespace to Modules/Setup. All lines starting with ``#([a-z_])`` compile cleanly on Fedora 34 with all dependencies available. dbm, tkinter, and sqlite are missing or untested.

$ sed -E -i 's/^#([a-z_])/\1/g' Modules/Setup
$ make
The following modules found by detect_modules() in, have been
built by the Makefile instead, as configured by the Setup files:
_abc               _asyncio           _bisect         
_blake2            _bz2               _codecs_cn      
_codecs_hk         _codecs_iso2022    _codecs_jp      
_codecs_kr         _codecs_tw         _contextvars    
_crypt             _csv               _curses         
_curses_panel      _datetime          _elementtree    
_hashlib           _heapq             _json           
_lsprof            _lzma              _md5            
_multibytecodec    _opcode            _pickle         
_posixsubprocess   _queue             _random         
_sha1              _sha256            _sha3           
_sha512            _socket            _ssl            
_statistics        _struct            _testbuffer     
_testimportmultiple   _testinternalcapi   _testmultiphase 
_typing            _xxsubinterpreters   _xxtestfuzz     
_zoneinfo          array              audioop         
binascii           cmath              fcntl           
grp                math               mmap            
nis                ossaudiodev        pwd             
pyexpat            readline           resource        
select             spwd               syslog          
termios            time               unicodedata     
xxlimited          xxlimited_35       zlib   

$  ./python -c "import sys; print(sys.builtin_module_names)"
('_abc', '_ast', '_asyncio', '_bisect', '_blake2', '_bz2', '_codecs', '_codecs_cn', '_codecs_hk', '_codecs_iso2022', '_codecs_jp', '_codecs_kr', '_codecs_tw', '_collections', '_contextvars', '_crypt', '_csv', '_curses', '_curses_panel', '_datetime', '_elementtree', '_functools', '_hashlib', '_heapq', '_imp', '_io', '_json', '_locale', '_lsprof', '_lzma', '_md5', '_multibytecodec', '_opcode', '_operator', '_pickle', '_posixsubprocess', '_queue', '_random', '_sha1', '_sha256', '_sha3', '_sha512', '_signal', '_socket', '_sre', '_ssl', '_stat', '_statistics', '_string', '_struct', '_symtable', '_testbuffer', '_testimportmultiple', '_testinternalcapi', '_testmultiphase', '_thread', '_tokenize', '_tracemalloc', '_typing', '_warnings', '_weakref', '_xxsubinterpreters', '_xxtestfuzz', '_zoneinfo', 'array', 'atexit', 'audioop', 'binascii', 'builtins', 'cmath', 'errno', 'faulthandler', 'fcntl', 'gc', 'grp', 'itertools', 'marshal', 'math', 'mmap', 'nis', 'ossaudiodev', 'posix', 'pwd', 'pyexpat', 'readline', 'resource', 'select', 'spwd', 'sys', 'syslog', 'termios', 'time', 'unicodedata', 'xx', 'xxlimited', 'xxlimited_35', 'xxsubtype', 'zlib')
$ ldd python (0x00007fffa1f40000) => /lib64/ (0x00007f6032fe2000) => /lib64/ (0x00007f6032fdb000) => /lib64/ (0x00007f6032fd6000) => /lib64/ (0x00007f6032e92000) => /lib64/ (0x00007f6032e58000) => /lib64/ (0x00007f6032e3c000) => /lib64/ (0x00007f6032e0a000) => /lib64/ (0x00007f6032df7000) => /lib64/ (0x00007f6032dcb000) => /lib64/ (0x00007f6032db1000) => /lib64/ (0x00007f6032d59000) => /lib64/ (0x00007f6032cbc000) => /lib64/ (0x00007f60329cc000) => /lib64/ (0x00007f603298d000) => /lib64/ (0x00007f603295e000) => /lib64/ (0x00007f6032958000) => /lib64/ (0x00007f6032789000)
        /lib64/ (0x00007f6033029000) => /lib64/ (0x00007f6032732000) => /lib64/ (0x00007f6032652000) => /lib64/ (0x00007f603263a000) => /lib64/ (0x00007f6032633000) => /lib64/ (0x00007f6032606000) => /lib64/ (0x00007f60325f5000) => /lib64/ (0x00007f60325ec000) => /lib64/ (0x00007f60325d2000) => /lib64/ (0x00007f60325a6000) => /lib64/ (0x00007f603250f000)
msg404784 - (view) Author: Christian Heimes (christian.heimes) * (Python committer) Date: 2021-10-22 15:30
$ find build/lib.linux-x86_64-3.11/ -name '*.so' | sort
msg406084 - (view) Author: Christian Heimes (christian.heimes) * (Python committer) Date: 2021-11-10 12:00
We can detect majority of our dependencies with pkg-config. The use of pkg-config has some benefits:

* Distro's provide the .pc files in their -dev / -devel packages. The presence of a .pc file indicates that all development dependencies are available.

* pkg-config does the right thing for non-standard include and libraries directories as well as multiarch builds. In case a library or header is not on the default search path, pkg-config returns necessary -I and -L flags.

* At least the pkgconf implementation of pkg-config standard search /usr/local and ~/.local/ directories for .pc files. Cases like are handled correctly. On FreeBSD "pkgconf sqlite3 --cflags --libs" returns "-I/usr/local/include -L/usr/local/lib -lsqlite3".

* pkg-config understands dependencies. For example "pkg-config --libs tk" returns linker flags for TK *and* TCL.

* pkg-config can check for module version, e.g. "pkg-config sqlite3 --atleast-version=3.7.15"

pkg-config modules:

  readline, libedit
  ncursesw, ncurses, panel, tinfo
  uuid (Linux's util-linux uuid)
  libnsl, libtirpc
  tcl, tk
  openssl, libssl, libcrypto
modules / libraries without pkg-config modules:

  decimal: libmpdec
  gdbm: gdbm
  dbm: gdbm_compat, ndbm, libdb (bdb)

To simplify use of flags in Modules/Setup, I propose to add two make variables for each module that needs cflags and ldflags:


e.g. for the _ssl module:

  MODULE__SSL_LDFLAGS=-lssl -lcrypto

Then use the flags from Makefile in

    def update_extension_flags(self, ext):
        name =
        cflags = sysconfig.get_config_var(f"MODULE_{name}_CFLAGS")
        if cflags:
        ldflags = sysconfig.get_config_var(f"MODULE_{name}_LDFLAGS")
        if ldflags:
        return ext

Finally update Modules/makesetup to use the new variables, too.
msg406135 - (view) Author: Brett Cannon (brett.cannon) * (Python committer) Date: 2021-11-10 21:35
msg406138 - (view) Author: Ned Deily (ned.deily) * (Python committer) Date: 2021-11-10 22:48

This all sounds great. I think a goal here should be to remove all header and lib file searching from as that has always been a bug magnet. Perhaps one workaround for those libs that don't (yet) provide .pc files would be for us to supply reasonable default .pc for them, if possible, so that most builders wouldn't have to set the MODULE_xxx_*FLAGS variables while still removing the header/lib file searching from Also it would be great to document how using pkg-config works in generic cross-compiling cases; we should strive to make at least the most common cases just work with minimal tweaking of configure arguments.
msg406139 - (view) Author: Christian Heimes (christian.heimes) * (Python committer) Date: 2021-11-10 23:43
gdbmmodule and dbmmodule need special treatment anyway. macOS has dbm-API build into libc. Linux has either libgdbm_compat, libndbm, or libdb. The --with-dbmliborder makes it even more interesting. Users can override in which order they want to probe for gdbm, ndbm, and libdb. We have to keep the "manual" library and header checks.

Cross-compilation with pkg-config uses a trivial wrapper script, . The build system has to create and provide a script with correct sysroot setting.

Is traditional cross-compiling work still useful these days anyway? Emulation has made big leaps in the last decade. Emulated cross compiling with qemu has become widespread. It also has the big advantage that you can run the test suite on the emulated hardware and verify that your binaries work. AFAIK Fedora's build system uses qemu for a bunch of hardware targets.
msg406331 - (view) Author: Christian Heimes (christian.heimes) * (Python committer) Date: 2021-11-14 19:55
New changeset c3997865f24d9491318b401ae8e46d27332aca25 by Christian Heimes in branch 'main':
bpo-45573: Use Makefile's dependencies in (GH-29559)
msg406375 - (view) Author: Brett Cannon (brett.cannon) * (Python committer) Date: 2021-11-15 23:48
> Is traditional cross-compiling work still useful these days anyway?

Yes for things like WebAssembly where there is no equivalent of an emulated CPU under QEMU.
msg406520 - (view) Author: Christian Heimes (christian.heimes) * (Python committer) Date: 2021-11-18 08:18
New changeset 25ecc040d007a55e4b5c30fa739054b52c1aacac by Christian Heimes in branch 'main':
bpo-45573: Introduce extension module flags in Makefile (GH-29594)
msg406527 - (view) Author: Christian Heimes (christian.heimes) * (Python committer) Date: 2021-11-18 09:56
New changeset 5275e59c0c1b26226608e6c7c2548c26192d6575 by Christian Heimes in branch 'main':
bpo-45573: check for ossaudiodev in configure (GH-29614)
msg406535 - (view) Author: Christian Heimes (christian.heimes) * (Python committer) Date: 2021-11-18 13:40
New changeset e4bb22fabbea72776b377733047e0f32e0388059 by Christian Heimes in branch 'main':
bpo-45573: Add Modules/Setup.stdlib with conditional modules (GH-29615)
msg406586 - (view) Author: Christian Heimes (christian.heimes) * (Python committer) Date: 2021-11-19 14:16
Erlend implemented pkg-config for sqlite3 in bpo-45774. Thanks to his tireless effort we now have a blue print how to port other checks to optional pkg-config lookup.
msg406591 - (view) Author: Christian Heimes (christian.heimes) * (Python committer) Date: 2021-11-19 15:41
New changeset 7e44dc0ba768451f287a541cd1c85f7d87a41561 by Christian Heimes in branch 'main':
bpo-45573: Move mandatory core modules to Modules/Setup.bootstrap (GH-29616)
Date User Action Args
2022-04-11 14:59:51adminsetgithub: 89736
2021-11-19 15:41:03christian.heimessetmessages: + msg406591
2021-11-19 14:16:12christian.heimessetsuperseder: Detect SQLite in
messages: + msg406586
2021-11-18 13:40:09christian.heimessetmessages: + msg406535
2021-11-18 12:32:35christian.heimessetpull_requests: + pull_request27852
2021-11-18 11:20:38christian.heimessetpull_requests: + pull_request27851
2021-11-18 09:56:45christian.heimessetmessages: + msg406527
2021-11-18 09:02:03christian.heimessetpull_requests: + pull_request27850
2021-11-18 08:18:49christian.heimessetmessages: + msg406520
2021-11-17 14:44:46christian.heimessetpull_requests: + pull_request27837
2021-11-15 23:48:48brett.cannonsetmessages: + msg406375
2021-11-14 19:55:24christian.heimessetmessages: + msg406331
2021-11-14 18:40:48christian.heimessetpull_requests: + pull_request27807
2021-11-12 09:08:34christian.heimessetpull_requests: + pull_request27784
2021-11-10 23:43:10christian.heimessetmessages: + msg406139
2021-11-10 22:48:33ned.deilysetmessages: + msg406138
2021-11-10 21:35:25brett.cannonsetmessages: + msg406135
2021-11-10 12:09:13erlendaaslandsetnosy: + erlendaasland
2021-11-10 12:00:22christian.heimessetmessages: + msg406084
2021-10-22 15:50:32ned.deilysetnosy: + ned.deily
2021-10-22 15:30:02christian.heimessetmessages: + msg404784
2021-10-22 15:28:16christian.heimessetnosy: + twouters, brett.cannon
messages: + msg404783
2021-10-22 15:25:30christian.heimessetkeywords: + patch
stage: patch review
pull_requests: + pull_request27438
2021-10-22 15:22:43christian.heimescreate