Get a Python Package Version

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Part of maintaining a Django-based application like MDN's kuma is ensuring Python packages are up to date.  I was recently testing an upgrade on a remote system and needed to ensure that a given Python package was at the version number it should be.  Here's how I retrieved the package version:

import nose   # Nose is a test utility.  Replace with your desired package here.
nose.__version__

# Output:  0.3.1

The __version__ property returns the exact version number for a Python package.  Some Python packages use a VERSION property as well, but __version__ should be the most reliable.

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Discussion

  1. Every once in a while a package might not define either VERSION or __version__, since they’re conventions, not required. You can always get the installed version with pkg_resources, though:

    >>> import pkg_resources
    >>> pkg_resources.get_distribution("PIL").version
    '1.1.7'
    
  2. Alfred Tarski

    @James, __version__ is recommended by PEP 396

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