Skip to content

Managing Python distributions

The python command group provides a set of commands to manage Python distributions that may be used by other tools.


When using environments, manual management is not necessary since by default Hatch will automatically download and manage Python distributions internally when a requested version cannot be found.


There are two ways to control where Python distributions are installed. Both methods make it so that each installed distribution is placed in a subdirectory of the configured location named after the distribution.

  1. The globally configured default directory for Python installations.
  2. The -d/--dir option of every python subcommand, which takes precedence over the default directory.


To install a Python distribution, use the python install command. For example:

hatch python install 3.12

This will:

  1. Download the 3.12 Python distribution
  2. Unpack it into a directory named 3.12 within the configured default directory for Python installations
  3. Add the installation to the user PATH

Now its python executable can be used by you or other tools.


For PATH changes to take effect in the current shell, you will need to restart it.


You can install multiple Python distributions at once by providing multiple distribution names. For example:

hatch python install 3.12 3.11 pypy3.10

If you would like to install all available Python distributions that are compatible with your system, use all as the distribution name:

hatch python install all


The commands for updating and removing also support this functionality.


By default, installing Python distributions will add them to the user PATH. To disable this behavior, use the --private flag like so:

hatch python install 3.12 --private

This when combined with the directory option can be used to create private, isolated installations.

Listing distributions

You can see all of the available and installed Python distributions by using the python show command. For example, if you already installed the 3.12 distribution you may see something like this:

$ hatch python show
┃ Name ┃ Version ┃
│ 3.12 │ 3.12.3  │
┃ Name     ┃ Version ┃
│ 3.7      │ 3.7.9   │
│ 3.8      │ 3.8.19  │
│ 3.9      │ 3.9.19  │
│ 3.10     │ 3.10.14 │
│ 3.11     │ 3.11.9  │
│ pypy2.7  │ 7.3.15  │
│ pypy3.9  │ 7.3.15  │
│ pypy3.10 │ 7.3.15  │

Finding installations

The Python executable of an installed distribution can be found by using the python find command. For example:

$ hatch python find 3.12

You can instead output its parent directory by using the -p/--parent flag:

$ hatch python find 3.12 --parent

This is useful when other tools do not need to use the executable directly but require knowing the directory containing it.


To update installed Python distributions, use the python update command. For example:

hatch python update 3.12 3.11 pypy3.10

When there are no updates available for a distribution, a warning will be displayed:

$ hatch python update 3.12
The latest version is already installed: 3.12.3


To remove installed Python distributions, use the python remove command. For example:

hatch python remove 3.12 3.11 pypy3.10