The astropy-helpers package includes many build, installation, and documentation-related tools used by the Astropy project, but packaged separately for use by other projects that wish to leverage this work. The motivation behind this package and details of its implementation are in the accepted Astropy Proposal for Enhancement (APE) 4.

Astropy-helpers is not a traditional package in the sense that it is not intended to be installed directly by users or developers. Instead, it is meant to be accessed when the setup.py command is run - see Using astropy-helpers in a package for how to do this.

For a real-life example of how to implement astropy-helpers in a project, see the setup.py and setup.cfg files of the Affiliated package template.


astropy-helpers v3.x requires Python 3.5 or later. If you wish to maintain Python 2 support for your package that uses astropy-helpers, then do not upgrade astropy-helpers to v3.0 or later. We will still provide Python 2.7 compatible v2.0.x releases until the end of 2019.