Configuring Python on MacOS

Written on November 3, 2014 |

This post goes through the steps to add the necessary modules in Python that I use.

Install pip

$ sudo easy_install pip

Set up MySQL prerequisites to install the Python MySQLdb module

mysql_config must be on the path in order to install the MySQL-python module. I install MySQL in /usr/local and then create a symlink /usr/local/mysql pointing to the actual directory:

$ ls -l /usr/local
lrwxr-xr-x  mysql -> mysql-5.6.21-osx10.8-x86_64
drwxr-xr-x  mysql-5.6.21-osx10.8-x86_64

Add the MySQL bin directory to the path, either in /etc/profile or ~/.bash_login. I threw in a few other MySQL alias customizations I’ve made, which don’t actually have to be included below.

export set MYSQL_HOME=/usr/local/mysql

# Add the ./bin directory to the path.
export set PATH=$PATH:$MYSQL_HOME/bin

# Aliases make it easier to manually start and stop the MySQL daemon.
alias mysqlstart="/Library/StartupItems/MySQLCOM/MySQLCOM start"
alias mysqlstop="/Library/StartupItems/MySQLCOM/MySQLCOM stop"

Check that mysql-config is on the path:

$ which mysql_config

Install MySQL and peewee ORM modules

$ sudo pip install peewee MySQL-python

Verify that the modules are installed. peewee can be verified just by checking it’s installed.

$ python -c 'help("modules peewee")'

Try importing MySQLdb to make sure all of its dependencies are satisfied. If the following error message appears, it means that the MySQL shared library cannot be found by Python.

>>> import MySQLdb
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
  File "/Library/Python/2.7/site-packages/MySQLdb/", line 19, in <module>
    import _mysql
ImportError: dlopen(/Library/Python/2.7/site-packages/, 2): Library not loaded: libmysqlclient.18.dylib
  Referenced from: /Library/Python/2.7/site-packages/
  Reason: image not found

One solution is to set the DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variable, but this seems a bit unnecessary for a library dependency, so a symlink works too. The following command works well.

$ sudo ln -s /usr/local/mysql/lib/libmysqlclient.18.dylib \

Install requests and lxml modules

These ones are simple.

$ sudo pip install requests
$ sudo pip install lxml