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reinstall-all fixes most issues

The following command should fix many problems you may encounter as a pipx user:

pipx reinstall-all

This is a good fix for the following problems:

  • System python was upgraded and the python used with a pipx-installed package is no longer available
  • pipx upgrade causes issues with old pipx-installed packages

pipx has been upgraded a lot over the years. If you are a long-standing pipx user (thanks, by the way!) then you may have old pipx-installed packages that have internal data that is different than what pipx currently expects. By executing pipx reinstall-all, pipx will re-write its internal data and this should fix many of issues you may encounter.

Note: If your pipx-installed package was installed using a pipx version before and you want to specify particular options, then you may want to uninstall and install it manually:

pipx uninstall <mypackage>
pipx install <mypackage>

Diagnosing problems using list

pipx list

will not only list all of your pipx-installed packages, but can also diagnose some problems with them, as well as suggest solutions.

Specifying pipx options

The most reliable method to specify command-line options that require an argument is to use an =-sign. An example:

pipx install pycowsay --pip-args="--no-cache-dir"

Check for PIP_* environment variables

pipx uses pip to install and manage packages. If you see pipx exhibiting strange behavior on install or upgrade, check that you don't have special environment variables that affect pip's behavior in your environment.

To check for pip environment variables, execute the following depending on your system:

Unix or macOS

env | grep '^PIP_'

Windows PowerShell

ls env:PIP_*

Windows cmd

set PIP_

Reference: pip Environment Variables

pipx log files

Pipx records a verbose log file for every pipx command invocation. The logs for the last 10 pipx commands can be found in $PIPX_HOME/logs.

For most users this location is ~/.local/pipx/logs, where ~ is your home directory.

Debian, Ubuntu issues

If you have issues using pipx on Debian, Ubuntu, or other Debian-based linux distributions, make sure you have the following packages installed on your system. (Debian systems do not install these by default with their python installations.)

sudo apt install python3-venv python3-pip

Reference: Python Packaging User Guide: Installing pip/setuptools/wheel with Linux Package Managers

Does it work to install your package with pip?

This is a tip for advanced users. An easy way to check if pipx is the problem or a package you're trying to install is the problem, is to try installing it using pip. For example:

Unix or macOS

python3 -m venv test_venv
test_venv/bin/python3 -m pip install <problem-package>


python -m venv test_venv
test_venv/Scripts/python -m pip install <problem-package>

If installation into this "virtual environment" using pip fails, then it's likely that the problem is with the package or your host system.

To clean up after this experiment:

rm -rf test_venv