After reading this Esri article on how to distribute Python Toolboxes, I'm wondering how redistribution works? I have a few toolboxes that are in constant development, but would be useful to my co-workers now. If I distribute them as the article suggests and they show up in the System Toolbox in ArcMap can I use the same process to update them? Or is there some extra code that will need to remove the previous version of toolboxes before I distribute the updated versions.

I'm sure I just need to be pointed to a help file where it is all laid out, but I haven't found it yet.


1 Answer 1


Just following the same process again will overwrite your previous toolboxes and should work as a redistribution mechanism. distutils doesn't have a built-in delete mechanism (you'd have to go to pip and friends for that) so this is probably the fastest viable option for redistribution during development.

If you use bdist_wininst to distribute .exe installers, there will be an uninstaller in the control panel you will need to run first. This is a bit cleaner than setup.py install.

  • To be sure I understand, for my purposes, using setup.py would be suitable? If I wanted something cleaner, an exe (made with the bdist_wininst command) would be better, but a toolbox distributed this way would need to be uninstalled before the next version is installed?
    – cndnflyr
    Nov 26, 2013 at 21:44
  • If you want a minimum of user intervention, then setup.py install is the easiest. You could run the installer multiple times, but I'm not 100% sure it'd then uninstall correctly. Try it out and see? Nov 26, 2013 at 22:20

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.