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Mass Python 2 Package Removal


(Sub-)packages only providing python2 importable modules without additional functionality will be removed from Fedora unless some other package(s) depends on them.

Python 2 will be deprecated in Fedora. Packagers can mark any other Python 2 packages as deprecated as well.


  • Email:
  • Release notes owner:

Current status

Detailed Description

Python 2 reaches End of Life on 2020-01-01. Its current maintainers would like to orphan it before that date, and so far no one else has stepped up to maintain Python 2 (with the full ecosystem) past 2020. Since thousands of packages still depend on python2, we need a more careful approach than normal orphaning. Some of those packages are abandoned and/or the Python 2 version is unnecessary. Others are useful and just need more time to port to Python 3. Hence we set up criteria for python2 packages that can remain in the distribution and we remove everything else. This should allow us to keep python2 for limited use, not break everything, but should also send a strong message that it is no longer a first class citizen, and filter packages we need to focus Python 3 porting efforts on.

(Sub-)packages that only provide a python2 importable module, and are not required for other packages, will be removed.

Examples of situations where a (sub-)package does not provide only the importable module:

  • A package also provides an application, mostly likely in /usr/bin, /usr/libexec...
    • (Note that according to current guidelines, if the Python 3 version of a package provides the same functionality, the Python 3 package should provide the application.)
    • (In certain situations the provided application is only useful to boostrap or manage projects using the module. Such applications don't count.)
  • A package provides a plugin for another application, most likely trough a setuptools entrypoint interface or some custom location on disk.

Our process will be:

  • File bugs for all packages that look like they only provide a Python 2 importable module. (This includes those needed by other packages we plan to remove.)
  • Leave at least a week for packagers to respond to the bugs.
  • If the packager approves or there is no response for a week, we will remove the package.

There are currently ~3000 source packages that generate python2 dependent RPMs. Automation is available to provide us a rough list of packages to remove.

Packages to remove

The list is at Changes/Mass_Python_2_Package_Removal/List not to disturb the reading experience of this page.

Packagers can block some packages from removal by responding on Bugzilla and providing reasons. If no general consensus is reached, FESCo will decide (as Python SIG does not have a formal process for such decisions).

We'll also actively try to remove unused or optional dependencies to reduce the number of packages that need to be kept because other packages depend on them.

As dependencies evolve over time, we will regularly repeat this proces on rawhide from now on even on future releases.

Packagers are strongly encouraged to help port their applications to Python 3. Removing old Python 2 only applications from Fedora is also encouraged, especially if the upstream is dead. Python SIG is available to help with porting.

Packaging guidelines will be updated to reflect that packaging for Python 3 only is the default. Instructions for Python 2 and dual-support will be moved to the Appendix.

Python 2 will be marked deprecated (see Packaging:Deprecating_Packages).

Any package that only provides a Python 2 importable module may be marked as deprecated as well if the maintainer(s) want to.

Benefit to Fedora

A giant pile of unneeded software running on a legacy interperter will be removed from Fedora before the interpreter stops being supported upstream.

While we would very much like to remove Python 2 entirely, this way we are not breaking Fedora, and we can accomodate some exceptions.


  • Proposal owners:
    • Provide a list of packages to remove
    • Collect feedback from affected packagers
    • Mark python2 as deprecated (done)
    • Retire the python2 only packages
    • Remove python2 subpackages from dual-python packages
  • Other developers:
    • Ask for packages to be removed from the list if needed (with reasons).
    • Remove python2 subpackages from dual-python packages (not needed, but helpful)
    • Optionaly mark remainign python2 packages deprecated
  • Policies and guidelines:
    • Python packaging guidelines will be changed to only describe Python 3
    • Python 2 and dual-support packaging will be moved to the appendix
    • Only packages providing additional features different than importable modules will be allowed to be added in Fedora (with exception for dependenecies of other packages)
    • Python 2 will be marked deprecated
  • Trademark approval: not needed for this Change

Upgrade/compatibility impact

Packages removed form Fedora repos will remain on the installed OS until explicitly removed by the user or obsoleted by the packagers. We'll only obsolete packages that would break upgrade (from fedora-obsolete-packages).

How To Test

Any program written in Python and any program that has Python plugins could potentially be influenced by this change. Testing is different for software that is still using Python 2 and for software that has been switched to Python 3.

For any python2 programs, make sure those programs are still functional after the package removal. Since various packages that are no longer built will not be removed from an existing system, just upgrading and checking packages is not enough. Either a new installation should be used, or after a branching point, any packages which haven't been rebuilt for F30, so any packages with .fc29 or lower release suffix should be removed from the system before testing.

For the python3 programs, install all upgrades and check if the software works.

Upgrade failures because of missing dependencies should be treated as bugs. Any removed python2 subpackages which break upgrades need to be added to Obsoletes in fedora-obsolete-packages.

User Experience

There will be less Python 2 RPMs in Fedora repos. Users are encouraged to switch to Python 3 and/or use Python 2 virtual environments and pip for development.


Ideally, all programs that use python2 would be switched to use python3. Although we don't expect everything to be switched over, as much as possible should be, so that the set of remaining python2 subpackages is as small as possible.

Contingency Plan

  • Contingency mechanism:
    • If for some reason not everything is removed, nothing happens, it can be removed later. If for some reason something breaks, some packages can be unretired or restored.
    • If someone steps up to maintain Python 2 (including the full ecosystem of packages now in Fedora), they can decide to discontinue removing packages, revert the Change, or come up with another plan. (Note that in this case, current maintainers will most likely orphan many fundamental python2 packages.)
  • Contingency deadline: Final freeze
  • Blocks release? No
  • Blocks product? No


This page is the main documentation.

Also see:

Release Notes