poetry_fix.py - Work around Poetry bugs

This script contains two fixes for Poetry bugs: one bug which manifests when the --no-dev flag is passed to poetry install/update and another which occurs when the --no-dev flag isn’t passed. It doesn’t provide a fix to a third bug, discussed below

Invalid package METADATA

Per this issue, Poetry generates invalid package metadata for local path dependencies. For example, the last few lines of .venv/lib/python3.8/site-packages/runestone_poetry_project-0.1.0.dist-info/METADATA contain:

Requires-Dist: pytz (>=2016.6.1)
Requires-Dist: requests (>=2.10.0)
Requires-Dist: rsmanage @ rsmanage
Requires-Dist: runestone
Requires-Dist: runestone-docker-tools @ docker
Requires-Dist: six (>=1.10.0)
Requires-Dist: sphinxcontrib-paverutils (>=1.17)
Requires-Dist: stripe (>=2.0.0,<3.0.0)

This causes an exception when running a command such as pip show click:

ERROR: Exception:
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/srv/web2py/applications/runestone/.venv/lib/python3.8/site-packages/pip/_vendor/pkg_resources/__init__.py", line 3021, in _dep_map
    return self.__dep_map
  File "/srv/web2py/applications/runestone/.venv/lib/python3.8/site-packages/pip/_vendor/pkg_resources/__init__.py", line 2815, in __getattr__
    raise AttributeError(attr)
AttributeError: _DistInfoDistribution__dep_map

… along with a long traceback of other chained exceptions.

Fixing the METADATA file to be:

Requires-Dist: pytz (>=2016.6.1)
Requires-Dist: requests (>=2.10.0)
Requires-Dist: rsmanage @ file://rsmanage
Requires-Dist: runestone
Requires-Dist: runestone-docker-tools @ file://docker
Requires-Dist: six (>=1.10.0)
Requires-Dist: sphinxcontrib-paverutils (>=1.17)
Requires-Dist: stripe (>=2.0.0,<3.0.0)

… along with a similar fix to the METADATA for bookserver_dev allow pip to run successfully.


  • Make this a poetry plugin, so it would auto-update this on any changes to the project’s pyproject.toml. It looks like plugins aren’t supported until v1.2.0, though.


These are listed in the order prescribed by `PEP 8`_.

Standard library

from pathlib import Path
from typing import Any, Dict, Set

Third-party imports

import click
import toml

Local application imports


Fix for dev-dependencies in subprojects

Given a main Poetry pyproject.toml, these functions look for all subprojects included via path dependencies, creating additional subprojects named projectname-dev in which the subproject’s dev-dependencies become dependencies in the newly-created subproject. This is a workaround for Poetry’s inability to install the dev dependencies for a sub project included via a path requirement. To use this, in the main project, do something like:

2sub = { path = "../sub", develop = true }
3sub-dev = { path = "../sub-dev", develop = true }

Create a project clone where the original project’s dev-dependencies are dependencies in the clone.

def create_dev_dependencies(

The path to the project.

    project_path: Path,
) -> None:

Create a dev-only flavor.

    d = toml.load(project_path / "pyproject.toml")
    tp = d["tool"]["poetry"]
    dd = "dev-dependencies"

If there are no dev-dependencies, there’s nothing to do. Otherwise, move them to dependencies.

    if dd not in tp:
    tp["dependencies"] = tp.pop(dd)

Update the project name.

    project_name = tp["name"] = tp["name"] + "-dev"

We don’t have a readme – if it exists, Poetry will complain about the missing file it references. Remove it if it exists.

    tp.pop("readme", None)

Put the output in a project_name-dev/ directory.

    dev = project_path.parent / project_name
    print(f"Creating {dev}...")
    (dev / "pyproject.toml").write_text(toml.dumps(d))

Create a minimal project to make Poetry happy.

    project_name = project_name.replace("-", "_")
    p = dev / project_name
    (p / "__init__.py").write_text("")

def walk_dependencies(

A dict of Poetry-specific values.

    poetry_dict: Dict[str, Any],

True to look at dependencies; False to look at dev-dependencies.

    is_deps: bool,

See project_path.

    project_path: Path,

See walked_paths_set.

    walked_paths_set: Set[Path],
    key = "dependencies" if is_deps else "dev-dependencies"
    for dep in poetry_dict.get(key, {}).values():
        pth = dep.get("path", "") if isinstance(dep, dict) else None
        if pth:
            walk_pyproject(project_path / pth, walked_paths_set)

Given a pyproject.toml, optionally create a dev dependencies project and walk all requirements with path dependencies.

def walk_pyproject(

The path where a pyproject.toml exists.

    project_path: Path,

walked_paths_set: a set of Paths already walked.

    walked_paths_set: Set[Path],

True if this is the root pyproject.toml file – no dev dependencies will be created for it.

    is_root: bool = False,
    project_path = project_path.resolve()

Avoid cycles and unnecessary work.

    if project_path in walked_paths_set:
    print(f"Examining {project_path} ...")

Process dependencies, if this is a Poetry project.

        d = toml.load(project_path / "pyproject.toml")
    except FileNotFoundError:
    tp = d["tool"]["poetry"]
    walk_dependencies(tp, True, project_path, walked_paths_set)
    walk_dependencies(tp, False, project_path, walked_paths_set)

(Usually) process this file.

    if not is_root:

Core function: run the whole process on the pyproject.toml in the current directory.

def make_dev_pyproject():
    walk_pyproject(Path("."), set(), True)

Fix for the main pyproject.toml

This function updates the pyproject.toml in the current directory by switching between a section named [tool.poetry.dev-dependencies] when in development mode or [tool.no-poetry.dev-dependencies] when not in development mode. This is because Poetry does not support either/or dependencies: either resolve dependency x in dev mode, or dependency y when not in dev mode. Instead, it takes a both/and approach: during its dependency resolution phase, it resolves ALL dependencies, then installs a subset (such all non-dev dependencies, or dev and non-dev dependencies). Quoting from the manual:

All dependencies must be compatible with each other across groups since they will be resolved regardless of whether they are required for installation or not (see Installing group dependencies).

Think of dependency groups as labels associated with your dependencies: they don’t have any bearings on whether their dependencies will be resolved and installed by default, they are simply a way to organize the dependencies logically.

Therefore, path based dev-dependencies break ‘install –no-dev’ when the directory does not exist. In addition, if a dependency exists both in the [tool.poetry.dependencies] and the same dependency with a path in [tool.poetry.dev-dependencies] sections, this version of Poetry will place the path in the resulting poetry.lock file even when the --no-dev option is passed, causing Poetry to install the dev version or fail if it’s not available.

As a workaround, this function renames the [tool.poetry.dependencies] section, effectively hiding it, for --no-dev option, and un-hides it otherwise. It then deletes poetry.lock if it makes a change, ensuring that poetry will the run poetry update with these changed dependencies.

def rewrite_pyproject(is_dev: bool) -> None:

Determine the current mode by setting has_dev.

    pyproject = Path("pyproject.toml")
    pp_text = pyproject.read_text()
    dev_section = "\n[tool.poetry.dev-dependencies]\n"
    no_dev_section = "\n[tool.no-poetry.dev-dependencies]\n"
    if dev_section in pp_text:
        has_dev = True
    elif no_dev_section in pp_text:
        has_dev = False
            f"Error: there is no [tool.(no-)poetry.dev-dependencies] section in {pyproject.resolve()}."

Update accordingly.

    if is_dev and not has_dev:
        pp_text = pp_text.replace(no_dev_section, dev_section)
    elif not is_dev and has_dev:
        pp_text = pp_text.replace(dev_section, no_dev_section)

No update needed. We’re done.


Ideally, we’d run poetry update here. However, we’re blocked from doing so by circular dependencies:

  1. In a clean install, the command poetry config virtualenvs.in-project true has not executed yet.

  2. Running this command will first check the dependencies in the existing poetry.lock file and report that directories such as ../BookServer don’t exist. (Why does Poetry do this?)

  3. To update poetry.lock, we can run poetry update.

  4. But poetry update will update the wrong venv, since poetry config virtualenvs.in-project true hasn’t run yet.

  5. Go to step 1.

So, just delete the lock file and let Poetry rebuild it; don’t complain if the file’s already been deleted.


CLI interface

    "--no-dev", is_flag=True, help="Prepare for running poetry install/update --no-dev."
def main(no_dev: bool):

This script works around Poetry bugs related to path dependencies.

    is_dev = not no_dev
    if is_dev:

if __name__ == "__main__":