psycopg3 is still in a development phase: packages haven’t been released yet on PyPI.

Please refer to the README for the current installation state, and please know that things may change.

The following is how it will be supposed to work, once it is released…

Quick install

The quickest way to start developing with psycopg3 is to run:

pip install psycopg3[binary]

This will install a self-contained package with all the libraries needed.

The above package should work in most situations. It will not work in some though:

  • the binary package doesn’t work on Alpine Linux;

  • the binary package is not advised in production.

Proper installation


“proper” is scary… bettern name?

Proper install means obtaining a performing and maintainable library. The library will include a performing C module and will be bound to the system libpq, so that system upgrade of libraries will upgrade the library used by psycopg3.

In order to perform a “proper” installation you need some prerequisites:

  • a C compiler,

  • Python development headers (e.g. the python3-dev package).

  • PostgreSQL client development headers (e.g. the libpq-dev package).

  • The pg_config program available in the PATH.

You must be able to troubleshoot an extension build, for instance you must be able to read your compiler’s error message. If you are not, please don’t try this and follow the quick install instead.

If your build prerequisites are in place you can run:

pip install psycopg3[c]

Pure Python installation

If you simply install:

pip install psycopg3

without [c] or [binary] extras you will obtain a pure Python implementation. This is particularly handy to debug and hack, but it still requires the system libpq to operate (which will be used dynamically via ctypes).

In order to use the pure Python installation you will need the libpq installed in the system: for instance on Debian system you will probably need:

sudo apt-get install libpq5

If you are not able to fulfill this requirement please follow the quick install.

psycopg3 and the libpq


describe the relations between psycopg and the libpq and the binding choices