When working with Python code, Pants makes frequent use of the [Pex](🔗) (Python EXecutable) format. So, you'll see Pex referenced frequently in this documentation.
A Pex is a self-contained Python environment, similar in spirit to a virtualenv. A Pex can contain combinations of Python source files, 3rd-party requirements (sdists or wheels), resource files, and metadata describing the contents.
Importantly, this metadata can include:
Python interpreter constraints.
Python platforms, like `
An entry point or console script.
A Pex can be bundled into a single `
.pex` file. This file, when executed, knows how to unpack itself, find an interpreter that matches its constraints, and run itself on that interpreter. Therefore deploying code packaged in a Pex file is as simple as copying the file to an environment that has a suitable Python interpreter.
Check out [blog.pantsbuild.org/pants-pex-and-docker](🔗) for how this workflow gets even better when combined with Pants's Docker support!