There are multiple options to get ape to run on your system. When using container mode, ape is installed in a virtualenv inside the container root. This is the recommended way to use ape.

If you need to start over, simply delete the container root and recreate it again.

Bootstrapping a container mode environment

Make sure you have pip and virtualenv installed. If not, try:

$ easy_install pip $ pip install virtualenv

On Debian/Ubuntu, these are also available as system packages python-pip and python-virtualenv.

Fetch the script to bootstrap ape in container mode:

$ wget
$ chmod 0755 bootstrape

Now, run bootstrape to create the container structure in a folder called aperoot(change this to your liking):

$ bootstrape aperoot

To install the development version, run this instead:

$ bootstrape –dev aperoot

After the process has finished a folder aperoot is available. It contains all necessary files and dependencies. A virtualenv has been created at aperoot/_ape/venv. To activate the container mode, source the activation script for ape in your shell (requires bash):

$ . aperoot/_ape/activape

Congratulations! ape is now installed and container mode is activated.


The bootstrape script creates the necessary folder structure, creates a virtualenv, and installs ape into that environment. There, the latest stable version of ape is used — even if you used the bootstrape script of another version!

To use a custom version of ape in container mode, simply uninstall ape from the virtualenv and install your custom version instead.

Installing ape globally


The preferred method of installing ape is to use bootstrape as described above. Installing ape globally means you have to create the ape root directory manually. Use this only if you want to hack on ape.

To install the latest version of ape, use pip:

$ pip install ape

To get the development version of ape directly from github, use:

$ pip install git+

Now, ape should be available on your PATH:

$ ape
Error running ape:
Either the PRODUCT_EQUATION or PRODUCT_EQUATION_FILENAME environment variable needs to be set!