Pip search is still broken

…and the error says it’ll be deprecated in the future? That’s obviously bad, why is it just being turned off instead of fixed? The need to find packages who’s exact name you don’t know won’t go away, just because the ability to search for them has been taken away, lol.

Is there any discussion about this anywhere? Is this a problem I can help fix?
I find it extremely hard to believe that doing a full text search is an impossible task.

Furthermore, the error says to check https://status.python.org for more info… but pip and/or package searching is nowhere on the status page, and there’s no indication at all that anything is other than 100% operational. Which is also extremely bad.

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Turning the question around, what can’t you get by using a internet search engine that you can with pip search?

The PyPI search API was disabled in late 2020. This article gives some background. I’m surprised you’ve only just noticed…

pip search was built on the PyPI XML-RPC search API, so it no longer works because that API has been disabled. We should probably just remove the pip search command, to save confusion.

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Because if I’m trying to install something, and apt search doesn’t have any results, the next step is naturally to check pip search.

But that doesn’t work, which is annoying.
So I check https://python.org, but there’s no search. There is at least a link to pypy from python.org, but if you don’t know that pip is pulling from pypy, that link is not helpful.

I didn’t just notice. I did however realize that it’s still not functional, and still hasn’t been fixed.

If the xml-rpc api is no longer available, why not… use… a different api…? Obviously searching packages is working directly from pypy.org, why can’t pip use the same functionality?

There is no such API.

Because PyPI (Warehouse) doesn’t expose it for 3rd party use. Which is almost certainly because the last time they did, it got abused to the point where it was causing service issues.

I’ve updated the issue on the pip tracker here to propose that we finally deprecate and remove pip search, so that we no longer mislead people like yourself who think that it might work… (Please understand “why not just fix it” is not a helpful comment, and will not be received positively - we have considered the options and there really is no viable way to just make pip search start working again).

I appreciate your frustration here, but honestly, you should just go to the PyPI website and use the search box there. It may not be ideal for your workflow, but it works, which is more than can be said for blaming the pip or PyPI maintainers…


I didn’t realize I was giving the impression that I was blaming someone. I did, in fact, ask if there was some way I could help.

Is there a way to mark this thread as solved?

Not a problem, it’s just that a lot of people over time have asked “why not just…” in one form or another, which gets a bit wearying. My comment was more in the form of a pre-emptive strike against anyone who reads this thread, then goes to the linked issue and starts complaining. That’s one reason I think we should probably just remove pip search at this point.

No need to mark the thread as solved, if we just leave it here it’ll be fine.

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why not just give a better “human friendly” error message to pip search (instead of "command unknow or soon deprecated (or the current XMLRPC code -32500 error that’s given) ?

$ pip search foobar
error: pip has not(anymore) a search feature. 
You can check/search for your foobar:
+ here
+ or eventually here


That’s what was suggested in the pip issue as well https://github.com/pypa/pip/issues/5216#issuecomment-1235329876
and there is a PR to rephrase it Rephrase the search XMLRPC disable error by pradyunsg · Pull Request #12173 · pypi/warehouse · GitHub


I realize I’m not adding anything helpful here, but it will absolutely be a surprise for newcomers with any kind of experience with other ecosystems that virtually all familiar “package managers” have some solution for searching via a command line interface, and Python does not. Consider apt/yum/dnf/zypper/pacman/(others-I-left-out) for Linux environments, choco search for Windows users interested in Chocolatey, plus gosearch, npm search, gem search, ppm search and…