Python 3.12.0rc2 (final release candidate 🤞) released

Last call for bugs! Python 3.12.0 rc2 is here! As a reminder, until the final release of 3.12.0, the 3.12 branch is set up so that the Release Manager (me) has to merge the changes. Please add me (@Yhg1s on GitHub) to any changes you think should go into 3.12. At this point, unless something critical comes up, it should really be documentation only. Other changes (including tests) will be pushed to 3.12.1.

This is the second release candidate of Python 3.12.0

This release, 3.12.0rc2, is the last release preview for Python 3.12.

There will be no ABI changes from this point forward in the 3.12 series. The intent is for the final release of 3.12.0, scheduled for Monday, 2023-10-02, to be identical to this release candidate. This is the last chance to find critical problems in Python 3.12.

Call to action

We strongly encourage maintainers of third-party Python projects to prepare their projects for 3.12 compatibilities during this phase, and where necessary publish Python 3.12 wheels on PyPI to be ready for the final release of 3.12.0. Any binary wheels built against Python 3.12.0rc2 will work with future versions of Python 3.12. As always, report any issues to the Python bug tracker.

Please keep in mind that this is a preview release and while it’s as close to the final release as we can get it, its use is not recommended for production environments.

Core developers: time to work on documentation now

  • Are all your changes properly documented?
  • Are they mentioned in What’s New?
  • Did you notice other changes you know of to have insufficient documentation?

Major new features of the 3.12 series, compared to 3.11

New features

Type annotations


  • The deprecated wstr and wstr_length members of the C implementation of unicode objects were removed, per PEP 623.
  • In the unittest module, a number of long deprecated methods and classes were removed. (They had been deprecated since Python 3.1 or 3.2).
  • The deprecated smtpd and distutils modules have been removed (see PEP 594 and PEP 632. The setuptools package continues to provide the distutils module.
  • A number of other old, broken and deprecated functions, classes and methods have been removed.
  • Invalid backslash escape sequences in strings now warn with SyntaxWarning instead of DeprecationWarning, making them more visible. (They will become syntax errors in the future.)
  • The internal representation of integers has changed in preparation for performance enhancements. (This should not affect most users as it is an internal detail, but it may cause problems for Cython-generated code.)

(Hey, fellow core developer, if a feature you find important is missing from this list, let Thomas know.)

For more details on the changes to Python 3.12, see What’s new in Python 3.12. The next scheduled release of Python 3.12 will be 3.12.0, the final release, currently scheduled for 2023-10-02.

More resources

We hope you enjoy the new releases!

Thanks to all of the many volunteers who help make Python Development and these releases possible! Please consider supporting our efforts by volunteering yourself or through organization contributions to the Python Software Foundation.

Your release team,
Thomas Wouters @thomas
Ned Deily @nad
Steve Dower @steve.dower
Łukasz Langa @ambv


Library maintainers! Here’s how to test your project with 3.12 on GitHub Actions:


How is the distutils removal going? I heard that numpy had to struggle to get rid of it.

@thomas: Would you mind to mention another important change in your announcements? That “python3 -m venv” no longer installs setuptools implicitly? (see: What’s New in Python 3.12)

ensurepip: Remove the bundled setuptools wheel from ensurepip, and stop installing setuptools in environments created by venv.

Does someone have some advices for people impacted by these two major packaging changes? What’s New in Python 3.12 says basically nothing, just the technical side: “it’s gone, bye, So Long and Thanks for all the Fish”.


WASI builds at Release CPython 3.12.0rc2 w/ WASI SDK 20 · brettcannon/cpython-wasi-build · GitHub (this time with thread support!).


Speaking about major new features:

Can we introduce the BOLT build configuration too? It’s still an experimental feature, but we need actual user feedback. :slight_smile:

I will be very happy if it is added to the next release note.