Users looking to install Fabric 1.x should see Installing (1.x). However, upgrading to 2.x is strongly recommended.

Fabric is best installed via pip:

$ pip install fabric

All advanced pip use cases work too, such as:

$ pip install -e git+

Or cloning the Git repository and running:

$ pip install -e .

within it.

Your operating system may also have a Fabric package available (though these are typically older and harder to support), typically called fabric or python-fabric. E.g.:

$ sudo apt-get install fabric

Installing modern Fabric as fabric2

Users who are migrating from Fabric 1 to Fabric 2+ may find it useful to have both versions installed side-by-side. The easiest way to do this is to use the handy fabric2 PyPI entry:

$ pip install fabric2

This upload is generated from the normal Fabric repository, but is tweaked at build time so that it installs a fabric2 package instead of a fabric one (and a fab2 binary instead of a fab one.) The codebase is otherwise unchanged.

Users working off of the Git repository can enable that same tweak with an environment variable, e.g.:

$ PACKAGE_AS_FABRIC2=yes pip install -e .


The value of the environment variable doesn’t matter, as long as it is not empty.

fabric and fabric2 vs fabric3

Unfortunately, the fabric3 entry on PyPI is an unauthorized fork of Fabric 1.x which we do not control. Once modern Fabric gets up to 3.x, 4.x etc, we’ll likely continue distributing it via both fabric and fabric2 for convenience; there will never be any official fabric3, fabric4 etc.

In other words, fabric2 is purely there to help users of 1.x cross the 2.0 “major rewrite” barrier; future major versions will not be large rewrites and will only have small sets of backward incompatibilities.

Inability to pip install -e both versions

You may encounter issues if both versions of Fabric are installed via pip install -e, due to how that functionality works (tl;dr it just adds the checkout directories to sys.path, regardless of whether you wanted to “install” all packages within them - so Fabric 2+’s fabric/ package still ends up visible to the import system alongside fabric2/).

Thus, you may only have one of the local copies of Fabric installed in ‘editable’ fashion at a time, and the other must be repeatedly reinstalled via pip install (no -e) if you need to make edits to it.

Order of installations

Due to the same pip quirk mentioned above, if either of your Fabric versions are installed in ‘editable’ mode, you must install the ‘editable’ version first, and then install the ‘static’ version second.

For example, if you’re migrating from some public release of Fabric 1 to a checkout of modern Fabric:

$ PACKAGE_AS_FABRIC2=yes pip install -e /path/to/fabric2
$ pip install fabric==1.14.0

You may see some warnings on that second pip install (eg Not uninstalling fabric or Can't uninstall 'fabric') but as long as it exits cleanly and says something like Successfully installed fabric-1.14.0, you should be okay. Double check with e.g. pip list and you should have entries for both fabric and fabric2.


In order for Fabric’s installation to succeed, you will need the following:

  • the Python programming language, versions 2.7 or 3.4+;

  • the Invoke command-running and task-execution library;

  • and the Paramiko SSH library (as well as its own dependencies; see its install docs.)

Development dependencies

If you are interested in doing development work on Fabric (or even just running the test suite), you’ll need the libraries listed in the dev-requirements.txt (included in the source distribution.) Usually it’s easy to simply pip install -r dev-requirements.txt.


To obtain a tar.gz or zip archive of the Fabric source code, you may visit Fabric’s PyPI page, which offers manual downloads in addition to being the entry point for pip.

Source code checkouts

The Fabric developers manage the project’s source code with the Git DVCS. To follow Fabric’s development via Git instead of downloading official releases, you have the following options:


If you’ve obtained the Fabric source via source control and plan on updating your checkout in the future, we highly suggest using pip install -e . (or python develop) instead – it will use symbolic links instead of file copies, ensuring that imports of the library or use of the command-line tool will always refer to your checkout.

For information on the hows and whys of Fabric development, including which branches may be of interest and how you can help out, please see the Development page.