I am trying to install Serpent and PyEPM on ubuntu and I am receiving this error message: "Could not initialize package"

The commands I run:

sudo apt-get install Serpent

pip install pyepm

What am I doing wrong.

  • Hi Nomi - are you following a set of instructions? Jul 21, 2017 at 13:22
  • Hi, I'm new to ethereum and Linux, and trying to install the packages according to the instructions here github.com/etherex/pyepm and github.com/ethereum/serpent. pip already installed on my ubuntu. Are there any packages that I am supposed to install before the installation of Serpent and PyEPM? thanks
    – Nomi
    Jul 21, 2017 at 16:03

2 Answers 2


How to install Serpent and PyEPM on ubuntu

I wouldn't.

Both of the repositories you link to in the comments are quite old. I wasn't familiar with pyepm, but its repository hasn't been touched in 2 years, and lots has happened since then.

More importantly, Vitalik recently voiced his lack of support for Serpent, saying it was "outdated tech" (see: Why did Serpent die?).

Serpent's GitHub repository also has this to say:

Being a low-level language, Serpent is NOT RECOMMENDED for building applications unless you really really know what you're doing. The creator recommends Solidity as a default choice, LLL if you want close-to-the-metal optimizations, or Viper if you like its features though it is still experimental.

So the recommendation would be to take a look at Viper instead.


My os is 4.4.0-116-generic #140-Ubuntu SMP Mon Feb 12 21:23:04 UTC 2018 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux

my pip version is pip 9.0.1 (python 2.7)

I use commands below to install what you want.

sudo pip install ethereum-serpent
pip install pyepm

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