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Building Python wheels targeting different interpreter versions

This is a short post on how you can publish wheels onto PyPi, using hatchling's custom metadata hook, that seamlessly targets different Python interpreter versions.

Let's say you want to distribute some generated contents, which is intended to be consumed by the same Python interpreter version which generated the contents. This could be solved in a few different ways, but here I've opted to use a matrix of Python versions in CI. For each Python version, I generate the desired content and then I build the wheel, using some custom hatchling hooks. The end result is a wheel (per Python version) that can only be installed by that same Python version.

I can then publish them all onto PyPi under the same project name and project version. When running pip install ..., pip would then pick the wheel that was built and intended for the Python interpreter version I'm using, guaranteeing that the version generated the wheel contents will be used to also consume the contents.

Constraining the required Python version and naming the wheel

In pyproject.toml, you can specify metadata such as for example the version string. Hatchling offers the ability to write custom hooks so to edit this metadata when e.g. building the wheel. Hatchling also provides hooks to explain how the wheel should be built, so called build hooks. What we want to do here is edit the requires metadata to only the Python version(s) we want to allow (using a metadata hook) and then name the wheels accordingly (using a build hook).

Create a metadata hook

Let's start with editing the metadata of the wheel, so we can constrain the required Python version. Let's add

import sys

from hatchling.metadata.plugin.interface import MetadataHookInterface

class CustomMetadataHook(MetadataHookInterface):

    def _current_python_version(self) -> str:
        major = sys.version_info.major
        minor = sys.version_info.minor
        return f"{major}.{minor}.0"

    def _next_python_version(self) -> str:
        major = sys.version_info.major
        minor = sys.version_info.minor
        return f"{major}.{minor+1}.0"

    def update(self, metadata):
        """Update the metadata."""
        requires_python = (
        metadata["requires-python"] = requires_python

Create a build hook

The metadata hook above only updates the wheel metadata, but not the filename of the wheel. By default, the filename of the wheel be something like myproj-0.1.0-py3-none-any.whl and so we need to customize this naming, so that we instead get myproj-0.1.0-py39-none-any.whl, myproj-0.1.0-py310-none-any.whl, myproj-0.1.0-py311-none-any.whl and so on, so that each wheel gets a unique filename.

Let's create

import sys
from typing import Any

from import BuildHookInterface

class CustomBuildHook(BuildHookInterface):
    """A custom build hook for building ."""

    def _python_tag(self) -> str:
        major = sys.version_info.major
        minor = sys.version_info.minor
        return f"py{major}{minor}"

    def initialize(self, version: str, build_data: dict[str, Any]) -> None:
        """Initialize the hook, update the build data."""
        if self.target_name not in ["wheel", "sdist"]:

        build_data["tag"] = f"{self._python_tag()}-none-any"

Edit pyproject.toml

In order to build the wheel with these hooks, we'll need to tell hatchling about these new hooks, in pyproject.toml:


requires = ["hatchling"]
build-backend = ""

name = "myproj"
version = "0.1.0"
description = ''
readme = ""
requires-python = ">=3.9"
license = "MIT"
keywords = []
authors = []
classifiers = [
  "License :: OSI Approved :: MIT License",
  "Development Status :: 4 - Beta",
  "Programming Language :: Python",
  "Programming Language :: Python :: 3.9",
  "Programming Language :: Python :: 3.10",
  "Programming Language :: Python :: 3.11",
  "Programming Language :: Python :: Implementation :: CPython",
  "Programming Language :: Python :: Implementation :: PyPy",
dependencies = []

# PEP-440
build = [


packages = ["myproj"]
only-include = ["myproj"]

path = "tools/"

path = "tools/"

My project now looks something like this:

├── LICENSE.txt
├── pyproject.toml
├── src
│   └── myproj
│       └──
└── tools

Build the wheel

You should now be able to build the wheel and constrain it to the same Python version you used to build the wheel. I'm using pypa/build to build the wheel and therefore I need to first make sure I have that installed before building:

$ pip install build


$ python -m build --wheel
* Creating venv isolated environment...
* Installing packages in isolated environment... (hatchling)
* Getting build dependencies for wheel...
* Building wheel...
Successfully built myproj-0.1.0-py310-none-any.whl

Pro tip!

You can add print(metadata) or print(build_data) in the update or initialize functions respectively and run python -m build --wheel to see a printout of all the data that you can modify here.

If you try to pip-install this wheel using a different Python version, it should fail. This is using pip from Python 3.11 trying to install a wheel built with Python 3.10:

$ pip install dist/myproj-0.1.0-py310-none-any.whl
Processing ./dist/myproj-0.1.0-py310-none-any.whl
INFO: pip is looking at multiple versions of myproj to determine which version is compatible with other requirements. This could take a while.
ERROR: Package 'myproj' requires a different Python: 3.11.3 not in '<3.11.0,>=3.10.0'

Tying it all together

You can setup your CI so that it uses a matrix of Python versions. For each Python version you generate the wheel contents, build a wheel and store the wheel as CI build artifact. As a final step you can have a CI step that fetches all the built CI wheel artifacts and uploads them to PyPi. Great success! 🎯

You can read more about hatchling's metadata hook and build hook here and here.