Installing pycrypto on Windows 8

While trying to install pycrypto on Windows 8, because it was a requirement for “paramiko” which I needed for some SSH stuff, I kept running into failure after another. To summarise, you need to have Visual Studio 2008 installed (there is an express version available free, and there is also likely a microsoft SDK package that includes the Visual C++ 9.0 compiler). After sorting all of these out however, I still had one persistent type of problem:

warning: GMP or MPIR library not found; Not building Crypto.PublicKey._fastmath.
 Traceback (most recent call last):
 File "<string>", line 1, in <module>
 File "c:\users\fanen\appdata\local\temp\pip_build_Fanen\pycrypto\", line 456, in <module>
 File "c:\Python27\lib\distutils\", line 152, in setup
 File "c:\Python27\lib\distutils\", line 953, in run_commands
 File "c:\Python27\lib\distutils\", line 972, in run_command
 File "c:\Python27\lib\site-packages\setuptools\command\", line 53, in run
 File "c:\Python27\lib\distutils\command\", line 563, in run
 File "c:\Python27\lib\distutils\", line 326, in run_command
 File "c:\Python27\lib\distutils\", line 972, in run_command
 File "c:\Python27\lib\distutils\command\", line 127, in run
 File "c:\Python27\lib\distutils\", line 326, in run_command
 File "c:\Python27\lib\distutils\", line 972, in run_command
 File "c:\users\fanen\appdata\local\temp\pip_build_Fanen\pycrypto\", line 253, in run
 File "c:\Python27\lib\distutils\command\", line 337, in run
 File "c:\users\fanen\appdata\local\temp\pip_build_Fanen\pycrypto\", line 150, in build_extensions
 File "c:\Python27\lib\distutils\command\", line 446, in build_extensions
 File "c:\Python27\lib\distutils\command\", line 496, in build_extension
 File "c:\Python27\lib\distutils\", line 475, in compile
 File "c:\Python27\lib\distutils\", line 385, in initialize
 vc_env = query_vcvarsall(VERSION, plat_spec)
 File "c:\Python27\lib\distutils\", line 301, in query_vcvarsall
 raise ValueError(str(list(result.keys())))
 ValueError: [u'path']

It appears that the function “query_vcvarsall” fails if it doesn’t find a set of 4 environment variables (this is some dodgy coding to me :p):

  • path
  • include
  • lib
  • libpath

You may need to create these environment variables, and place in them the appropriate paths for your PC.

On my 64-bit windows 8 machine with 64-bit Python 2.7.6, I have the following:

LIB = C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\VC\ATLMFC\LIB;C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\VC\LIB;%WindowsSdkDir%lib;C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v7.1A\Lib;C:\Python27\Lib;%LIB%
INCLUDE = C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\VC\ATLMFC\INCLUDE;C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\VC\INCLUDE;%WindowsSdkDir%include;C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v7.1A\Include;C:\Python27\include;%INCLUDE%
PATH = C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\Common7\IDE;C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\VC\BIN;C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\Common7\Tools;C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v3.5;C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727;C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\VC\VCPackages;%WindowsSdkDir%bin;C:\Python27\Scripts;C:\Python27;%PATH%
LIBPATH = C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v3.5;C:\WINDOWS\Microsoft.NET\Framework\v2.0.50727;C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\VC\ATLMFC\LIB;C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\VC\LIB;C:\Python27\Lib;C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft SDKs\Windows\v7.1A\Lib;%LIBPATH%

After that, I am able to use pip to install pycrypto.

Note that my variables may contain paths which are redundant, but I arrived there after a windy path of experimentation. After It worked, I said to myself: “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

The following site was very helpful in showing me alternative ways. I like what the guy did to the python utility scripts. Just hack them to do what I want. None of the cruft of general-purpose code. Just tell the bloody system I have Visual Studio 9.0 😉



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Upgraded my Windows 8.1 PC by installing a 240GB Crucial SSD, and the performance became worse than with a spinning disk.

In my instance, I was able to improve the experience simply by installing Intel Rapid Storage tools drivers (downloaded from MSI’s site for my specific motherboard). I accepted all defaults. I was using an MSI motherboard. This just might be your solution.

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Openssl Hint for today

You find yourself trying to look at a certificate with Openssl (I’m using the cygwin version of openssl on windows 7):

$ openssl.exe x509 -in certificate.crt -text
unable to load certificate
2675716:error:0906D06C:PEM routines:PEM_read_bio:no start line:pem_lib.c:703:Expecting: TRUSTED CERTIFICATE

Openssl error messages are so cryptic, I tried looking at the code to deduce what it meant, and even that didn’t go so well.

The error message shown above doesn’t really have much to do with “trust”. It most likely means that your certificate is not in PEM format. The most common other format that certificates can be in is DER. If you wanted to view the certificate in DER format anyway, you would do this:

$ openssl.exe x509 -inform DER -in certificate.crt -text

the -inform argument allows you to specify what format the certificate you are trying to examine is in. The -text argument says “display it on screen”, and the -in argument specifies the certificate file name.

If you wanted to convert that certificate from DER to PEM, you would say:

$ openssl.exe x509 -inform DER -outform PEM -out ./PEMcert.crt -in DERcert.crt

-outform PEM says the output format should be PEM, and the -out argument specifies the filename to give the converted certificate.



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Jquery .load() makes the target blank

If you run into the problem where calling .load(url) on an element makes it turn blank, you very likely have an unexpected space (” “) in your url.

You should re-examine it, it may be a trailing or leading space, which will make it difficult to see with the naked eye. Try calling the javscript .trim() on the url string.

At the time of this writing, I was using version 1.10.2.

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