The pyproject.toml file

The tool.poetry section of the pyproject.toml file is composed of multiple sections.


The name of the package. Required


The version of the package. Required

This should follow semantic versioning. However it will not be enforced and you remain free to follow another specification.


A short description of the package. Required


The license of the package.

The recommended notation for the most common licenses is (alphabetical):

  • Apache-2.0
  • BSD-2-Clause
  • BSD-3-Clause
  • BSD-4-Clause
  • GPL-2.0-only
  • GPL-2.0-or-later
  • GPL-3.0-only
  • GPL-3.0-or-later
  • LGPL-2.1-only
  • LGPL-2.1-or-later
  • LGPL-3.0-only
  • LGPL-3.0-or-later
  • MIT

Optional, but it is highly recommended to supply this. More identifiers are listed at the SPDX Open Source License Registry.


The authors of the package. Required

This is a list of authors and should contain at least one author. Authors must be in the form name <email>.


The maintainers of the package. Optional

This is a list of maintainers and should be distinct from authors. Maintainers may contain an email and be in the form name <email>.


The readme file of the package. Optional

The file can be either README.rst or


An URL to the website of the project. Optional


An URL to the repository of the project. Optional


An URL to the documentation of the project. Optional


A list of keywords (max: 5) that the package is related to. Optional


A list of PyPI trove classifiers that describe the project. Optional

# ...
classifiers = [
    "Topic :: Software Development :: Build Tools",
    "Topic :: Software Development :: Libraries :: Python Modules"


Note that Python classifiers are still automatically added for you and are determined by your python requirement.

The license property will also set the License classifier automatically.


A list of packages and modules to include in the final distribution.

If your project structure differs from the standard one supported by poetry, you can specify the packages you want to include in the final distribution.

# ...
packages = [
    { include = "my_package" },
    { include = "extra_package/**/*.py" },

If your package is stored inside a "source" directory, you must specify it:

# ...
packages = [
    { include = "my_package", from = "lib" },

If you want to restrict a package to a specific build format you can specify it by using format:

# ...
packages = [
    { include = "my_package" },
    { include = "tests", format = "sdist" },

From now on, only the sdist build archive will include the tests package.


Using packages disables the package auto-detection feature meaning you have to explicitly specify the "default" package.

For instance, if you have a package named my_package and you want to also include another package named extra_package, you will need to specify my_package explicitly:

packages = [
    { include = "my_package" },
    { include = "extra_package" },


Poetry is clever enough to detect Python subpackages.

Thus, you only have to specify the directory where your root package resides.

include and exclude

A list of patterns that will be included in the final package.

You can explicitly specify to Poetry that a set of globs should be ignored or included for the purposes of packaging. The globs specified in the exclude field identify a set of files that are not included when a package is built.

If a VCS is being used for a package, the exclude field will be seeded with the VCS’ ignore settings (.gitignore for git for example).

# ...
include = [""]
exclude = ["my_package/"]

dependencies and dev-dependencies

Poetry is configured to look for dependencies on PyPi by default. Only the name and a version string are required in this case.

requests = "^2.13.0"

If you want to use a private repository, you can add it to your pyproject.toml file, like so:

name = 'private'
url = ''


Be aware that declaring the python version for which your package is compatible is mandatory:

python = "^3.6"


This section describe the scripts or executable that will be installed when installing the package

poetry = 'poetry.console:run'

Here, we will have the poetry script installed which will execute in the poetry package.


Poetry supports extras to allow expression of:

  • optional dependencies, which enhance a package, but are not required; and
  • clusters of optional dependencies.
name = "awesome"

# These packages are mandatory and form the core of this package’s distribution.
mandatory = "^1.0"

# A list of all of the optional dependencies, some of which are included in the
# below `extras`. They can be opted into by apps.
psycopg2 = { version = "^2.7", optional = true }
mysqlclient = { version = "^1.3", optional = true }

mysql = ["mysqlclient"]
pgsql = ["psycopg2"]

When installing packages, you can specify extras by using the -E|--extras option:

poetry install --extras "mysql pgsql"
poetry install -E mysql -E pgsql


Poetry supports arbitrary plugins which work similarly to setuptools entry points. To match the example in the setuptools documentation, you would use the following:

[tool.poetry.plugins] # Optional super table

".rst" = "some_module:SomeClass"


In addition to the basic urls (homepage, repository and documentation), you can specify any custom url in the urls section.

"Bug Tracker" = ""

If you publish you package on PyPI, they will appear in the Project Links section.

Poetry and PEP-517

PEP-517 introduces a standard way to define alternative build systems to build a Python project.

Poetry is compliant with PEP-517 so if you use Poetry to manage your Python project you should reference it in the build-system section of the pyproject.toml file like so:

requires = ["poetry>=0.12"]
build-backend = "poetry.masonry.api"


When using the new or init command this section will be automatically added.