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localstack error: ImportError: cannot import name requests

Localstack — services simulating the Amazon S3 environment

Today I had a need to run the localstack services to emulate Amazon S3 and get some work done.

This is a gigantic project with a ton of services. Really difficult to go through the maze if you want/have to fix something in there... (my take without having looked too deeply.)

The says that you should first install:

pip install localstack

That worked, but who knows which version got installed (ah! yes, no idea, it could be a really old one?)

Then to start the services do:

localstack start

It did not sound too complicated, so I went ahead and go this error on the start command:

alexis $ localstack start
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/local/bin/localstack", line 35, in <module>
    from localstack.utils import cli, bootstrap
  File "/home/alexis/.local/lib/python2.7/site-packages/localstack/utils/", line 4, in <module>
    from localstack.utils.bootstrap import (
  File "/home/alexis/.local/lib/python2.7/site-packages/localstack/utils/", line 12, in <module>
    import pip as pip_mod
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/pip/", line 16, in <module>
    from pip.vcs import git, mercurial, subversion, bazaar  # noqa
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/pip/vcs/", line 9, in <module>
    from import path_to_url
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/pip/", line 39, in <module>
    from pip._vendor import requests, six
ImportError: cannot import name requests

The fact is that for requests, we do not need the "_vendor" anymore. Oh I fixed that one and then many more complained. I was not feeling too good in digging such problems out and replacing the import commands.

So I searched on the error and finally found an issue on their github project with the answer: run localstack with docker. That will hide your own version of Python and use the version used at the time development started on localstack (so probably much older than 2.7)

What's sad is that they did not change anything on their home page. The is still providing the wrong info. Oh well...

The solution is to run with Docker. Something like this:

Get the source like this:

git clone

Just in case you do not have it yet, install docker:

sudo apt-get install

Yeah, funny that this is ".io" in a package name. Unconventional for Debian packages.

Docker is going to run as "docker:docker" and that means the /var/run/docker.sock will not be accessible to you unless you are root or part of the "docker" group. If you are not yet part of the group, add yourself. You can edit the /etc/groups file and search for docker and add your name after the last colon. Or use the usermod command like so:

sudo usermod -a -G docker <user-name>

To make sure that you are now part of that group do this:

alexis $ groups
alexis adm docker sudo

Usually, it does not automatically add you to the group. What you have to do is log out and back in. Then docker will appear in your list of groups and now you are ready!

Now run the docker command such as:

docker run -d \
    -p "10080:80"                                        \
    -p "10443:443"                                       \
    -v /var/run/docker.sock:/var/run/docker.sock         \
    -e SERVICES=$LOCALSTACK_SERVICES                     \
    -e DEBUG=$LOCALSTACK_DEBUG                           \
    -e DATA_DIR=$LOCALSTACK_DATA_DIR                     \
    -e PORT_WEB_UI=$LOCALSTACK_PORT_WEB_UI               \
    -e DOCKER_HOST=unix:///var/run/docker.sock           \
    --name my_localstack                                 \

The last parameter is the location of the localstack code. Here is assumes you run the command from the outside of the source folder.

The first time it will download the latest version of localstack (in my case it was 422Mb) before starting. It had absolutely no problem to start once downloaded.

I do not show the content of the variables because at this point I did not tweak them. I'm sure you can find documentation for them if you need more.