Python Version Support

Chalice supports all versions of python supported by AWS Lambda, which is currently python2.7 and python3.6.

Chalice will automatically pick which version of python to use for Lambda based on the major version of python you are using. You don't have to explicitly configure which version of python you want to use. For example:

$ python --version
Python 3.6.1
$ chalice new-project test-versions
$ cd test-versions
$ chalice package test-package
$ grep -C 3 python test-package/sam.json
    "APIHandler": {
      "Type": "AWS::Serverless::Function",
      "Properties": {
        "Runtime": "python3.6",
        "Handler": "",
        "CodeUri": "./",
        "Events": {

# Similarly, if we were to run "chalice deploy" we'd
# use python3.6 for the runtime.
$ chalice --debug deploy
Initiating first time deployment...
Deploying to: dev

In the example above, we're using python 3.6.1 so chalice automatically selects the python3.6 runtime for lambda. If we were using python 2.7.11, chalice would automatically select python2.7 as the runtime.

Chalice will emit a warning if the minor version does not match a python version supported by Lambda. Chalice will select the closest Lambda version in this scenario, as shown in the table below.

Local Python Version Lambda Python Runtime
python2.7.10 python2.7
python2.7.11 python2.7
python2.7.12 python2.7
python2.7.13 python2.7
python3.3.6 python3.6
python3.4.6 python3.6
python3.5.3 python3.6
python3.6.0 python3.6
python3.6.1 python3.6

We strongly encourage you to develop your application using the same major/minor version of python you plan on using on AWS Lambda.

Changing Python Runtime Versions

The version of the python runtime to use in AWS Lambda can be reconfigured whenever you deploy your chalice app. This allows you to migrate to python3 in AWS Lambda by creating a new virtual environment that uses python3. For example, suppose you have an existing chalice app that uses python2:

$ python --version
Python 2.7.12
$ chalice deploy

To upgrade the application to use python3, create a python3 virtual environment and redeploy. When this happens, you will be prompted to confirm the python runtime version changing:

$ deactivate
$ virtualenv --python python3 /tmp/venv3
$ source /tmp/venv3/bin/activate
$ python --version
Python 3.6.1
$ chalice deploy
The python runtime will change from python2.7 to python3.6,
would you like to continue?  [Y/n]: y