python requirements text files can in fact depend on each other due to the fact that you can pass pip install arguments right into your requirements.txt file. The trick is to just prefix the file with a -r flag, just like you would if you were installing it with pip install

try it out

Lets create two requirements files in a new directory to play with.

mkdir requirements-nest
cd requirements-nest
touch requirements.txt requirements_dev.txt

Then add the following to each requirements file.

# requirements.txt

# requirements_dev.txt
-r requirements.txt


Installing requirements_dev.txt will install both ipython and pandas since it includes the base requirements file.

# this will install only pandas
pip install -r requirements.txt

# this will install both ipython and pandas
pip install -r requirements_dev.txt


This is covered in the pip user guide, but it is not obvious that this can be done in a requirements.txt file.