I recently used pip install --user foo once and even though I did some other stuff, I can't imagine that any other command causes my pip install to use ~/.local/lib/python2.7/site-packages/ directory as default directory
I already uninstalled/purged pip/pip3, which didn't help
all I could figure out is, that installing with pip or pip3 always installs to the local directory in ~/.local/lib/pythonx.y/site-packages/ and uninstalling searches in both, the local and the global install directory

  • Which version of pip did you install? Was it from the website or your OS's package manager? Do you have any PIP_* environment variables set? What are the outputs of which pip, pip --version, and env | grep PIP? As a shot in the dark, something might have set PIP_USER=true or similar in your ~/.profile, in which case PIP_USER=false pip [...] could be a workaround. – Mark Haferkamp Apr 18 at 12:43

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