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diff --git a/setuptools/command/easy_install.py b/setuptools/command/easy_install.py
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index 91c48b3..0c9b0f4 100755
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--- a/setuptools/command/easy_install.py
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+++ b/setuptools/command/easy_install.py
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@@ -446,6 +446,12 @@ class easy_install(Command):
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         instdir = normalize_path(self.install_dir)
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         pth_file = os.path.join(instdir, 'easy-install.pth')
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+        if not os.path.exists(instdir):
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+            try:
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+                os.makedirs(instdir)
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+            except (OSError, IOError):
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+                self.cant_write_to_target()
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+
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         # Is it a configured, PYTHONPATH, implicit, or explicit site dir?
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         is_site_dir = instdir in self.all_site_dirs
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