Update 2012-06-01: Looks like pythonz is an easier way to install Python 2.6.8 (and all other Pythons) on Ubuntu 12.04.
Ubuntu 12.04 builds OpenSSL without SSLv2. Python 2.6.8 expects OpenSSL to be built with SSLv2.
This is a bug that has been fixed in Python 2.7+, but it wasn’t backported for Python 2.6.
So if you build your own Python 2.6 binaries on Ubuntu 12.04 you’ll see errors like this when attempting to use anything SSL related:
*** WARNING: renaming "_ssl" since importing it failed: build/lib.linux-x86_64-2.6/_ssl.so: undefined symbol: SSLv2_method
Some of us still need Python 2.6, so I forked Python 2.6.8 and removed SSLv2 support. Tests pass and SSL works.
You can also just grab the diff below:
Update: M2Crypto requires patching as well:
Update 2: If you trust me and use 64bit Ubuntu 12.04 you can download a pre-built [python-2.6.8~nosslv2] tarball from me. Includes distribute and pip pre-installed.