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Scans Python wheels for abi3 violations and inconsistencies

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CI PyPI version Packaging status

abi3audit scans Python extensions for abi3 violations and inconsistencies.

It can scan individual (unpackaged) shared objects, packaged wheels, or entire package version histories.

⚠️ This project is not ready for general-purpose use! ⚠️


abi3audit is available via pip:

pip install abi3audit


You can run abi3audit as a standalone program, or via python -m abi3audit:

abi3audit --help
python -m abi3audit --help


usage: abi3audit [-h] [--debug] [-v] [-R] [-o OUTPUT] [-S] SPEC [SPEC ...]

Scans Python extensions for abi3 violations and inconsistencies

positional arguments:
  SPEC                  the files or other dependency specs to scan

  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  --debug               emit debug statements; this setting also overrides
                        `ABI3AUDIT_LOGLEVEL` and is equivalent to setting it
                        to `debug`
  -v, --verbose         give more output, including pretty-printed results for
                        each audit step
  -R, --report          generate a JSON report; uses --output
  -o OUTPUT, --output OUTPUT
                        the path to write the JSON report to (default: stdout)
  -S, --strict          fail the entire audit if an individual audit step


Audit a single shared object, wheel, or PyPI package:

# audit a local copy of an abi3 extension

# audit a local copy of an abi3 wheel
abi3audit procmaps-0.5.0-cp36-abi3-manylinux2010_x86_64.whl

# audit every abi3 wheel for the package 'procmaps' on PyPI
abi3audit procmaps

Show additional detail (pretty tables and individual violations) while auditing:

abi3audit procmaps --verbose


[17:59:46] 👎 procmaps:
           uses the Python 3.10 ABI, but is tagged for the Python 3.6 ABI
           ┃ Symbol                  ┃ Version ┃
           │ PyUnicode_AsUTF8AndSize │ 3.10    │
[17:59:47] 💁 procmaps: 2 extensions scanned; 1 ABI version mismatches and 0
           ABI violations found

Generate a JSON report for each input:

abi3audit procmaps --report | python -m json.tool


  "specs": {
    "procmaps": {
      "kind": "package",
      "package": {
        "procmaps-0.5.0-cp36-abi3-manylinux2010_x86_64.whl": [
            "name": "",
            "result": {
              "is_abi3": true,
              "is_abi3_baseline_compatible": false,
              "baseline": "3.6",
              "computed": "3.10",
              "non_abi3_symbols": [],
              "future_abi3_objects": {
                "PyUnicode_AsUTF8AndSize": "3.10"
        "procmaps-0.6.1-cp37-abi3-manylinux_2_5_x86_64.manylinux1_x86_64.whl": [
            "name": "",
            "result": {
              "is_abi3": true,
              "is_abi3_baseline_compatible": true,
              "baseline": "3.7",
              "computed": "3.7",
              "non_abi3_symbols": [],
              "future_abi3_objects": {}


abi3audit is a best-effort tool, with some of the same limitations as auditwheel. In particular:

  • abi3audit cannot check for dynamic abi3 violations, such as an extension that calls dlsym(3) to invoke a non-abi3 function at runtime.

  • abi3audit can confirm the presence of abi3-compatible symbols, but does not have an exhaustive list of abi3-incompatible symbols. Instead, it looks for violations by looking for symbols that start with Py_ or _Py_ that are not in the abi3 compatibility list. This is unlikely to result in false positives, but could if an extension incorrectly uses those reserved prefixes.

  • When auditing a "bare" shared object (e.g., abi3audit cannot assume anything about the minimum intended abi3 version. Instead, it defaults to the lowest known abi3 version (abi3-cp32) and warns on any version mismatches (e.g., a symbol that was only stabilized in 3.6). This can result in false positives, so users are encouraged to audit entire wheels or packages instead (since they contain the sufficient metadata).

  • abi3audit considers the abi3 version when a symbol was stabilized, not introduced. In other words: abi3audit will produce a warning when an abi3-cp36 extension contains a function stabilized in 3.7, even if that function was introduced in 3.6. This is not a false positive (it is an ABI version mismatch), but it's generally not a source of bugs.


abi3audit is licensed under the MIT license.

abi3audit includes ASN.1 and Mach-O parsers generated from definitions provided by the Kaitai Struct project. These vendored parsers are licensed by the Kaitai Struct authors under the MIT license.

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