Skip to main content

create standalone executables from python scripts

Project description


bbfreeze creates standalone executables from python scripts. It’s similar in purpose to the well known py2exe for windows, py2app for OS X, PyInstaller and cx_Freeze (in fact it includes some bits from cx_Freeze and PyInstaller. And it uses the modulegraph package, which is also used by py2app).

It has the following features:

easy installation
bbfreeze can be installed with setuptools’ easy_install command.
zip/egg file import tracking
bbfreeze tracks imports from zip files. Note that calls to setuptools’ pkg_resources.require will be replaced with a dummy implementation. Calls to resource handling functions are not implemented, and freezing packages using these features of pkg_resources will not be possible without further work.
binary dependency tracking
bbfreeze will track binary dependencies and will include DLLs and shared libraries needed by a frozen program.
multiple script freezing
bbfreeze can freeze multiple scripts at once.
python interpreter included
bbfreeze will create an extra executable named ‘py’, which might be used like the python executable itself.

bbfreeze works on windows and UNIX-like operating systems. It currently does not work on OS X. bbfreeze has been tested with python 2.4 and 2.5. bbfreeze will not work with python versions prior to 2.3 as it uses the zipimport feature introduced with python 2.3.

Contact Information

bbfreeze has been developed by brainbot technologies AG. Questions and suggestions should be send to


Windows Eggs and the source code can be downloaded from carries a mercurial repository of the in-development version.


You need to have setuptools/easy_install installed. Installation should be as easy as typing:

$ easy_install bbfreeze

This should download bbfreeze and it’s dependencies modulegraph and altgraph and install them.


  • bbfreeze does not work on OS X
  • documentation

bb-freeze - command line tool

bbfreeze provides a command line utility called bb-freeze, which freezes all python scripts given on the command line into the directory dist, which then contains for each script an executable and all dependencies needed by those executables.

Example Usage:

$ cat
#! /usr/bin/env python

import sys
import email

print unicode("hello", "utf8"), unicode("world!", "ascii")

print "sys.path:", sys.path
print "__file__:", __file__
print "__name__:", __name__

print "locals():", locals()

print "sys.argv", sys.argv
print "sys.executable:", sys.executable
$ bb-freeze
*** applied <function recipe_email at 0xb7ba702c>
$ dist/hello-world
hello world!
$ dist/py
Python 2.5.1c1 (r251c1:54692, Apr 11 2007, 01:40:50)
[GCC 4.1.2 20061115 (prerelease) (Debian 4.1.1-21)] on linux2
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> import email

bbfreeze - API

The preferred way to use bbfreeze is by writing short python scripts, which use bbfreeze’s API. Let’s start with a short example:

from bbfreeze import Freezer
f = Freezer("hello-world-1.0", includes=("_strptime"))
f()    # starts the freezing process

bbfreeze.Freezer(distdir=”dist”, includes=(), excludes=()) instantiates a Freezer object. It will create the frozen executables and dependencies inside the distdir directory. includes is a list or tuple of modules to include, excludes is a list or tuple of modules to exclude. Note that the freezer will delete the directory distdir before freezing!

bbfreeze.Freezer objects have the following members:

  • use_compression: flag whether to use compression inside the created zipfile (default True).
  • include_py: flag whether to create the included python interpreter py (default True)
  • addScript(path, gui_only=False): register a python script for freezing. path must be the path to a python script. The freezer will scan the file for dependencies and will create an executable with the same name in distdir. The gui_only flag only has a meaning on windows: If set, the executable created for this script will not open a console window.


Recipes provide a way to control the freezing process. Have a look at bbfreeze/ if you need to implement your own. Note that the API might change.


2007-6-28 release 0.94.1

  • fix bug in setup script, now the patched modulegraph is really used
  • better recipe handling

2007-6-22 release 0.94.0

  • support relative imports (backported from modulefinder, bbfreeze now ships with its’ own patched copy of modulegraph).
  • fix xml/_xmlplus issues
  • add recipe for cElementTree

2007-5-31 release 0.93.2

  • include tcl/tk runtime files (really makes Tkinter work)
  • exclude gtk, pango and friends (i.e. they must be installed on the target system)

2007-5-14 release 0.93.1

  • make py executable work when readline is not installed
  • fix dll search path issue (makes Tkinter work)

2007-5-3 release 0.93.0

  • dependency on should now always be recognized
  • support for namespace packages
  • basic support for zipfiles/eggs (bbfreeze will scan zipfiles/eggs for dependencies and will implement a dummy pkg_resources.require in frozen executables). Note that the remaining pkg_resources functionality just isn’t available.
  • documentation updates

2007-4-27 release 0.92.0

  • better binary dependency cache handling
  • fix recipe for time module on windows
  • use pefile module on windows for binary dependency tracking
  • add gui_only flag to addScript method (which builds GUI programs on windows, i.e. without console)
  • strip shared libraries on non windows platforms
  • add showxref method
  • working recipe for py.magic.greenlet

2007-4-24 Initial release 0.91.0

Project details

Download files

Download the file for your platform. If you're not sure which to choose, learn more about installing packages.

Source Distribution

bbfreeze-0.94.1.tar.gz (34.0 kB view hashes)

Uploaded source

Built Distributions

bbfreeze-0.94.1-py2.5-win32.egg (63.0 kB view hashes)

Uploaded 2 5

bbfreeze-0.94.1-py2.4-win32.egg (64.0 kB view hashes)

Uploaded 2 4

Supported by

AWS AWS Cloud computing Datadog Datadog Monitoring Facebook / Instagram Facebook / Instagram PSF Sponsor Fastly Fastly CDN Google Google Object Storage and Download Analytics Huawei Huawei PSF Sponsor Microsoft Microsoft PSF Sponsor NVIDIA NVIDIA PSF Sponsor Pingdom Pingdom Monitoring Salesforce Salesforce PSF Sponsor Sentry Sentry Error logging StatusPage StatusPage Status page