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PyInstaller bundles a Python application and all its dependencies into a single package.

Project description

PyInstaller Overview

PyInstaller bundles a Python application and all its dependencies into a single package. The user can run the packaged app without installing a Python interpreter or any modules.

Travis CI test status (Linux) Travis CI test status (OS X) AppVeyor CI test status (Windows) Code health Manual Changelog IRC



PyInstaller reads a Python script written by you. It analyzes your code to discover every other module and library your script needs in order to execute. Then it collects copies of all those files – including the active Python interpreter! – and puts them with your script in a single folder, or optionally in a single executable file.

PyInstaller is tested against Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. However, it is not a cross-compiler: to make a Windows app you run PyInstaller in Windows; to make a Linux app you run it in Linux, etc. PyInstaller has been used successfully with AIX, Solaris, and FreeBSD, but is not tested against them.

Main Advantages

  • Works out-of-the-box with any Python version 2.7 / 3.3-3.5.

  • Fully multi-platform, and uses the OS support to load the dynamic libraries, thus ensuring full compatibility.

  • Correctly bundles the major Python packages such as numpy, PyQt4, PyQt5, PySide, Django, wxPython, matplotlib and others out-of-the-box.

  • Compatible with many 3rd-party packages out-of-the-box. (All the required tricks to make external packages work are already integrated.)

  • Libraries like PyQt5, PyQt4, PySide, wxPython, matplotlib or Django are fully supported, without having to handle plugins or external data files manually.

  • Working code signing on OS X.

  • Bundles MS Visual C++ DLLs on Windows.


PyInstaller is available on PyPI. You can install it through pip:

pip install pyinstaller

Requirements and Tested Platforms

  • Python:

  • 2.7 or 3.3+

  • PyCrypto 2.4+ (only if using bytecode encryption)

  • Windows (32bit/64bit):

  • Windows XP or newer.

  • Linux (32bit/64bit)

  • ldd: Console application to print the shared libraries required by each program or shared library. This typically can be found in the distribution-package glibc or libc-bin.

  • objdump: Console application to display information from object files. This typically can be found in the distribution-package binutils.

  • Mac OS X (64bit):

  • Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or newer.


Basic usage is very simple, just run it against your main script:

pyinstaller /path/to/

For more details, see the manual.

Untested Platforms

The following platforms have been contributed and any feedback or enhancements on these are welcome.

  • FreeBSD

  • ldd

  • Solaris

  • ldd

  • objdump

  • AIX

  • AIX 6.1 or newer. PyInstaller will not work with statically linked Python libraries.

  • ldd

Before using any contributed platform, you need to build the PyInstaller bootloader, as we do not ship binary packages. Download PyInstaller source, and build the bootloader:

cd bootloader
python ./waf distclean all

Then install PyInstaller:

python install

or simply use it directly from the source (

Changelog for PyInstaller

3.1 (2016-01-09)

  • Support reproducible builds (#490, #1434, #1582, #1590).

  • Strip leading parts of paths in compiled code objects (#1059, #1302, #1724).

  • With --log-level=DEBUG, a dependency graph-file is emitted in the build-directory.

  • Allow running pyinstaller as user root. By popular demand, see e.g. #1564, #1459, #1081.

  • New Hooks: botocore, boto3, distorm3, GObject, GI (G Introspection), GStreamer, GEvent, kivy, lxml.isoschematron, pubsub.core, PyQt5.QtMultimedia, scipy.linalg, shelve.

  • Fixed or Updated Hooks: astroid, django, jsonschema logilab, PyQt4, PyQt5, skimage, sklearn.

  • Add option --hiddenimport as an alias for --hidden-import.

  • (OSX): Fix issues with st_flags (#1650).

  • (OSX) Remove warning message about 32bit compatibility (#1586).

  • (Linux) The cache is now stored in $XDG_CACHE_HOME/pyinstaller instead of $XDG_DATA_HOME - the cache is moved automatically (#1118).

  • Documentation updates, e.g. about reproducible builds

  • Put back full text of GPL license into COPYING.txt.

  • Fix crashes when looking for ctypes DLLs (#1608, #1609, #1620).

  • Fix: Imports in byte-code not found if code contains a function (#1581).

  • Fix recursion into bytes-code when scanning for ctypes (#1620).

  • Fix PyCrypto modules to work with crypto feature (--key option) (#1663).

  • Fix problems with excludedimports in some hook excluding the named modules even if used elswhere (#1584, #1600).

  • Fix freezing of pip 7.1.2 (#1699).

  • FreeBSD and Solaris fixes.

  • Search for ldconfig in $PATH first (#1659)

  • Deny processing outdated package _xmlplus.

  • Improvements to the test-suite, testing infrastructure and continuous integration.

  • For non-release builds, the exact git revision is not used.

  • Internal code refactoring.

  • Enhancements and clean-ups to the hooks API - only relevant for hook authors. See the manual for details. E.g:

    • Removed attrs in hooks - they were not used anymore anyway.

    • Change add/del_import() to accept arbitrary number of module names.

    • New hook utility function copy_metadata().

Known Issues

  • Apps built with Windows 10 and Python 3.5 may not run on Windows versions earlier than 10 (#1566).

  • The multipackage (MERGE) feature (#1527) is currently broken.

  • (OSX) Support for OpenDocument events (#1309) is broken.

3.0 (2015-10-04)

  • Python 3 support (3.3 / 3.4 / 3.5).

  • Remove support for Python 2.6 and lower.

  • Full unicode support in the bootloader (#824, #1224, #1323, #1340, #1396)

    • (Windows) Python 2.7 apps can now run from paths with non-ASCII characters

    • (Windows) Python 2.7 onefile apps can now run for users whose usernames contain non-ASCII characters

    • Fix sys.getfilesystemencoding() to return correct values (#446, #885).

  • (OSX) Executables built with PyInstaller under OS X can now be digitally signed.

  • (OSX) 32bit precompiled bootloader no longer distributed, only 64bit.

  • (Windows) for 32bit bootloader enable flag LARGEADDRESSAWARE that allows to use 4GB of RAM.

  • New hooks: amazon-product-api, appy, certifi, countrycode, cryptography, gi, httplib2, jsonschema, keyring, lensfunpy, mpl_toolkits.basemap, ncclient, netCDF4, OpenCV, osgeo, patsy, PsychoPy, pycountry, pycparser, PyExcelerate, PyGobject, pymssql, PyNaCl, PySiDe.QtCore, PySide.QtGui, rawpy, requests, scapy, scipy, six, SpeechRecognition, u1db, weasyprint, Xlib.

  • Hook fixes: babel, ctypes, django, IPython, pint, PyEnchant, Pygments, PyQt5, PySide, pyusb, sphinx, sqlalchemy, tkinter, wxPython.

  • Add support for automatically including data files from eggs.

  • Add support for directory eggs support.

  • Add support for all kind of namespace packages e.g. zope.interface, PEP302 (#502, #615, #665, #1346).

  • Add support for pkgutil.extend_path().

  • New option --key to obfuscate the Python bytecode.

  • New option --exclude-module to ignore a specific module or package.

  • (Windows) New option --uac-admin to request admin permissions before starting the app.

  • (Windows) New option --uac-uiaccess allows an elevated application to work with Remote Desktop.

  • (Windows) New options for Side-by-side Assembly searching:

    • --win-private-assemblies bundled Shared Assemblies into the application will be changed into Private Assemblies

    • --win-no-prefer-redirects while searching for Assemblies PyInstaller will prefer not to follow policies that redirect to newer versions.

  • (OSX) New option --osx-bundle-identifier to set .app bundle identifier.

  • (Windows) Remove old COM server support.

  • Allow override PyInstaller default config directory by environment variable PYINSTALLER_CONFIG_DIR.

  • Add FreeBSD support.

  • AIX fixes.

  • Solaris fixes.

  • Use library modulegraph for module dependency analysis.

  • Bootloader debug messages LOADER: ... printed to stderr.

  • PyInstaller no longer extends sys.path and bundled 3rd-party libraries do not interfere with their other versions.

  • Enhancemants to Analysis():

    • New arguments excludedimports to exclude Python modules in import hooks.

    • New argument binaries to bundle dynamic libraries in .spec file and in import hooks.

    • New argument datas to bundle additional data files in .spec file and in import hooks.

  • A lot of internal code refactoring.

  • Test suite migrated to pytest framework.

  • Improved testing infrastructure with continuous integration (Travis - Linux, Appveyor - Windows)

  • Wiki and bug tracker migrated to github.

Known Issues

  • Apps built with Windows 10 and Python 3.5 may not run on Windows versions earlier than 10 (#1566).

  • The multipackage (MERGE) feature (#1527) is currenty broken.

  • (OSX) Support for OpenDocument events (#1309) is broken.

2.1 (2013-09-27)

  • Rewritten manual explaining even very basic topics.

  • PyInstaller integration with setuptools (direct installation with easy_install or pip from PYPI - After installation there will be available command ‘pyinstaller’ for PyInstaller usage.

  • (Windows) Alter –version-file resource format to allow unicode support.

  • (Windows) Fix running frozen app running from paths containing foreign characters.

  • (Windows) Fix running PyInstaller from paths containing foreign characters.

  • (OSX) Implement –icon option for the .app bundles.

  • (OSX) Add argv emulation for OpenDocument AppleEvent (see manual for details).

  • Rename –buildpath to –workpath.

  • Created app is put to –distpath.

  • All temporary work files are now put to –workpath.

  • Add option –clean to remove PyInstaller cache and temporary files.

  • Add experimental support for Linux arm.

  • Minimum suported Python version is 2.4.

  • Add import hooks for docutils, jinja2, sphinx, pytz, idlelib, sqlite3.

  • Add import hooks for IPython, Scipy, pygst, Python for .NET.

  • Add import hooks for PyQt5, Bacon, raven.

  • Fix django import hook to work with Django 1.4.

  • Add rthook for twisted, pygst.

  • Add rthook for pkg_resource. It fixes the following functions for frozen app pkg_resources.resource_stream(), pkg_resources.resource_string().

  • Better support for pkg_resources (.egg manipulation) in frozen executables.

  • Add option –runtime-hook to allow running custom code from frozen app before loading other Python from the frozen app. This is usefull for some specialized preprocessing just for the frozen executable. E.g. this option can be used to set SIP api v2 for PyQt4.

  • Fix runtime option –Wignore.

  • Rename utils to lowercase:,,,,,,

  • (OSX) Fix missing qt_menu.nib in dist directory when using PySide.

  • (OSX) Fix bootloader compatibility with Mac OS X 10.5

  • (OSX) Search libpython in DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH if libpython cannot be found.

  • (OSX) Fix Python library search in virtualenv.

  • Environment variable PYTHONHOME is now unset and path to python home is set in bootloader by function Py_SetPythonHome().This overrides sys.prefix and sys.exec_prefix for frozen application.

  • Python library filename (e.g. python27.dll,, etc) is embedded to the created exe file. Bootloader is not trying several filenames anymore.

  • Frozen executables now use PEP-302 import hooks to import frozen modules and C extensions. (sys.meta_path)

  • Drop old import machinery from

  • Drop own code to import modules from zip archives (.egg files) in frozen executales. Native Python implementation is kept unchanged.

  • Drop old crypto code. This feature was never completed.

  • Drop bootloader dependency on Python headers for compilation.

  • (Windows) Recompile bootloaders with VS2008 to ensure win2k compatibility.

  • (Windows) Use 8.3 filenames for homepath/temppath.

  • Add prefix LOADER to the debug text from bootloader.

  • Allow running PyInstaller programatically.

  • Move/Rename some files, code refactoring.

  • Add more tests.

  • Tilde is in PyInstaller recognized as $HOME variable.

2.0 (2012-08-08)

  • Minimum suported Python version is 2.3.

  • (OSX) Add support for Mac OS X 64-bit

  • (OSX) Add support Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) and 10.8 (Mountain Lion).

  • (OSX) With argument –windowed PyInstaller creates application bundle (.app)

  • automatically.

  • Add experimental support for AIX (thanks to Martin Gamwell Dawids).

  • Add experimental support for Solaris (thanks to Hywel Richards).

  • Add Multipackage function to create a collection of packages to avoid

  • library duplication. See documentation for more details.

  • New symplified command line interface.

  • replaced by See documentation for more details.

  • Removed cross-building/bundling feature which was never really finished.

  • Added option –log-level to all scripts to adjust level of output (thanks to Hartmut Goebel).

  • rthooks.dat moved to support/rthooks.dat

  • Packaged executable now returns the same return-code as the

  • unpackaged script (thanks to Brandyn White).

  • Add import hook for PyUSB (thanks to Chien-An “Zero” Cho).

  • Add import hook for wx.lib.pubsub (thanks to Daniel Hyams).

  • Add import hook for pyttsx.

  • Improve import hook for Tkinter.

  • Improve import hook for PyQt4.

  • Improve import hook for win32com.

  • Improve support for running PyInstaller in virtualenv.

  • Add cli options –additional-hooks-dir and –hidden-import.

  • Remove cli options -X, -K, -C, –upx, –tk, –configfile, –skip-configure.

  • UPX is used by default if available in the PATH variable.

  • Remove compatibility code for old platforms (dos, os2, MacOS 9).

  • Use Python logging system for message output (thanks to Hartmut Goebel).

  • Environment variable MEIPASS2 is accessible as sys._MEIPASS.

  • Bootloader now overrides PYTHONHOME and PYTHONPATH. PYTHONHOME and PYTHONPATH is set to the value of MEIPASS2 variable.

  • Bootloader uses absolute paths.

  • (OSX) Drop dependency on otool from Xcode on Mac OSX.

  • (OSX) Fix missing qt_menu.nib in dist directory when using PyQt4.

  • (OSX) Bootloader does not use DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH on Mac OS X anymore. @loader_path is used instead.

  • (OSX) Add support to detect .dylib dependencies on Mac OS X containing @executable_path, @loader_path and @rpath.

  • (OSX) Use macholib to detect dependencies on dynamic libraries.

  • Improve test suite.

  • Improve source code structure.

  • Replace os.system() calls by suprocess module.

  • Bundle fake ‘site’ module with frozen applications to prevent loading any user’s Python modules from host OS.

  • Include runtime hooks (rthooks) in code analysis.

  • Source code hosting moved to github:

  • Hosting for running tests daily:

1.5.1 (2011-08-01)

  • New default PyInstaller icon for generated executables on Windows.

  • Add support for Python built with –enable-shared on Mac OSX.

  • Add requirements section to documentation.

  • Documentation is now generated by rst2html and rst2pdf.

  • Fix wrong path separators for bootloader-file on Windows

  • Add workaround for incorrect platform.system() on some Python Windows installation where this function returns ‘Microsoft’ instead ‘Windows’.

  • Fix –windowed option for Mac OSX where a console executable was created every time even with this option.

  • Mention dependency on otool, ldd and objdump in documentation.

  • Fix typo preventing detection of DLL libraries loaded by ctypes module.

1.5 (2011-05-05)

  • Full support for Python 2.7.

  • Full support for Python 2.6 on Windows. No manual redistribution of DLLs, CRT, manifest, etc. is required: PyInstaller is able to bundle all required dependencies (thanks to Florian Hoech).

  • Added support for Windows 64-bit (thanks to Martin Zibricky).

  • Added binary bootloaders for Linux (32-bit and 64-bit, using LSB), and Darwin (32-bit). This means that PyInstaller users on this platform don’t need to compile the bootloader themselves anymore (thanks to Martin Zibricky and Lorenzo Mancini).

  • Rewritten the build system for the bootloader using waf (thanks to Martin Zibricky)

  • Correctly detect Python unified binary under Mac OSX, and bail out if the unsupported 64-bit version is used (thanks to Nathan Weston).

  • Fix TkInter support under Mac OSX (thanks to Lorenzo Mancini).

  • Improve bundle creation under Mac OSX and correctly support also one-dir builds within bundles (thanks to Lorenzo Mancini).

  • Fix spurious KeyError when using dbhash

  • Fix import of nested packages made from Pyrex-generated files.

  • PyInstaller is now able to follow dependencies of binary extensions (.pyd/.so) compressed within .egg-files.

  • Add import hook for PyTables.

  • Add missing import hook for QtWebKit.

  • Add import hook for pywinauto.

  • Add import hook for reportlab (thanks Nevar).

  • Improve matplotlib import hook (for Mac OSX).

  • Improve Django import hooks.

  • Improve compatibility across multiple Linux distributions by being more careful on which libraries are included/excluded in the package.

  • Improve compatibility with older Python versions (Python 2.2+).

  • Fix double-bouncing-icon bug on Mac OSX. Now windowed applications correctly start on Mac OSX showing a single bouncing icon.

  • Fix weird “missing symbol” errors under Mac OSX (thanks to Isaac Wagner).

1.4 (2010-03-22)

  • Fully support up to Python 2.6 on Linux/Mac and Python 2.5 on Windows.

  • Preliminar Mac OSX support: both one-file and one-dir is supported; for non-console applications, a bundle can be created. Thanks to many people that worked on this across several months (Daniele Zannotti, Matteo Bertini, Lorenzo Mancini).

  • Improved Linux support: generated executables are fatter but now should now run on many different Linux distributions (thanks to David Mugnai).

  • Add support for specifying data files in import hooks. PyInstaller can now automatically bundle all data files or plugins required for a certain 3rd-party package.

  • Add intelligent support for ctypes: PyInstaller is now able to track all places in the source code where ctypes is used and automatically bundle dynamic libraries accessed through ctypes. (Thanks to Lorenzo Mancini for submitting this). This is very useful when using ctypes with custom-made dynamic libraries.

  • Executables built with PyInstaller under Windows can now be digitally signed.

  • Add support for absolute imports in Python 2.5+ (thanks to Arve Knudsen).

  • Add support for relative imports in Python 2.5+.

  • Add support for cross-compilation: PyInstaller is now able to build Windows executables when running under Linux. See documentation for more details.

  • Add support for .egg files: PyInstaller is now able to look for dependencies within .egg files, bundle them and make them available at runtime with all the standard features (entry-points, etc.).

  • Add partial support for .egg directories: PyInstaller will treat them as normal packages and thus it will not bundle metadata.

  • Under Linux/Mac, it is now possible to build an executable even when a system packages does not have .pyc or .pyo files available and the system-directory can be written only by root. PyInstaller will in fact generate the required .pyc/.pyo files on-the-fly within a build-temporary directory.

  • Add automatic import hooks for many third-party packages, including:

    • PyQt4 (thanks to Pascal Veret), with complete plugin support.

    • pyodbc (thanks to Don Dwiggins)

    • cElementTree (both native version and Python 2.5 version)

    • lxml

    • SQLAlchemy (thanks to Greg Copeland)

    • email in Python 2.5 (though it does not support the old-style Python 2.4 syntax with Python 2.5)

    • gadfly

    • PyQWt5

    • mako

    • Improved PyGTK (thanks to Marco Bonifazi and foxx).

    • paste (thanks to Jamie Kirkpatrick)

    • matplotlib

  • Add fix for the very annoying “MSVCRT71 could not be extracted” bug, which was caused by the DLL being packaged twice (thanks to Idris Aykun).

  • Removed C++-style comments from the bootloader for compatibility with the AIX compiler.

  • Fix support for .py files with DOS line endings under Linux (fixes PyOpenGL).

  • Fix support for PIL when imported without top-level package (“import Image”).

  • Fix PyXML import hook under NT (thanks to Lorenzo Mancini)

  • Fixed problem with PyInstaller picking up the wrong copy of optparse.

  • Improve correctness of the binary cache of UPX’d/strip’d files. This fixes problems when switching between multiple versions of the same third-party library (like e.g. wxPython allows to do).

  • Fix a stupid bug with modules importing optparse (under Linux) (thanks to Louai Al-Khanji).

  • Under Python 2.4+, if an exception is raised while importing a module inside a package, the module is now removed from the parent’s namespace (to match the behaviour of Python itself).

  • Fix random race-condition at startup of one-file packages, that was causing this exception to be generated: “PYZ entry ‘encodings’ (0j) is not a valid code object”.

  • Fix problem when having unicode strings among path elements.

  • Fix random exception (“bad file descriptor”) with “prints” in non-console mode (actually a pythonw “bug” that’s fixed in Python 3.0).

  • Sometimes the temporary directory did not get removed upon program exit, when running on Linux.

  • Fixed random segfaults at startup on 64-bit platforms (like x86-64).

1.3 (2006-12-20)

  • Fix bug with user-provided icons disappearing from built executables when these were compressed with UPX.

  • Fix problems with packaging of applications using PIL (that was broken because of a bug in Python’s import machinery, in recent Python versions). Also add a workaround including Tcl/Tk with PIL unless ImageTk is imported.

  • (Windows) When used under Windows XP, packaged programs now have the correct look & feel and follow user’s themes (thanks to the manifest file being linked within the generated executable). This is especially useful for applications using wxPython.

  • Fix a buffer overrun in the bootloader (which could lead to a crash) when the built executable is run from within a deep directory (more than 70-80 characters in the pathname).

  • Bootstrap modules are now compressed in the executable (so that they are not visible in plaintext by just looking at it with a hex editor).

  • Fixed a regression introduced in 1.1: under Linux, the bootloader does not depend on anymore.

1.2 (2006-06-29)

  • Fix a crash when invoking UPX with certain kinds of builds.

  • Fix icon support by re-adding a resource section in the bootloader executable.

1.1 (2006-02-13)

  • (Windows) Make single-file packages not depend on MSVCRT71.DLL anymore, even under Python 2.4. You can eventually ship your programs really as single-file executables, even when using the newest Python version!

  • Fix problem with incorrect python path detection. Now using helpers from distutils.

  • Fix problem with rare encodings introduced in newer Python versions: now all the encodings are automatically found and included, so this problem should be gone forever.

  • Fix building of COM servers (was broken in 1.0 because of the new build system).

  • Mimic Python 2.4 behaviour with broken imports: sys.modules is cleaned up afterwise. This allows to package SQLObject applications under Windows with Python 2.4 and above.

  • Add import hook for the following packages:

    • GTK

    • PyOpenGL (tested

    • dsnpython (tested 1.3.4)

    • KInterasDB (courtesy of Eugene Prigorodov)

  • Fix packaging of code using “time.strptime” under Python 2.3+.

  • (Linux) Ignore while calculating dependencies (fix provided by Vikram Aggarwal).

  • (Windows) With Python 2.4, setup UPX properly so to be able to compress binaries generated with Visual Studio .NET 2003 (such as most of the extensions). UPX 1.92+ is needed for this.

1.0 (2005-09-19) with respect to McMillan’s Python Installer 5b5

  • Add support for Python 2.3 (fix packaging of codecs).

  • Add support for Python 2.4 (under Windows, needed to recompiled the bootloader with a different compiler version).

  • Fix support for Python 1.5.2, should be fully functional now (required to rewrite some parts of the string module for the bootloader).

  • Fix a rare bug in extracting the dependencies of a DLL (bug in PE header parser).

  • Fix packaging of PyQt programs (needed an import hook for a hidden import).

  • Fix imports calculation for modules using the “from __init__ import” syntax.

  • Fix a packaging bug when a module was being import both through binary dependency and direct import.

  • Restyle documentation (now using docutils and reStructuredText).

  • New Windows build system for automatic compilations of bootloader in all the required flavours (using Scons)

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