py2exe tends to invoke DLL hell if you have various versions of VS or Office or both installed. Because Windows.

On May 28, 2015 11:23:57 AM CDT, Chris Barker <> wrote:
I'm confused:

Doesn't py2exe (optionally) create a single file executable?

And py2app on the Mac creates an application bundle, but that is more-or-less the equivalent on OS-X (you may not even be able to have a single file executable that can access the Window Manager, for instance)

Depending on what extra packages you need, py2exe's single file doesn't always work, but last I tried, it worked for a fair bit (I think all of the stdlib).

I don't know what PyInstaller or others create. And I have no idea if there is a linux option -- but it seems like the standard of practice for an application for linux is a bunch of files scattered over the system anyway :-)

Yes, the resulting exe is pretty big, but it does try to include only those modules and packages that are used, and that kind of optimization could be improved in any case.

So is something different being asked for here?

Barry Warsaw wrote:
>> I do think single-file executables are an important piece to Python's long-term competitiveness.

Really? It seems to me that desktop development is dying. What are the critical use-cases for a single file executable?

And I'd note that getting a good way to use Python to develop for iOS, Android, and Mobile Windows is FAR more critical!  -- maybe that's the same problem ?


On Thu, May 28, 2015 at 8:39 AM, Donald Stufft <> wrote:

On May 28, 2015 at 11:30:37 AM, Steve Dower ( wrote:
> Donald Stufft wrote:
> > Well Python 3.4.3 binary is 4kb for me, so you'd have that + your 1KB Python script + whatever
> other pieces you need.
> For contrast, here are the things you need on Windows to be able to get to an interactive
> prompt (I don't know how other platforms get this down to 4KB...):
> * python.exe (or some equivalent launcher) 39KB
> * python35.dll 3,788KB
> * vcruntime140.dll 87KB (the rest of the CRT is about 1MB, but is not redistributable
> so doesn't count here)
> * 26 files in Lib 343KB
> This gets you to ">>>", and basically everything after that is going to fail for some reason.
> That's an unavoidable 4,257KB.
> The rest of the stdlib adds another ~16MB once you exclude the test suite, so a fully functioning
> Python is not cheap. (Using compressed .pyc's in a zip file can make a big difference here
> though, assuming you're willing to trade CPU for HDD.)
> Cheers,
> Steve

You don’t need a "fully functioning Python" for a single file binary, you only
need enough to actually run your application. For example, if you're making
an application that can download files over HTTP, you don't need to include
parts of the stdlib like xmlrpc, pickle, shelve, marshall, sqlite, csv, email,
mailcap, mailbox, imaplib, nntplib, etc.

Of course deciding which pieces you include in the zip file you're appending
to the end of Python is up to whatever tool builds this executable which
doesn't need to be part of Python itself. If Python itself gained the ability
to operate in that manner than third party tools could handle trying to do the
optimizations where it only includes the things it actually needs in the stdlib
and excludes things it doesn't. The key thing here is that since you're doing
a single file binary, you don't need to have a Python which is suitable to
execute random Python code, you only need one that is suitable to execute this
particular code so you can specialize what that includes.

Donald Stufft
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Christopher Barker, Ph.D.

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