crossplatform py2exe - would it be useful?

Thomas Heller theller at
Wed Aug 6 20:36:20 CEST 2003

I'm currently working on a new version of py2exe, which will require
Python 2.3 and later, because it uses the zipimport mechanism.

Since py2exe is a distutils extension, and since C compilers are
commonly available on most platforms except Windows, it would be fairly
easy to let py2exe generate a C source file installing this import hook,
and let distutils' C compiler build an executable file from this.

Would this be useful, or would I be wasting my time, since McMillan
installer, cx_freeze, and tools/freeze already do it?

At the end of this post you'll find excerpts from the readme file, which
is currently the only documentation available.


The readme file:

  A new and improved py2exe for Python 2.3

  Uses the zipimport mechanism, so it requires Python 2.3 or later.  The
  zipimport mechanism is able to handle the early imports of the
  warnings and also the encodings module which is done by Python.

  Creates a single directory, which must be deployed completely.

  (Most of this is based on ideas of Mark Hammond:) Can create any
  number of console and gui executables in this directory, plus
  optionally a windows service exe, plus optionally an exe and dll com
  server.  The com servers can expose one or more com object classes.

  All pure Python files are contained in a single zip archive, which is
  shared by all the executables.  The zip archive may also be used by
  programs embedding Python.  Since extension modules cannot be imported
  from zipfiles, a simple pure Python loader is included in the zipfile
  which loads the extension from the file system (without requiring that
  the directory is in sys.path).

  It would be nice if the executables could be run with only a single
  sys.path entry containing the absolute filename of the zipfile, but it
  seems for dll com servers the executable's directory is also
  needed. The absolute filenames are constructed at runtime from the
  directory containing the executable, and the zipfile name specified at
  build time.

  The way has changed how build targets are specified in the setup
  script. py2exe installs it own Distribution subclass, which enables
  additional keyword arguments to the setup function:

  console = [...] # list of scripts to convert into console executables
  windows = [...] # list of scripts to convert into gui executables
  com_servers = [...] # list of fully qualified class names to build into the exe com server
  service = [...] # list of fully qualified class names to build into a service executable
  zipfile = "" # filename of the zipfile containing the pure Python modules

  All of the above arguments are optional. The zipfile name defaults to

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