Distributing Python apps

David Bolen db3l at fitlinxx.com
Fri Jan 3 18:07:28 CET 2003

"Norman Skrzypinski" <zypin at sympatico.ca> writes:

> I've spent the last couple of months investigating Visual Basic, Visual C++,
> Euphoria, Python and Perl.  I like Python, but I'm put off by the
> pain-in-the-rear methods of creating standalone Python applications.  Isn't
> this a serious shortcoming that should receive a lot of immediate attention?
> Is there a developer-friendly builder-installer in the works?

Perhaps you could elaborate on what parts of the process are
specifically painful - and what platforms you want to target?  I'm
assuming Windows since you mention the Visual languages.

While it may not be at the level of the VB "create a installer" sort
of thing, I use Gordon McMillan's installer package along with the
InnoSetup Windows installer (for typical Windows installation
packages) and I find it very easy and capable.  The installer is a
simple execution to collect all the appropriate files together, and
while you have to do some manual work to create the configuration file
for InnoSetup, it's simple enough and no worse than using something
like InstallShield with a VC application.

Others here will no doubt mention py2exe which is an alternative to
Gordon's package.  There are also alternatives to InnoSetup (such as

If you need more cross-platform support, Gordon's installer does
support Linux (you'd skip the InnoSetup step).

Of course, you could always use the included distutils support to
build a setup file for your package and distribute it that way.  Your
targets would need Python but not a developer environment (unless your
package includes custom extensions that need compiling, and even then
I think you can include the pre-built binaries with your
distribution).  This is actually a fairly common way to distribute
Python modules, although I can understand your desire for a more
standalone approach, particularly for Windows users, as that's what I
also do for some of my packages.

Any of these seem fairly developer-friendly to at least this developer :-)

-- David
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