Are ActivePython scripts compatible with Linux?

Larry Bates larry.bates at
Wed May 31 19:21:34 CEST 2006

Short answer: yes

Things to watch out for:

1) Versions on both Windows/Linux need to be compatible.  If Linux
has same or later version, you are normally OK.  If Linux version
is older, you will have to use only Python Libraries and functions
that are in the oldest version.

2) Don't use OS-specific constructs.  Things like backslashes
in filenames, etc.  Use os.path.join, os.path.basename, etc. to work
with paths.  Linux has OS-specific code that handles all the
cross-OS problems for you if you use these methods.  Don't hard
code drive letters in your code, Linux/Mac don't have drive letters.

3) Obviously you can't use Python Windows extensions, which won't
port.  You can't move something that is written as COM object or
as a Windows service (sorry those were probably too obvious ;-).

4) If you use GUI, use something that is cross-platform (like
wxWindows, TK, etc.).  You can't use Windows-specific GUI calls.

5) You can be affected by word length issues if you move from
32-bit Windows to 64-bit Linux.  Normally this is only only
a problem if you use struct module to pack/unpack buffers or if
you do bit shift operations (e.g. <<, >>).

6) Don't depend on Windows line endings in files.  Linux/Mac
use different ones than Windows.

7) Some Linux machine have different endian storage of bytes.
If you do bit shifting or struct pack/unpack you will need to
take that into account.

8) If you have OS-specific "things" in your code, put them in
a function or class that can easily be rewritten for the
specific OS you are porting to.  Don't spread them out all
through your code.  It is much easier to rewrite a couple of
functions/classes that are OS-specific than it is to try to
find problems all over your program.

Hope info helps at least a little.


A.M wrote:
> Hi,
> I am planning to develop python applications on windows and run them on 
> Linux. Are ActivePython scripts compatible with Linux? Is there any 
> guideline that explains the compatibility issues between python in different 
> platforms?
> What would be the best approach for what I am trying to do?
> Any help would be appreciated,
> Alan

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