Python on a mac: how to build pythonw?

Robert Kern robert.kern at
Thu Mar 1 18:58:08 CET 2007

Ron Garret wrote:
> I'm trying to run the Python examples distributed with XCode and they 
> all give me the same error:
> Traceback (most recent call last):
>   File "", line 35, in <module>
>     main()
>   File "", line 8, in main
>     pathname = EasyDialogs.AskFileForOpen(message='File to check 
> end-of-lines in:')
>   File "/usr/local/lib/python2.5/plat-mac/", line 650, in 
> AskFileForOpen
>     _interact()
>   File "/usr/local/lib/python2.5/plat-mac/", line 53, in 
> _interact
>     AE.AEInteractWithUser(50000000)
> MacOS.Error: (-1713, 'no user interaction is allowed')
> Googling reveals that the answer is to use pythonw, but there is no such 
> thing installed on my system:
> [ron at mickey:~]$ pythonw
> -bash: pythonw: command not found
> Apparently, pythonw didn't get built when I installed Python 2.5, and I 
> can't find any instructions on how to build it.  (The installation 
> instructions don't seem to mention it.)

It looks like you built Python yourself. The default build does not allow you to
communicate with the Apple GUI. You need a framework build. I highly recommend
that you simply use the binary on instead of building from
source. If you do want to build from source, please read the file Mac/README for

Note that in recent versions of Python, I believe that the pythonw executable is
no longer necessary as a workaround.

Robert Kern

"I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma
 that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had
 an underlying truth."
  -- Umberto Eco

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