Upgrading Py2exe App

Ryan Kelly ryan at rfk.id.au
Fri Feb 19 22:28:37 CET 2010

On Thu, 2010-02-18 at 20:32 -0800, CM wrote:
> On Feb 18, 7:19 pm, Ryan Kelly <r... at rfk.id.au> wrote:
> > On Thu, 2010-02-18 at 07:46 -0800, T wrote:
> > > I have a Python app which I converted to an EXE (all files separate;
> > > single EXE didn't work properly) via py2exe - I plan on distributing
> > > this and would like the ability to remotely upgrade the program (for
> > > example, via HTTP/HTTPS).   Looks like it's not just the EXE that I
> > > will need need to replace (DLLs, the library.zip, etc.).  What would
> > > be the best way to go about doing this?
> >
> > I've been working on an auto-update framework for my own frozen apps,
> > you might find it useful:
> >
> >  http://pypi.python.org/pypi/esky
> >
> This looks pretty interesting and useful.

Thanks :-)

> Just to help me understand it a bit more:  what is it that users will
> download from some web page in order to initially get the py2exe'd app
> on their system?  Is it "really" an "esky", with the app's .exe file
> inside it (but the esky is named the same as the app)?

Currently, it's just a zip file with the frozen app in it, which the
user unzips to wherever they want the app.  When unzipped it looks like

   myapp.exe  <-- actually the esky bootstrap exe
       myapp.exe  <-- the actual frozen app as produced by py2exe

This could easily be wrapped in an installer - the important thing is
just that the files end up on the user's machine in the expected
directory structure.

>   And then when
> they want to update, the app's code calls the esky class to do the
> work of swapping out the appropriate .exe file?  Something like this?

Yes.  The idea of having a "bootstrapping exe" is that actual
application code can be swapped out without having to overwrite the
executable file.  As long as you don't change python versions, this
allows updates to be safe against system crashes, even on platforms
without atomic file replacement.

So the frozen app does this in a background thread:


And it hits the given url, grabs the latest zipfile, downloads and
unpacks and atomically places it into the application directory.  Et
viola, your app is at the latest version.

From the packager's point of view, you run the "bdist_esky" distutils
command to generate the zipfile containing your latest version, then
simply upload it to your server.

> Would this also work if one used InnoSetup to install the exe on the
> user's system?

Yes, absolutely - in fact I plan to do this myself at some stage.  All
that's required is that the files end up in the expected directory


Ryan Kelly
http://www.rfk.id.au  |  This message is digitally signed. Please visit
ryan at rfk.id.au        |  http://www.rfk.id.au/ramblings/gpg/ for details

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