Deploying Python applications

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Supporting multiple hardware platforms


Meaning: x86, x64, ARM, others?

For Python-only distributions, it *should* be straightforward to deploy on all
platforms where Python can run.

For distributions with binary extensions, deployment is major headache.  Not only
must the extensions be built on all the combinations of operating system and
hardware platform, but they must also be tested, preferably on continuous
integration platforms.  The issues are similar to the "multiple Python
versions" section above, not sure whether this should be a separate section.
Even on Windows x64, both the 32 bit and 64 bit versions of Python enjoy
significant usage.

OS packaging & installers


- Building rpm/debs for projects
- Building rpms/debs for whole virtualenvs
- Building macOS installers for Python projects
- Building Android APKs with Kivy+P4A or P4A & Buildozer



- Building Windows installers for Python projects


Pynsist is a tool that bundles Python programs together with the Python-interpreter into a single installer based on NSIS. In most cases, packaging only requires the user to choose a version of the Python-interpreter and declare the dependencies of the program. The tool downloads the specified Python-interpreter for Windows and packages it with all the dependencies in a single Windows-executable installer.

The installed program can be started from a shortcut that the installer adds to the start-menu. It uses a Python interpreter installed within its application directory, independent of any other Python installation on the computer.

A big advantage of Pynsist is that the Windows packages can be built on Linux. There are several examples for different kinds of programs (console, GUI) in the documentation. The tool is released under the MIT-licence.

Application bundles


- wheels kinda/sorta



py2exe is a distutils extension which allows to build standalone Windows executable programs (32-bit and 64-bit) from Python scripts. Python versions included in the official development cycle are supported (refers to Status of Python branches). py2exe can build console executables and windows (GUI) executables. Building windows services, and DLL/EXE COM servers might work but it is not actively supported. The distutils extension is released under the MIT-licence and Mozilla Public License 2.0.



py2app is a Python setuptools command which will allow you to make standalone macOS application bundles and plugins from Python scripts. Note that py2app MUST be used on macOS to build applications, it cannot create Mac applications on other platforms. py2app is released under the MIT-license.

Unix (including Linux and macOS)


pex is a library for generating .pex (Python EXecutable) files which are executable Python environments in the spirit of virtualenvs. pex is an expansion upon the ideas outlined in PEP 441 and makes the deployment of Python applications as simple as cp. pex files may even include multiple platform-specific Python distributions, meaning that a single pex file can be portable across Linux and macOS. pex is released under the Apache License 2.0.

Configuration management