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The information above covers most normal uses of PyInstaller.However, the variations of Python and third-party libraries areendless and unpredictable.It may happen that when you attempt to bundle your app eitherPyInstaller itself, or your bundled app, terminates with a Python traceback.Then please consider the following actions in sequence, beforeasking for technical help.

PyInstaller runs in Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion) or newer. It can build graphical windowed apps (apps that do not use a terminal window). PyInstaller builds apps that are compatible with the Mac OS X release in which you run it, and following releases. This might be a little late, but you should install the zip file, extract the zip. Open the terminal and go to that directory, move the py files that you want to use pyinstaller for, and use this command. PyInstaller is a program that freezes (packages) Python programs into stand-alone executables, under Windows, Linux, Mac OS X, FreeBSD, Solaris and AIX.

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Recipes and Examples for Specific Problems¶

The PyInstallerFAQ page has work-arounds for some common problems.Code examples for some advanced uses and some commonproblems are available on our PyInstaller Recipes page.Some of the recipes there include:

  • A more sophisticated way of collecting data filesthan the one shown above (Adding Files to the Bundle).
  • Bundling a typical Django app.
  • A use of a run-time hook to set the PyQt4 API level.
  • A workaround for a multiprocessing constraint under Windows.

and others.Many of these Recipes were contributed by users.Please feel free to contribute more recipes!

Finding out What Went Wrong¶

Build-time Messages¶

When the Analysis step runs, it produces error and warning messages.These display after the command line if the --log-level option allows it.Analysis also puts messages in a warnings filenamed build/name/warnname.txt in thework-path= directory.

Analysis creates a message when it detects an importand the module it names cannot be found.A message may also be produced when a class or function is declared ina package (an module), and the import In this case, the analysis can’t tell if name is supposed torefer to a submodule or package.

The “module not found” messages are not classed as errors becausetypically there are many of them.For example, many standard modulesconditionally import modules for different platforms that may or maynot be present.

All “module not found” messages are written to thebuild/name/warnname.txt file.They are not displayed to standard output because there are many of them.Examine the warning file; often there will be dozens of modules not found,but their absence has no effect.

When you run the bundled app and it terminates with an ImportError,that is the time to examine the warning file.Then see Helping PyInstaller Find Modules below for how to proceed.

Build-Time Dependency Graph¶

If you specify --log-level=DEBUG to the pyinstaller command,PyInstaller writes two files of data about dependencies into thebuild folder.

The file build/name/xref-name.html in thework-path= directory is an HTML file that lists the fullcontents of the import graph, showing which modules are importedby which.You can open it in any web browser.Find a module name, then keep clicking the “imported by” linksuntil you find the top-level import that causes that module to be included.

The file build/name/ in thework-path= directory is a GraphViz input file.You can process it with the GraphViz command dot to producea graphical display of the import dependencies.

These files are very large because even the simplest “hello world”Python program ends up including a large number of standard modules.For this reason the graph file is not very useful in this release.

Build-Time Python Errors¶

PyInstaller sometimes terminates by raising a Python exception.In most cases the reason is clear from the exception message,for example “Your system is not supported”, or “Pyinstallerrequires at least Python 2.7”.Others clearly indicate a bug that should be reported.

One of these errors can be puzzling, however:IOError('Pythonlibrarynotfound!')PyInstaller needs to bundle the Python library, which is themain part of the Python interpreter, linked as a dynamic load library.The name and location of this file varies depending on the platform in use.Some Python installations do not include a dynamic Python libraryby default (a static-linked one may be present but cannot be used).You may need to install a development package of some kind.Or, the library may exist but is not in a folder where PyInstalleris searching.

The places where PyInstaller looks for the python library aredifferent in different operating systems, but /lib and /usr/libare checked in most systems.If you cannot put the python library there,try setting the correct path in the environment variableLD_LIBRARY_PATH in Linux orDYLD_LIBRARY_PATH in OS X.

Getting Debug Messages¶

Giving the --debug option causes the bundled executable itself towrite progress messages when it runs.This can be useful during development of a complex package,or when your app doesn’t seem to be starting,or just to learn how the runtime works.

Normally the debug progress messages go to standard output.If the --windowed option is used when bundling a Windows app,they are displayed as MessageBoxes.For a --windowed Mac OS app they are not displayed.

Remember to bundle without --debug for your production version.Users would find the messages annoying.

Getting Python’s Verbose Imports¶

You can also pass a -v (verbose imports) flag to the embedded Python interpreter(see Giving Run-time Python Options above).This can be extremely useful.It can be informative even with apps that are apparently working,to make sure that they are getting all imports from the bundle,and not leaking out to the local installed Python.

Python verbose and warning messages always go to standard outputand are not visible when the --windowed option is used.Remember to not use this in the distributed program.

Helping PyInstaller Find Modules¶

Extending the Path¶

If Analysis recognizes that a module is needed, but cannot find that module,it is often because the script is manipulating sys.path.The easiest thing to do in this case is to use the --paths= optionto list all the other places that the script might be searching for imports:

These paths will be noted in the spec file.They will be added to the current sys.path during analysis.

Listing Hidden Imports¶

If Analysis thinks it has found all the imports,but the app fails with an import error,the problem is a hidden import; that is, an import that is notvisible to the analysis phase.

Hidden imports can occur when the code is using __import__or perhaps exec or eval.Hidden imports can also occur when an extension module uses thePython/C API to do an import.When this occurs, Analysis can detect nothing.There will be no warnings, only an ImportError at run-time.

To find these hidden imports,build the app with the -v flag (Getting Python’s Verbose Imports above)and run it.

Once you know what modules are needed, you add the needed modulesto the bundle using the --hidden-import= command option,or by editing the spec file,or with a hook file (see Understanding PyInstaller Hooks below).

Extending a Package’s __path__

Python allows a script to extend the search path used for importsthrough the __path__ mechanism.Normally, the __path__ of an imported module has only one entry,the directory in which the was found.But is free to extend its __path__ to include other directories.For example, the module actually resolves towin32com/win32comext/shell/shell.pyd.This is because win32com/ appends ../win32comext to its __path__.

Because the of an imported moduleis not actually executed during analysis,changes it makes to __path__ are not seen by PyInstaller.We fix the problem with the same hook mechanism we use for hidden imports,with some additional logic; see Understanding PyInstaller Hooks below.

Note that manipulations of __path__ hooked in this way apply onlyto the Analysis.At runtime all imports are intercepted and satisfied from within thebundle. is resolved the sameway as win32com.anythingelse, and win32com.__path__knows nothing of ../win32comext.

Once in a while, that’s not enough.

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Changing Runtime Behavior¶

More bizarre situations can be accomodated with runtime hooks.These are small scripts that manipulate the environment before your main script runs,effectively providing additional top-level code to your script.

There are two ways of providing runtime hooks.You can name them with the option --runtime-hook=path-to-script.

Second, some runtime hooks are provided.At the end of an analysis,the names in the module list produced by the Analysis phase are looked up inloader/rthooks.dat in the PyInstaller install folder.This text file is the string representation of aPython dictionary. The key is the module name, and the value is a listof hook-script pathnames.If there is a match, those scripts are included in the bundled appand will be called before your main script starts.

Hooks you name with the option are executedin the order given, and before any installed runtime hooks.If you specify the execution order at runtime will be:

  1. Code of
  2. Code of
  3. Any hook specified for an included module that is foundin rthooks/rthooks.dat.
  4. Your main script.

Hooks called in this way, while they need to be careful of what they import,are free to do almost anything.One reason to write a run-time hook is tooverride some functions or variables from some modules.A good example of this is the Django runtimehook (see loader/rthooks/ in thePyInstaller folder).Django imports some modules dynamically and it is lookingfor some .py files.However .py files are not available in the one-file bundle.We need to override the a way that will just return a list of values.The runtime hook does this as follows:


Getting the Latest Version¶

If you have some reason to think you have found a bug in PyInstalleryou can try downloading the latest development version.This version might have fixes or features that are not yet at PyPI.You can download the latest stable version and the latest developmentversion from the PyInstaller Downloads page.

You can also install the latest version of PyInstaller directlyusing pip:

Asking for Help¶

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When none of the above suggestions help,do ask for assistance on the PyInstaller Email List.

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Then, if you think it likely that you see a bug in PyInstaller,refer to the How to Report Bugs page.