This is an old copy of the Python FAQ. The information here may be outdated.

How can I create a stand-alone binary from a Python script?

You don’t need the ability to compile Python to C code if all you want is a stand-alone program that users can download and run without having to install the Python distribution first. There are a number of tools that determine the set of modules required by a program and bind these modules together with a Python binary to produce a single executable.

One is to use the freeze tool, which is included in the Python source tree as Tools/freeze (dead link). It converts Python byte code to C arrays; a C compiler you can embed all your modules into a new program, which is then linked with the standard Python modules.

It works by scanning your source recursively for import statements (in both forms) and looking for the modules in the standard Python path as well as in the source directory (for built-in modules). It then turns the bytecode for modules written in Python into C code (array initializers that can be turned into code objects using the marshal module) and creates a custom-made config file that only contains those built-in modules which are actually used in the program. It then compiles the generated C code and links it with the rest of the Python interpreter to form a self-contained binary which acts exactly like your script.

Obviously, freeze requires a C compiler. There are several other utilities which don’t. The first is Gordon McMillan’s installer at (dead link) (dead link)

which works on Windows, Linux and at least some forms of Unix.

Another is Thomas Heller’s py2exe (Windows only) at

Other tools include Fredrik Lundh’s Squeeze and Anthony Tuininga’s cx_Freeze.

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