What is PyInstaller?

pyinstaller is an application that bundles your Python scripts and libraries into a single executable that can be run from command line. It does this by scanning your Python code and analyzing it for imported modules, and then generating a spec file. You can customize the spec file with fields that provide missing details, which will allow the program to learn your path at runtime. The spec file can be used to tell PyInstaller to make an executable with the best possible dependencies.

PyInstaller can create both single-binary and single-directory packages. It supports a number of operating systems, including Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and FreeBSD, as well as third-party Python modules. The Python interpreter bundle is included in the application, but the application can be run without the interpreter, too. You can run PyInstaller from the command line, or by passing its main entry-point script. Unlike a cross-compiler, it is not a cross-platform application, so it will not work on Windows XP.

PyInstaller can be installed with pip, which is a package manager for Python. You can also install it by passing a -onedistpath argument to pip. The -onedistpath argument tells the installation script to include pyinstaller in your PATH. You can also install pyinstaller by downloading it from the website. The website also has an active mailing list where you can get support for any problems you may have. There is also a GitHub Wiki with tips and tricks for using pyinstaller.

The pyinstaller CLI has a few more flags that modify its behavior when generating executables. For instance, the -onedistpath command tells the program to include all of its dependencies, which may be a good idea if your program is heavily dependent on data files. If you want to do this, you’ll need to write a “hook” file that informs PyInstaller of all of its hidden imports. Alternatively, you can manually include all of your missing binaries and libraries.

PyInstaller can also be used to package test suites into your packages. This is a clever idea, but there are some drawbacks. For example, it is not capable of detecting all hidden imports, and it can’t detect if you’ve installed a package with a test suite inside of it. You also have to copy the necessary Qt plugins for PyInstaller to work.

PyInstaller may not be the most elegant solution, but it has several features that help you avoid distribution headaches. For instance, it can delay your application’s startup by several seconds. It can also bundle your Python scripts and libraries into a stand-alone executable, with or without a Python interpreter. It can also be used as a CLI tool, so you can create and run Python programs without having to install them first. It also comes with an active Python interpreter. It has been tested on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, FreeBSD, and OpenBSD. It also has a built-in tkinter, which makes it a great tool for developing apps on the web.