11 June 2017

Nuitka Release 0.5.26

This is to inform you about the new stable release of Nuitka. It is the extremely compatible Python compiler, “download now”.

This release comes after a long time and contains large amounts of changes in all areas. The driving goal was to prepare generating C specific code, which is still not the case, but this is very likely going to change soon. However this release improves all aspects.

Bug Fixes

  • Compatibility: Fix, for star imports didn’t check the values from the __all__ iterable, if they were string values which could cause problems at run time.

    # Module level
    __all__ = (1,)
    # ...
    # other module:
    from module import *
  • Fix, for star imports, also didn’t check for values from __all__ if they actually exist in the original values.

  • Corner cases of imports should work a lot more precise, as the level of compatibility for calls to __import__ went from absurd to insane.

  • Windows: Fixed detection of uninstalled Python versions (not for all users and DLL is not in system directory). This of course only affected the accelerated mode, not standalone mode.

  • Windows: Scan directories for .pyd files for used DLLs as well. This should make the PyQt5 wheel work.

  • Python3.5: Fix, coroutines could have different code objects for the object and the frame using by it.

  • Fix, slices with built-in names crashed the compiler.

  • Fix, the C11 via C++ compatibility uses symlinks tp C++ filenames where possible instead of making a copy from the C source. However, even on Linux that may not be allowed, e.g. on a DOS file system. Added fallback to using full copy in that case.

  • Python3.5: Fix coroutines to close the “yield from” where an exception is thrown into them.

  • Python3: Fix, list contractions should have their own frame too.

  • Linux: Copy the “rpath” of compiling Python binary to the created binary. This will make compiled binaries using uninstalled Python versions transparently find the Python shared library.

  • Standalone: Add the “rpath” of the compiling Python binary to the search path when checking for DLL dependencies on Linux. This fixes standalone support for Travis and Anaconda on Linux.

  • Scons: When calling scons, also try to locate a Python2 binary to overcome a potential Python3 virtualenv in which Nuitka is running.

  • Standalone: Ignore more Windows only encodings on non-Windows.

New Features

  • Support for Python 3.6 with only few corner cases not supported yet.

  • Added options --python-arch to pick 32 or 64 bits Python target of the --python-version argument.

  • Added support for more kinds of virtualenv configurations.

  • Uninstalled Python versions such as Anaconda will work fine in accelerated mode, except on Windows.


  • The node tree children are no longer stored in a separate dictionary, but in the instance dictionary as attributes, making the tree more lightweight and in principle faster to access. This also saved about 6% of the memory usage.

  • The memory usage of Nuitka for the Python part has fallen by roughly 40% due to the use of new style classes, and slots where that is possible (some classes use multiple inheritance, where they don’t work), and generally by reducing useless members e.g. in source code references. This of course also will make things compiled faster (the C compilation of course is not affected by this.)

  • The code generation for frames was creating the dictionary for the raised exception by making a dictionary and then adding all variables, each tested to be set. This was a lot of code for each frame specific, and has been replaced by a generic “attach” mechanism which merely stores the values, and only takes a reference. When asked for frame locals, it only then builds the dictionary. So this is now only done, when that is absolutely necessary, which it normally never is. This of course makes the C code much less verbose, and actual handling of exceptions much more efficient.

  • For imports, we now detect for built-in modules, that their import cannot fail, and if name lookups can fail. This leads to less code generated for error handling of these. The following code now e.g. fully detects that no ImportError or AttributeError will occur.

        from __builtin__ import len
    except ImportError:
        from builtins import len
  • Added more type shapes for built-in type calls. These will improve type tracing.

  • Compiled frames now have a free list mechanism that should speed up frames that recurse and frames that exit with exceptions. In case of an exception, the frame ownership is immediately transferred to the exception making it easier to deal with.

  • The free list implementations have been merged into a new common one that can be used via macro expansion. It is now type agnostic and be slightly more efficient too.

  • Also optimize “true” division and “floor division”, not only the default division of Python2.

  • Removed the need for statement context during code generation making it less memory intensive and faster.


  • Now always uses the __import__ built-in node for all kinds of imports and directly optimizes and recursion into other modules based on that kind of node, instead of a static variant. This removes duplication and some incompatibility regarding defaults usage when doing the actual imports at run time.

  • Split the expression node bases and mixin classes to a dedicated module, moving methods that only belong to expressions outside of the node base, making for a cleaner class hierarchy.

  • Cleaned up the class structure of nodes, added base classes for typical compositions, e.g. expression with and without children, computation based on built-in, etc. while also checking proper ordering of base classes in the metaclass.

  • Moved directory and file operations to dedicated module, making also sure it is more generally used. This makes it easier to make more error resilient deletions of directories on e.g. Windows, where locks tend to live for short times beyond program ends, requiring second attempts.

  • Code generation for existing supported types, PyObject *, PyObject **, and struct Nuitka_CellObject * is now done via a C type class hierarchy instead of elif sequences.

  • Closure taking is now always done immediately correctly and references are take for closure variables still needed, making sure the tree is correct and needs no finalization.

  • When doing variable traces, initialize more traces immediately so it can be more reliable.

  • Code to setup a function for local variables and clean it up has been made common code instead of many similar copies.

  • The code was treating the f_executing frame member as if it were a counter with increases and decreases. Turn it into a mere boolean value and hide its usage behind helper functions.

  • The “maybe local variables” are no more. They were replaced by a new locals dict access node with a fallback to a module or closure variable should the dictionary not contain the name. This avoids many ugly checks to not do certain things for that kind of variable.

  • We now detect “exec” and “unqualified exec” as well as “star import” ahead of time as flags of the function to be created. We no longer need to mark functions as we go.

  • Handle “true”, “floor” and normal division properly by applying future flags to decide which one to use.

  • We now use symbolic identifiers in all PyLint annotations.

  • The release scripts started to move into nuitka.tools.release so they get PyLint checks, auto-format and proper code reuse.

  • The use of INCREASE_REFCOUNT_X was removed, it got replaced with proper Py_XINCREF usages.

  • The use of INCREASE_REFCOUNT got reduced further, e.g. no generated code uses it anymore, and only a few compiled types do. The function was once required before “C-ish” lifted the need to do everything in one single function call.


  • More robust deletion of directories, temporary stages used by CPython test suites, and standalone directories during test execution.

  • Moved tests common code into nuitka.tools.testing namespace and use it from there. The code now is allowed to use nuitka.utils and therefore often better implementations.

  • Made standalone binaries robust against GTK theme access, checking the Python binary (some site.py files do that),


  • Added repository for Ubuntu Zesty (17.04) for download.

  • Added support for testing with Travis to complement the internal Buildbot based infrastructure and have pull requests on GitHub automatically tested before merge.

  • The factory branch is now also on GitHub.

  • Removed MSI for Python3.4 32 bits. It seems impossible to co-install this one with the 64 bits variant. All other versions are provided for both bit sizes still.


This release marks huge progress. The node tree is now absolutely clean, the variable closure taking is fully represented, and code generation is prepared to add another type, e.g. for bool for which work has already started.

On a practical level, the scalability of the release will have increased very much, as this uses so much less memory, generates simpler C code, while at the same time getting faster for the exception cases.

Coming releases will expand on the work of this release.

Frame objects should be allowed to be nested inside a function for better re-formulations of classes and contractions of all kinds, as well as real inline of functions, even if they could raise.

The memory savings could be even larger, if we stopped doing multiple inheritance for more node types. The __slots__ were and the child API change could potentially make things not only more compact, but faster to use too.

And also once special C code generation for bool is done, it will set the stage for more types to follow (int, float, etc). Only this will finally start to give the C type speed we are looking for.

Until then, this release marks a huge cleanup and progress to what we already had, as well as preparing the big jump in speed.