07 April 2013

Support for portable (standalone) programs

This post is about a feature often requested, but so far not available feature of Nuitka. Please see the page “What is Nuitka?” for clarification of what it is now and what it wants to be.

In forums, and in Google, people are looking at a Python compiler, also as a way of deployment. It should offer what py2exe does, allow installation independent of Python.

Well, for a long time it didn’t. But thanks to recent contributions, it’s upcoming for the next release, Nuitka 0.4.3, and it’s in the current pre-releases.

It works by adding --portable to the command line. So this should work for you:

nuitka-python --recurse-all --portable your-program.py

Right now, it will create a folder “_python” with DLLs, and “_python.zip” with standard library modules used along to the “your-program.exe”. Copy these to another machine, without a Python installation, and it will (should) work. Making that statement fully true may need refinements, as some DLL dependencies might not be defined yet.


We may improve it in the future to meld everything into one executable for even easier deployment.

You are more than welcome to experiment with it. To do so, download Nuitka from the download page and give it a roll.


Of course, Nuitka is not about replacing “py2exe” primarily, it’s only a side effect of what we do. Our major goal is of course to accelerate Python, but surely nobody minds achieving the two things at the same time.

And while the post is labeled “Windows”, this feature also works for Linux at least too. It’s just that the lack of Python installations on client systems is far more widespread on this platform.

To me, as this is from a contributor, it’s another sign of Nuitka gaining adoption for real usage. My personal “py2exe” experience is practically not existing, I have never used it. And I will only merge the improvements into the Nuitka project as provided by others. My focus for the time to come is of course the compile time and run time optimization.