WHAT? cx_Freeze is a set of utilities for freezing Python scripts into executables using many of the techniques found in Thomas Heller's py2exe, Gordon McMillan's Installer and the Freeze utility that ships with Python itself. WHY? Why did I go to the trouble of creating another set of utilities when these three utilities already existed? The Freeze utility that comes with Python itself requires a source distribution, a C compiler and linker which makes for a complex environment for creating executables. In addition, this method is very slow for creating executables as compared to the other methods. py2exe is intended for development on Windows only and cx_Freeze is intended for cross platform development. Installer uses an import hook which means that the development environment and runtime environment are considerably different. HOW? How does it work? A base executable is created which contains code for unpacking the list of frozen modules, starting up the Python interpreter and passing control to the script which is being frozen. When a script is frozen, the script is searched for all references to modules and these modules are then byte compiled and written to the end of the base executable. If the modules that are referenced are extensions written in C, these modules must be included in the path in which the frozen executable is deployed. BINARY INSTALLATION Simply extract the archive into a directory. FreezePython searches for base executables and initscripts relative to the directory in which FreezePython is found. Note that it is important that the binary installation of cx_Freeze is compatible with the installation of Python on your machine. If they are not, you will get errors with respect to builtin modules not being found or missing symbols. If this occurs, proceed to the source installation section. SOURCE INSTALLATION Extract the archive into a directory. In order to build cx_Freeze you need to have gcc and Python development include files and libraries available. Run the following commands. python MakeFrozenBases.py python FreezePython.py --no-copy-deps FreezePython.py When these commands have completed successfully, the directory will be in the same state as a binary installation. Note that on Windows these scripts assume the presence of a mingw32 installation which can be acquired from http://www.mingw.org. FREEZING Options and arguments to FreezePython can be seen by executing the command: FreezePython --help The default initscript is "Console" unless the --no-copy-deps/--keep-path option is specified in which case the default is "ConsoleKeepPath". Each of the initscripts is internally documented. You can add additional initscripts by simply adding them to the "initscripts" directory. The initscript is searched for modules as well as the script being frozen. The default base executable is "Console". You can add additional base executables by simply adding them to the "bases" directory. The script specified on the command line is searched for modules by examining the script for import statements. Each of those modules is then written to a zip file and the zip file is appended to the base executable. Note that imports done within extension modules and imports done with the __import__() routine cannot be examined. In order to get these modules to be included in the target executable, either add an explicit import in your script or use the --include-modules command line option. You can examine the output of FreezePython to determine which modules were actually included and where they came from. EXAMPLE Assume that you have a script called "hello.py" containing the line "print 'Hello World!'". To freeze this script you would issue the following commands: FreezePython --install-dir dist hello.py This would create the following files (the exact number and names of files will depend on the platform and version of Python that is used): dist/hello dist/pcre.so dist/pwdmodule.so dist/strop.so These files can then be packaged in a zip or tar archive or RPM and distributed to the target machine. FEEDBACK If you have any feedback, contact me at email@example.com. In particular, if any of the authors of the three other methods for freezing executables wish to pool resources and merge technology, I am willing to pursue that course.