<h2 align=center>Pygame Installation</h2>
Python can be built from source, but the easiest way is to
get a binary package for your type of system and version of Python.
This document will give you information on either type of installation.
<big><b><u>Windows Binary Installer</u></b></big><blockquote><p>
This is probably the most popular method of installation. If you are
running on windows, it is highly recommended you use this form
of installing. The installers come with with nearly everything
you need, and have an easy point and click installers.
The first thing you will need is an installation of Python. Python
binary installers make it easy to get this done. Pygame binaries
usually come for the latest 2 releases of Python, so you'll want to be fairly
up to date.
Once that is in place, you want to download the appropriate
windows binary. From the pygame downloads page you can find the .EXE
file you need. This will automatically install all of pygame and all the SDL
dependencies. The windows binaries have filenames like this; "pygame-1.7.win32-py2.4.exe".
This would be the installer for pygame version 1.7, for Python version 2.4. You
shouldn't have trouble finding the correct binary from the "Windows" section
of the download page.
You will also probably want to install the windows documentation and
installation package. This will add easy links to the different documentation
and games that come with pygame. The installer for this is found
next to the other windows binary downloads. The filename looks like this;
"pygame-docs-1.7.exe". And this would install the documentation and
examples for pygame-1.7.
One other thing the windows binaries are missing is the Numeric Python
package. You can easily install this separately and it will allow you to use
the pygame "surfarray" module. This module is optional, so there is no need
to do this. There are binary installers from the Numeric download page.
<big><b><u>Unix Binary Packages</u></b></big><blockquote><p>
For many unix systems, the easiest way to install pygame is
from source. Still, there are binary packages available for
There are several binary RPM packages for linux machines. These are
actually a little bit of work to install, since you will also need several
RPM packages for the dependencies. There is a good chance
your linux distribution came with the needed dependencies (like Python
and SDL). There are binary RPMs available from the website for each dependency.
For debian systems, pygame is actively maintained in the debian
archives. Visit the debian pygame page for more information.
FreeBSD also has an active pygame package. While techinicaly it
isn't binary, it is automatically built and installed by the
ports manager. See the FreeBSD package page for more information.
Gentoo has a builtin package for pygame. This is compiled for
your system as it installs, similar to BSD,
<big><b><u>Mac OS X Binaries</u></b></big><blockquote><p>
For Mac OS X 10.3 and above, binary packages are available from
pythonmac.org packages: <a href="http://pythonmac.org/packages/">http://pythonmac.org/packages/</a>
This package includes almost of the dependencies required for pygame
(SDL, SDL_image, etc.), but you need PyObjC 1.2 or later, and may
also want to get Numeric and PyOpenGL.
To build self-contained pygame applications, you should use py2app.
There is an example in:
<big><b><u>Installing From Source</u></b></big><blockquote><p>
Compiling and installing pygame is handled by Python's distutils.
Pygame also comes with some scripts to automatically configure
the flags needed to build pygame. Use the "setup.py" script to
start the installation.
The first time you run the setup script, it will call the
"<tt>config.py</tt>" script. This will build a "<tt>Setup</tt>" file which
stores all the information needed to compile. The "config.py"
will do a good job of detecting what dependencies are available
and where they are located. If it isn't perfect, it is easy to
build your own, or edit the created "<tt>Setup</tt>" text file. This
"<tt>Setup</tt>" file is a simple Makefile-like text file. It defines
variables needed to use each dependency, and then enables
all the pygame modules with found dependencies. If you have
trouble compiling, you should be able to easily fix any problems
inside the "<tt>Setup</tt>" file.
Running the "<tt>setup.py</tt>" script will call distutils to build and
install the pygame package. Distutils actually supports a wide
variety of compile and install options. running "<tt>python setup.py help</tt>"
will start to show you the different options available. You can
change many things like install locations, compiler to use, and more.
Calling the "setup.py" script with no arguments and it will just
ask you if you want the default flags needed to compile and install.
<big><b><u>Windows Compiling Info</u></b></big><blockquote><p>
Compiling all the dependencies on windows is a real challenge.
Fortunately there is zip file with all the libraries and headers
you need to compile. You should definitely unzip this into your
pygame source folder, and all the files go into a "prebuilt"
subdirectory. The autoconfigure "config.py" script will find
this prebuilt directory and make use of it for you.
If you don't use the prebuilt binaries directory, the autoconfig
script will scan the neighboring directory trees to find the
When installing on windows, the "setup.py" script will also copy
all the used .DLL files into the pygame directory.
If compiling with VisualC, these instructions are all you'll need
to do. If you are using Borland's free compiler or cygwin, you will
need an extra step. You need to convert the VisualC style .LIB files
into the format used by your compiler. Both Borland and Cygwin include
a command to do this. To convert the Python library the command looks
like this with Borland: <tt>COFF2OMF python22.lib python22_bcpp.lib</tt>.
For Cygwin, this is the command you need: <tt>DLLTOOL --dllname python15.dll --def python15.def --output-lib
libpython15.a</tt>. You will also need to do this conversion on all the
LIB files that come with the prebuilt dependencies (in the <tt>prebuilt/lib</tt> directory).
Note that with cygwin you should replace the <tt>--def</tt> flag and argument
with <tt>--export-all-symbols</tt> since they do not come with .def files.
Mingw is well supported by SDL, but a little rougher for Python extensions.
Here is a link with more information to compiling with non-ms compilers.
<big><b><u>Unix Compiling Info</u></b></big><blockquote><p>
Compiling from linux shouldn't give you any problems. One thing
you must keep in mind is that most linux RPM packages separate the
actual library from the "<tt>dev</tt>" files needed to compile. To build you
will need to make sure the packages like "<tt>SDL-dev</tt>" are
You can check to see if SDL is ready to be built from by running
the command <tt>sdl-config</tt> and seeing if it is found. If the
<tt>sdl-config</tt> script is not on the path (or you have more than
one?) Set the environment variable <tt>SDL_CONFIG</tt> to its location.
<p>Sometimes you will have the SDL libraries installed in once
location, and the other SDL libraries in another. This tricks the
pygame config scripts, but you can help it out by setting the
environment <tt>LOCALBASE</tt> to a path prefix where the other libraries
are. The common case for this is SDL installed in /usr and other
SDL libs installed in /usr/local. The command for this situation
is "<tt>LOCALBASE=/usr/local python setup.py install</tt>".
<big><b><u>Mac OS X Compiling Info</u></b></big><blockquote><p>
Make sure to have Numeric, PyObjC 1.3 or later, PIL, and the SDL
frameworks installed. Compilation should work just same as the unix
compiling instructions. Python 2.3 and Mac OS X 10.2 or later
are required. To build an installer for Mac OS X that includes
pygame, the examples, and the SDL frameworks use the following
command: <tt>python setup.py bdist_mpkg</tt>