Deployment

Deploying or freezing an application is a crucial part of many Python projects. Most large projects are not based on a single Python file, so the distribution of these applications becomes more difficult.

Here are a few distribution options that you could use:
  1. Sending a normal zip-file with the application’s content.

  2. Building a proper Python package (wheel).

  3. Freezing the application into a single binary file or a directory.

If you choose the third option, consider using one of these tools:

Qt for Python is a cross-platform framework, so we would like to focus on solutions that work on the three major platforms supported by Qt: Linux, macOS, and Windows. The following table summarizes the platform support for those packaging tools:

Name

License

Linux

macOS

Windows

fbs

GPL

yes

yes

yes

PyInstaller

GPL

yes

yes

yes

cx_Freeze

MIT

yes

yes

yes

py2exe

MIT

no

no

yes

py2app

MIT

no

yes

no

According to this table, only fbs, cx_Freeze, and PyInstaller meets our cross-platform requirement.

As these are command-line tools, it could be hard to include resources to your application, such as images, icons, and meta-information. This means, you will need special hooks or scripts to handle them before adding to the package. In addition to this, these tools does not offer a mechanism to update your application packages.

To create update packages, use the PyUpdater, which is built around PyInstaller.

The fbs tool offers a nice UI that allows the user to install the application step-by-step.

Here you can find a set of tutorials on how to use the previously described tools.

Note

Deployment is supported only from Qt for Python 5.12.2 and later.