pyqtdeploy is a tool that, in conjunction with other tools provided with Qt, enables the deployment of PyQt applications written with Python v3.7 or later. It supports deployment to desktop platforms (Linux, Windows and macOS) and to mobile platforms (iOS and Android).

Normally you would create statically compiled versions of the Python interpreter library and any third party extension modules (including PyQt). This way your application has no external dependencies. However there is nothing to stop you using shared versions of any of these components in order to reduce the size of the application, but at the cost of increasing the complexity of the deployment.

pyqtdeploy itself requires PyQt5 and Python v3.7 or later.

pyqtdeploy works by taking the individual modules of a PyQt application, freezing them, and then placing them in a Qt resource file that is converted to C++ code by Qt’s rcc tool. Python’s standard library is handled in the same way.

pyqtdeploy generates a simple C++ wrapper around the Python interpreter library that uses the Python import mechanism to enable access to the embedded frozen modules in a similar way that Python supports the packaging of modules in zip files.

Finally pyqtdeploy generates a target-specific Qt .pro file that describes all the generated C++ code. From this Qt’s qmake tool is used to generate a Makefile which will then generate a single executable. Further Qt and/or platform specific tools can then be used to convert the executable to a target-specific deployable package.

When run pyqtdeploy presents a GUI that allows all the separate components to be specified. This information is stored in a pyqtdeploy project file.

pyqtdeploy does not (yet) perform auto-discovery of Python standard library modules or third party modules to be included with the application. You must specify these yourself. However it does understand the inter-dependencies within the standard library and external modules, so you only need to specify those packages that your application explicitly imports.

A companion program pyqtdeploy-sysroot is used to create a system root (sysroot) directory containing target-specific installations of components (e.g. Python itself and PyQt) that are to be linked with the application.

Another companion program pyqtdeploy-build is then run from the command line (or a shell script or batch file) to generate the application’s C++ code from a project file.

pyqtdeploy does not itself generate a final distribution package, i.e. one that is handled by a target platform’s package management system. This is left to the target platform’s standard packaging tools. For desktop targets the fman Build System is an alternative solution that includes support for .exe files (for Windows), .dmg files (for macOS) and .deb and .rpm files (for Linux).


Creating a single executable (particularly one with no external dependencies) from a complex Python application (particularly one that uses external C extension modules) is not a simple task. It requires experience of C code, compilers, build systems and the ability to debug associated problems. You have been warned!


pyqtdeploy is copyright (c) Riverbank Computing Limited. Its homepage is

Support may be obtained from the PyQt mailing list at


pyqtdeploy is released under the BSD license.


pyqtdeploy can be downloaded and installed from PyPi:

pip install pyqtdeploy