What is pyqtdeploy?

pyqtdeploy is a tool that, in conjunction with other tools provided with Qt, enables the deployment of PyQt4 and PyQt5 applications written with Python v2.7 or Python v3.3 or later. It supports deployment to desktop platforms (Linux, Windows and OS X) and to mobile platforms (iOS and Android).

Normally you would create statically compiled versions of the Python interpreter library, any third party extension modules, PyQt and Qt. This way your application has no external dependencies. In fact this approach is required when deploying to iOS. 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 v3.2 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 Qt .pro file that describes all the generated C++ code. From this Qt’s qmake tool is used to generate a platform-specific 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 platform specific deployable package.

When run pyqtdeploy presents a GUI that allows the modules that make up the application to be specified, along with the PyQt components that the application requires and the parts of the Python standard library that should also be included. This information is stored in a pyqtdeploy project file.

A companion program pyqtdeploycli can be run from the command line (or a shell script or batch file) to generate the C++ code from a project file. pyqtdeploycli also provides support for compiling certain packages (e.g. Python itself and PyQt) both natively and cross-compiling by providing configuration files that can be used by those package’s build systems.

pyqtdeploy does not 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, so you only need to specify those packages that your application explicitly imports.


pyqtdeploy is copyright (c) Riverbank Computing Limited. Its homepage is http://www.riverbankcomputing.com/software/pyqtdeploy/.

Support may be obtained from the PyQt mailing list at http://www.riverbankcomputing.com/mailman/listinfo/pyqt


pyqtdeploy is released under the BSD license.


pyqtdeploy can be downloaded and installed from PyPi:

pip3 install pyqtdeploy

pyqtdeploy requires PyQt5 to be installed. This is not installed automatically.