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Zip and ship, make an executable zipfile of your py project

Posted by Bob on Sun 25 December 2016 in Packages • 2 min read

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First of all, new in version 3.5 is zipapp which makes this easier. As not everybody is on this version yet, I will show the manual way to do this.

We're going to use the code of our last post: Get a weekly digest from a Pelican blog.

Step by step

OK here we go:

$ git clone https://github.com/pybites/blog_code zip-example
Cloning into 'zip-example'...
remote: Counting objects: 22, done.
remote: Compressing objects: 100% (14/14), done.
remote: Total 22 (delta 4), reused 22 (delta 4), pack-reused 0
Unpacking objects: 100% (22/22), done.
Checking connectivity... done.

$ cd zip-example/pybites_digest/
$ mkdir archive && cd $_
$ cp ../digest.py __main__.py

# Note that where I say python3 and pip3 for you it might be python and pip

$ pip3 install -r ../requirements.txt --target=packages
Collecting feedparser==5.2.1 (from -r ../requirements.txt (line 1))
Installing collected packages: feedparser
Successfully installed feedparser-5.2.1

$ touch packages/__init__.py
$ ls *
__init__.py         <dependencies>

# edit the main script to use the locally installed package (doing 'in place' edit)
$ perl -pi -e 's/import feedparser/import packages.feedparser as feedparser/g' __main__.py

# zip it up
$ zip my_script.zip -r *
adding: __main__.py (deflated 55%)
adding: packages/ (stored 0%)
adding: packages/__init__.py (stored 0%)
adding: packages/__pycache__/ (stored 0%)
adding: packages/__pycache__/feedparser.cpython-35.pyc (deflated 59%)
adding: packages/feedparser-5.2.1.dist-info/ (stored 0%)
adding: packages/feedparser-5.2.1.dist-info/DESCRIPTION.rst (stored 0%)
adding: packages/feedparser-5.2.1.dist-info/INSTALLER (stored 0%)
adding: packages/feedparser-5.2.1.dist-info/METADATA (deflated 64%)
adding: packages/feedparser-5.2.1.dist-info/metadata.json (deflated 58%)
adding: packages/feedparser-5.2.1.dist-info/RECORD (deflated 40%)
adding: packages/feedparser-5.2.1.dist-info/top_level.txt (stored 0%)
adding: packages/feedparser-5.2.1.dist-info/WHEEL (stored 0%)
adding: packages/feedparser.py (deflated 74%)

$ echo '#!/usr/bin/env python3' > my_script
$ cat my_script.zip >> my_script
$ chmod ug+x my_script

# to prove it shows the feedparser package is not installed in my main py3 installation
$ python3
Python 3.5.1 |Anaconda 4.0.0 (x86_64)| (default, Dec  7 2015, 11:24:55) 
[GCC 4.2.1 (Apple Inc. build 5577)] on darwin
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> import feedparser
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
ImportError: No module named 'feedparser'

# yet it works with the zipped package :)
$ ./my_script 
Get a weekly digest from a Pelican blog
In this post a script we use to get a weekly digest of our posts.

2016 py articles and useful books
Some of my Python articles I posted on my blog this year and useful books

# I can put it in my $HOME/bin now as well:

$ cp my_script ~/bin/pybites_digest
$ which pybites_digest
$ pybites_digest
Zip and ship, make an executable zipfile of your py project
In this post I show an example how you can distribute your code as an executable zipfile, a neat trick I discovered in Chapter 6 of The Hitchhiker's Guide to Python


Although I would not use this for bigger projects (you lose debugging abilities), this is still a neat way to package up and ship scripts. Consumers don't have to worry about installing dependencies / doing any pre-work.

See an error in this post? Please submit a pull request on Github.