pyinstaller <options> SCRIPT…

pyinstaller <options> SPECFILE


PyInstaller is a program that freezes (packages) Python programs into stand-alone executables, under Windows, GNU/Linux, macOS, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Solaris and AIX. Its main advantages over similar tools are that PyInstaller works with Python 3.8-3.11, it builds smaller executables thanks to transparent compression, it is fully multi-platform, and use the OS support to load the dynamic libraries, thus ensuring full compatibility.

You may either pass one or more file-names of Python scripts or a single .spec-file-name. In the first case, pyinstaller will generate a .spec-file (as pyi-makespec would do) and immediately process it.

If you pass a .spec-file, this will be processed and most options given on the command-line will have no effect. Please see the PyInstaller Manual for more information.


Positional Arguments


Name of scriptfiles to be processed or exactly one .spec file. If a .spec file is specified, most options are unnecessary and are ignored.


-h, --help

show this help message and exit

-v, --version

Show program version info and exit.

--distpath DIR

Where to put the bundled app (default: ./dist)

--workpath WORKPATH

Where to put all the temporary work files, .log, .pyz and etc. (default: ./build)

-y, --noconfirm

Replace output directory (default: SPECPATH/dist/SPECNAME) without asking for confirmation

--upx-dir UPX_DIR

Path to UPX utility (default: search the execution path)


Clean PyInstaller cache and remove temporary files before building.

--log-level LEVEL

Amount of detail in build-time console messages. LEVEL may be one of TRACE, DEBUG, INFO, WARN, DEPRECATION, ERROR, FATAL (default: INFO). Also settable via and overrides the PYI_LOG_LEVEL environment variable.

What To Generate

-D, --onedir

Create a one-folder bundle containing an executable (default)

-F, --onefile

Create a one-file bundled executable.

--specpath DIR

Folder to store the generated spec file (default: current directory)

-n NAME, --name NAME

Name to assign to the bundled app and spec file (default: first script’s basename)

--contents-directory CONTENTS_DIRECTORY

For onedir builds only, specify the name of the directory in which all supporting files (i.e. everything except the executable itself) will be placed in. Use “.” to re-enable old onedir layout without contents directory.

How To Generate

-d {all,imports,bootloader,noarchive}, –debug {all,imports,bootloader,noarchive}

Provide assistance with debugging a frozen application. This argument may be provided multiple times to select several of the following options. - all: All three of the following options. - imports: specify the -v option to the underlying Python interpreter, causing it to print a message each time a module is initialized, showing the place (filename or built-in module) from which it is loaded. See - bootloader: tell the bootloader to issue progress messages while initializing and starting the bundled app. Used to diagnose problems with missing imports. - noarchive: instead of storing all frozen Python source files as an archive inside the resulting executable, store them as files in the resulting output directory.

--optimize LEVEL

Bytecode optimization level used for collected python modules and scripts. For details, see the section “Bytecode Optimization Level” in PyInstaller manual.

--python-option PYTHON_OPTION

Specify a command-line option to pass to the Python interpreter at runtime. Currently supports “v” (equivalent to “–debug imports”), “u”, “W <warning control>”, “X <xoption>”, and “hash_seed=<value>”. For details, see the section “Specifying Python Interpreter Options” in PyInstaller manual.

-s, --strip

Apply a symbol-table strip to the executable and shared libs (not recommended for Windows)


Do not use UPX even if it is available (works differently between Windows and *nix)

--upx-exclude FILE

Prevent a binary from being compressed when using upx. This is typically used if upx corrupts certain binaries during compression. FILE is the filename of the binary without path. This option can be used multiple times.

Windows And Mac Os X Specific Options

-c, --console, --nowindowed

Open a console window for standard i/o (default). On Windows this option has no effect if the first script is a ‘.pyw’ file.

-w, --windowed, --noconsole

Windows and Mac OS X: do not provide a console window for standard i/o. On Mac OS this also triggers building a Mac OS .app bundle. On Windows this option is automatically set if the first script is a ‘.pyw’ file. This option is ignored on *NIX systems.

–hide-console {hide-early,minimize-late,hide-late,minimize-early}

Windows only: in console-enabled executable, have bootloader automatically hide or minimize the console window if the program owns the console window (i.e., was not launched from an existing console window).

-i <FILE.ico or FILE.exe,ID or FILE.icns or Image or “NONE”>, --icon <FILE.ico or FILE.exe,ID or FILE.icns or Image or “NONE”>

FILE.ico: apply the icon to a Windows executable. FILE.exe,ID: extract the icon with ID from an exe. FILE.icns: apply the icon to the .app bundle on Mac OS. If an image file is entered that isn’t in the platform format (ico on Windows, icns on Mac), PyInstaller tries to use Pillow to translate the icon into the correct format (if Pillow is installed). Use “NONE” to not apply any icon, thereby making the OS show some default (default: apply PyInstaller’s icon). This option can be used multiple times.


Disable traceback dump of unhandled exception in windowed (noconsole) mode (Windows and macOS only), and instead display a message that this feature is disabled.

Windows Specific Options

--version-file FILE

Add a version resource from FILE to the exe.

-m <FILE or XML>, --manifest <FILE or XML>

Add manifest FILE or XML to the exe.

-r RESOURCE, --resource RESOURCE

Add or update a resource to a Windows executable. The RESOURCE is one to four items, FILE[,TYPE[,NAME[,LANGUAGE]]]. FILE can be a data file or an exe/dll. For data files, at least TYPE and NAME must be specified. LANGUAGE defaults to 0 or may be specified as wildcard * to update all resources of the given TYPE and NAME. For exe/dll files, all resources from FILE will be added/updated to the final executable if TYPE, NAME and LANGUAGE are omitted or specified as wildcard *. This option can be used multiple times.


Using this option creates a Manifest that will request elevation upon application start.


Using this option allows an elevated application to work with Remote Desktop.

Mac Os Specific Options


Enable argv emulation for macOS app bundles. If enabled, the initial open document/URL event is processed by the bootloader and the passed file paths or URLs are appended to sys.argv.

--osx-bundle-identifier BUNDLE_IDENTIFIER

Mac OS .app bundle identifier is used as the default unique program name for code signing purposes. The usual form is a hierarchical name in reverse DNS notation. For example: com.mycompany.department.appname (default: first script’s basename)

--target-architecture ARCH, --target-arch ARCH

Target architecture (macOS only; valid values: x86_64, arm64, universal2). Enables switching between universal2 and single-arch version of frozen application (provided python installation supports the target architecture). If not target architecture is not specified, the current running architecture is targeted.

--codesign-identity IDENTITY

Code signing identity (macOS only). Use the provided identity to sign collected binaries and generated executable. If signing identity is not provided, ad- hoc signing is performed instead.

--osx-entitlements-file FILENAME

Entitlements file to use when code-signing the collected binaries (macOS only).

Rarely Used Special Options

--runtime-tmpdir PATH

Where to extract libraries and support files in onefile mode. If this option is given, the bootloader will ignore any temp-folder location defined by the run-time OS. The _MEIxxxxxx-folder will be created here. Please use this option only if you know what you are doing. Note that on POSIX systems, PyInstaller’s bootloader does NOT perform shell-style environment variable expansion on the given path string. Therefore, using environment variables (e.g., ~ or $HOME) in path will NOT work.


Tell the bootloader to ignore signals rather than forwarding them to the child process. Useful in situations where for example a supervisor process signals both the bootloader and the child (e.g., via a process group) to avoid signalling the child twice.



This changes the directory where PyInstaller caches some files. The default location for this is operating system dependent, but is typically a subdirectory of the home directory.


pyi-makespec(1), The PyInstaller Manual, Project Homepage