Packaging a cmd2 application for distribution

As a general-purpose tool for building interactive command-line applications, cmd2 is designed to be used in many ways. How you distribute your cmd2 application to customers or end users is up to you. See the Overview of Packaging for Python from the Python Packaging Authority for a thorough discussion of the extensive options within the Python ecosystem.

For developers wishing to package a cmd2 application into a single binary image or compressed file, we can recommend all of the following based on personal and professional experience:

  • Deploy your cmd2 Python app using Docker * Powerful and flexible - allows you to control entire user space and setup other applications like databases * As long as it isn’t problematic for your customers to have Docker installed, then this is probably the best option
  • PyInstaller * Quick and easy - it “just works” and everything you need is installable via pip * Packages up all of the dependencies into a single directory which you can then zip up
  • Nuitka * Converts your Python to C and compiles it to a native binary file * This can be particularly convenient if you wish to obfuscate the Python source code behind your application * Recommend invoking with --follow-imports flag like: python3 -m nuitka --follow-imports
  • Conda Constructor * Allows you to create a custom Python distro based on Miniconda