eGenix PyRun

eGenix PyRun - One file Python Runtime

eGenix PyRun combines a Python interpreter with an almost complete Python standard library into a single easy-to-use executable. Including Python 3.8 - 3.11 support !
Version: 2.5.0


Please note that we have just relaunched eGenix PyRun on Github and are still updating out website and documentation to the new version. Some references may not be up to date with the new version 2.5.0 yet.

eGenix PyRun is our open source, one file, no installation version of Python, making the distribution of a Python interpreter to run Python based scripts and applications to Unix based systems simple and efficient.

eGenix PyRun's executable only needs 4-6MB on disk, but still supports most Python applications and scripts.

Compared to a regular Python installation of typically 100MB on disk, eGenix PyRun is ideal for applications and scripts that need to be distributed to containers, VMs, clusters, client installations, customers or end-users.

It makes "installing" Python on a Unix based system as simple as copying a single file.

eGenix has been using eGenix PyRun as run-time for the Linux version of mxODBC Connect Server product since 2008 with great success and decided to make it available as a stand-alone open-source product.

We provide the source archive to build your own eGenix PyRun on Github, as well as a few binary distributions to get you started on Linux x86_64. In the future, we will set up automated builds for several other platforms.

If you'd like to learn more about eGenix PyRun, please see the talk we gave at the EuroPython 2012 conference in Florence. The talk video and slides are available in our presentations section:

eGenix PyRun Talk at EuroPython 2012

Or come to the talk our CEO Marc-André Lemburg is going to give at EuroPython 2024 on July 11.


  • Small footprint: only about 4-6MB compressed in size.
  • Python 3.8 - 3.11 Support: PyRun works with all popular Python versions.
  • Cross Platform Support: PyRun runs on the following platforms: many different Linux distributions. We are planing to (re)add macOS and FreeBSD later on.
  • Highly Portable Codebase: in addition to the already supported platforms for PyRun, we provide custom porting services for more exotic platforms.
  • Easy Installation: Simply drop the executable into a directory and start using it. No installers, no packagers and only a minimal set of dependencies needs to be provided.
  • Fully Relocatable: eGenix PyRun uses relative search paths, so you can easily move the installation around.
  • Compatible with pip and setuptools: Great care was taken to make sure that PyRun can be used with pip, setuptools et al. Please note that these tools are not designed to be relocatable.
  • Perfect virtualenv replacement: PyRun provides an even better level of isolation from the system installed Python version. Instead of using symlinks and other tricks to create a virtual Python environments, PyRun comes with a complete Python runtime and thus doesn't need to play any tricks.
  • OpenSource: PyRun is licensed under the Apache v2 License. This makes it possible to integrate PyRun into other open-source or commercial products
  • Commercial Support: eGenix provides commercial support for PyRun, in case you need custom builds, help with the integration or need problem solving support.

System Requirements

eGenix PyRun needs these third party tools to be available on the target machines:

Future versions of PyRun will add more flexibility to the build process to make the requirements more customizable.

If you want to compile PyRun yourself, you will need the development packages of the above tools, a C compiler and a GNU make compatible make installed.

Please note that the binary versions of these libraries also need to be available on the PyRun installation target systems. Most modern Unix  systems have the above libraries installed per default.

Please see the eGenix PyRun User Manual for setup instructions.


eGenix PyRun is covered by the Apache v2 License. See the eGenix PyRun license page for more details.

In simple words, you are free to use the software without paying fees or royalties as long as you give proper attribution and keep the license documents together with the software. Please see the license document for details and consult a lawyer if you have legal questions.


The following documentation is available for eGenix PyRun:

eGenix PyRun User Manual and Reference Guide - HTML and PDF

The manual includes a usage guide, an explanation of the build procedure and discusses a few common use cases.

The PDF file is also available as part of the installation and can be found in the PyRun/Doc/ folder.

Please note that the documentation for this release is not yet as complete and comprehensive as it should be. We're working on it.

For details on how to use Python via eGenix PyRun, please refer to the official Python documentation.


You can use any of the available Python books to learn to use Python with PyRun.


We currently only provide the source repository, source archives and binaries for a few select platforms on the Github eGenix PyRun Release page.

In the future, we will set up automated builds for several other platforms.

Other Platforms:

If you need binaries for platforms not mentioned here, please contact for details. It is very likely that we can find a way to help you.


For full details on how to install, setup and configure eGenix PyRun, please see the eGenix PyRun User Manual. It is available as PDF for offline reading and HTML for online reading:

eGenix PyRun User Manual and Reference Guide - HTML and PDF

Shipping external libraries with PyRun

If you want to ship your product with PyRun and need external libraries for PyRun to link against, simply place them into the same directory as the PyRun executable. PyRun comes with an rpath setting to first look in the PyRun binary's directory for share libraries to simplify this often needed setup.

For more details, please see the documentation.

eGenix PyRun Directory Structure

If you want to install other libraries or packages for use in eGenix PyRun, you need to pay a little more attention to where you copy the executable. eGenix PyRun assumes the following directory layout relative to the executable (with X.X being the underlying Python version, e.g. 3.11):


The lib/python3.X directory  is used as location of the Python libraries and automatically put on sys.path in case it is available. Optional packages installed through distutils or setuptools will go into the corresponding lib/python3.X/site-packages/ directory.

The lib/python3.X directory may also contain Python standard library extension modules in the lib-dynload/ sub-directory which are not integrated into the eGenix PyRun executable. The binary distribution archives come with a set of such extensions.

The include/ directory is only needed in case you want to compile Python C extensions. It is available as part of the binary distribution archives we make available.

Building you own eGenix PyRun binary

In order to build your own version, simply download the above source archive, untar/unzip it to a temporary directory and follow these steps:

cd egenix-pyrun-*
cd PyRun
make install

This will download the Python source distribution and start a build of eGenix PyRun. The result will be installed to the directory /usr/local/ using the directory layout as described above.

If you'd like to build a binary distribution archive, use the following commands instead:

cd egenix-pyrun-*
cd PyRun
make distribution

You can then pick up the distribution archive from the dist/ directory.

Customization Options

If you would rather install to a different directory, you can add the make parameter PREFIX=/path/to/pyrun/, This will cause make to install eGenix PyRun in /path/to/pyrun/.

If you want to build against a specific Python version, you can specify the version using the make parameter PYTHONFULLVERSION=3.11.9. Please have a look at the PyRun/Makefile for more ways of customizing the setup.

For future versions of eGenix PyRun, we plan to make the setup customizable via a top-level file so you can use Python to trigger the build, customize the included standard lib extension modules and installation.


eGenix offers these support options:

Commercial Support

Professional level support for this product as well as all other eGenix products and Python itself is available directly from the developers at

Consulting offers professional consulting services for all questions and tasks around this product, including customized modifications, help with integration and on-site problem solving. Please contact for details.

Free User Support

In order for our users to keep in touch and be able to help themselves, we have created the egenix-users user mailing list.


eGenix PyRun has been in use in production as part of our mxODBC Connect Server client-server database product for many years.

We are pleased to make it available to a wide public.

History & Changes

Please see the change log for details regarding changes to the package between releases.

Older versions of eGenix PyRun, which are still available: