Skip to content
Go to file


Failed to load latest commit information.
Latest commit message
Commit time


              (c) Ctypesgen developers 2007-2019

ctypesgen is a pure-python ctypes wrapper generator. It can also output JSON, which can be used with Mork, which generates bindings for Lua, using the alien module (which binds libffi to Lua).


See for full documentation.

Basic Usage

This project automatically generates ctypes wrappers for header files written in C.

For example, if you'd like to generate Neon bindings, you can do so using this recipe:

$ python -lneon /usr/local/include/neon/ne_*.h -o

Some libraries, such as APR, need special flags to compile. You can pass these flags in on the command line.

For example:

$ FLAGS = `apr-1-config --cppflags --includes`
$ python $FLAGS $HOME/include/apr-1/apr*.h -o

Sometimes, libraries will depend on each other. You can specify these dependencies using -mmodule, where module is the name of the dependency module.

Here's an example for apr_util:

$ python $FLAGS $HOME/include/apr-1/ap[ru]*.h \
-mapr -o

If you want JSON output (e.g. for generating Lua bindings), use


When outputting JSON, you will probably also want to use

--all-headers --builtin-symbols --no-stddef-types --no-gnu-types


ctypesgen is distributed under the New (2-clause) BSD License:

libffi is a portable Foreign Function Interface library:

Mork, the friendly alien, can be found at:


Versioning within ctypesgen follows these general rules:

  • Versions are all defined with specific reference to a commit that is relative to a Git tag.
  • Versions numbers include enough information to find the exact commit that represents the version release.
  • All tags should follow the format of: ctypesgen-x.y.z
    • x : Major revision with major differences of capabilities as compared to other major revisions. The definition of "major capabilities" is a somewhat subjective concept, dependent on the developers.
    • y : Minor revision with incompatible differences of interfaces as compared to earlier revisions. Interfaces that are considered to impact the minor revision number are external interfaces such as the command line or perhaps python version support.
    • z : Micro revision indicating a general acceptance of multiple patches since last tag. This number may be used to help mark minor development milestones.

By using the Git command ‘git describe‘, a unique identifier of the full version string can be shown as:

  • ctypesgen-x.y.z[-n-gsha1] where [-n-gsha1] shows up automatically if changes have been made since the last tag
  • n : Indicates the number of commits since the last tag
  • gsha1: Indicates the abreviated SHA1 hash of the latest commit

Thus, the version 1.0.0-2 means that the last tag before that version was ctypesgen-1.0.0 and the version 1.0.0-2 is exactly 2 commits after the tag ctypesgen-1.0.0.

To re-baseline the [-n-gsha1] portion showing up in "git describe" (i.e. remove it until another commit is added), we simply add another tag following the ctypesgen-x.y.z format.