Create a single Windows executable for python 2.7, 3.5, 3.6, 3.7
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Here is a stand-alone version of python that is a single Windows executable.

It consists of the most recent versions of Python (with builds for 2.7, 3.5, and 3.6 each in 32-bit and 64-bit versions), pywin32, psutil, six, pip, setuptools, and includes all packages that can be included without additional dlls, excepting tkinter.

See the appveyor script for build instructions.

Installing other modules

Python is most useful with additional modules. The stand-alone executable can use pip to install modules from pypi to the local directory. For instance:

py36-64.exe -m pip install --no-cache-dir --target . --upgrade sympy

Use -m pip to run the pip module. Use --no-cache-dir to avoid writing files to the user's data directory. Use --target . to install to the current directory, allowing you to import the modules easily. Use --upgrade to replace existing files, such as the common bin directory. Note that using --upgrade will overwrite or discard existing files, which may not be what you want (the bin directory will end up with just files for the most recently installed package).

Differences from installed Python

Although the stand-alone Python attempts to have the same features as a normally installed Python, there are some differences.

  • If command line options are specified, there may be some differences in sys.flags, since it is read-only and cannot be altered after start.
  • PYTHONHOME is ignored. This option doesn't make sense for a stand-alone version.
  • -V and PYTHONVERBOSE don't print exactly the same information as installed Python, partly because the verbosity is increased after some modules are already imported.
  • --check-hash-based-pycs is ignored. This option cannot be changed after the Python executable starts.
  • -R and PYTHONHASHSEED are ignored. These options cannot be changed after the Python executable starts.
  • PYTHONCASEOK is not honored on Python 2.7. It behaves as installed Python for Python 3.x, i.e., -E does not ignore it, but -I does, see Python issue 16826 for some discussion.
  • Not all environment variables are handled, such as: PYTHONIOENCODING, PYTHONFAULTHANDLER, PYTHONLEGACYWINDOWSFSENCODING, PYTHONLEGACYWINDOWSSTDIO, PYTHONMALLOC, PYTHONCOERCECLOCALE, PYTHONDEVMODE. Some of these are ignored; some are used and cannot be suppressed with -E or -I. Many of these could be handled properly with additional work.