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Building OnionShare

Start by getting the source code:

git clone
cd onionshare


Install the needed dependencies:

For Debian-like distros: apt install -y build-essential fakeroot python3-all python3-stdeb dh-python python3-flask python3-stem python3-pyqt5 python-nautilus python3-pytest tor obfs4proxy

For Fedora-like distros: dnf install -y rpm-build python3-flask python3-stem python3-qt5 python3-pytest nautilus-python tor obfs4

After that you can try both the CLI and the GUI version of OnionShare:


You can also build OnionShare packages to install:

Create a .deb on Debian-like distros: ./install/

Create a .rpm on Fedora-like distros: ./install/

For ArchLinux: There is a PKBUILD available here that can be used to install OnionShare.

If you find that these instructions don't work for your Linux distribution or version, consult the Linux Distribution Support wiki guide, which might contain extra instructions.

Mac OS X

Install Xcode from the Mac App Store. Once it's installed, run it for the first time to set it up. Also, run this to make sure command line tools are installed: xcode-select --install. And finally, open Xcode, go to Preferences > Locations, and make sure under Command Line Tools you select an installed version from the dropdown. (This is required for installing Qt5.)

Download and install Python 3.6.4 from I downloaded python-3.6.4-macosx10.6.pkg.

You may also need to run the command /Applications/Python\ 3.6/Install\ Certificates.command to update Python 3.6's internal certificate store. Otherwise, you may find that fetching the Tor Browser .dmg file fails later due to a certificate validation error.

Download and install Qt5 from I downloaded qt-unified-mac-x64-3.0.2-online.dmg. There's no need to login to a Qt account during installation. Make sure you install the latest Qt 5.x. I installed Qt 5.10.0 -- all you need is to check Qt > Qt 5.10.0 > macOS.

Now install some python dependencies with pip (note, there's issues building a .app if you install this in a virtualenv):

sudo pip3 install -r install/requirements.txt

You can run both the CLI and GUI versions of OnionShare without building an bundle:


To build the app bundle:


Now you should have dist/

To codesign and build a pkg for distribution:

install/ --release

Now you should have dist/OnionShare.pkg.


Setting up your dev environment

Download Python 3.6.4, 32-bit (x86) from I downloaded python-3.6.4.exe. When installing it, make sure to check the "Add Python 3.6 to PATH" checkbox on the first page of the installer.

Open a command prompt, cd to the onionshare folder, and install dependencies with pip:

pip3 install -r install\requirements-windows.txt

Download and install pywin32 (build 221, x86, for python 3.6) from I downloaded pywin32-221.win32-py3.6.exe.

Download and install Qt5 from I downloaded qt-unified-windows-x86-3.0.4-online.exe. There's no need to login to a Qt account during installation. Make sure you install the latest Qt 5.x. I installed Qt 5.11.0. You only need to install the MSVC 2015 32-bit component, as well as all of the the Qt components, for that that version.

After that you can try both the CLI and the GUI version of OnionShare:

python dev_scripts\onionshare
python dev_scripts\onionshare-gui

If you want to build a .exe:

These instructions include adding folders to the path in Windows. To do this, go to Start and type "advanced system settings", and open "View advanced system settings" in the Control Panel. Click Environment Variables. Under "System variables" double-click on Path. From there you can add and remove folders that are available in the PATH.

Download and install the 32-bit Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2015. I downloaded vc_redist.x86.exe.

Download and install 7-Zip from I downloaded 7z1805.exe.

Download and install the standalone Windows 10 SDK. Note that you may not need this if you already have Visual Studio.

Add the following directories to the path:

  • C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\10\bin\10.0.16299.0\x86
  • C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Kits\10\Redist\ucrt\DLLs\x86
  • C:\Users\user\AppData\Local\Programs\Python\Python36-32\Lib\site-packages\PyQt5\Qt\bin
  • C:\Program Files (x86)\7-Zip

If you want to build the installer:

If you want to sign binaries with Authenticode:

  • You'll need a code signing certificate. I got an open source code signing certificate from Certum.
  • Once you get a code signing key and certificate and covert it to a pfx file, import it into your certificate store.

To make a .exe:

  • Open a command prompt, cd into the onionshare directory, and type: pyinstaller install\pyinstaller.spec. onionshare-gui.exe and all of their supporting files will get created inside the dist folder.

To build the installer:

Note that you must have a codesigning certificate installed in order to use the install\build_exe.bat script, because it codesigns onionshare-gui.exe, uninstall.exe, and onionshare-setup.exe.

Open a command prompt, cd to the onionshare directory, and type: install\build_exe.bat

This will prompt you to codesign three binaries and execute one unsigned binary. When you're done clicking through everything you will have dist\onionshare-setup.exe.


OnionShare includes PyTest unit tests. To run the tests:

pytest test/