shiv is a command line utility for building fully self-contained Python zipapps as outlined in PEP 441, but with all their dependencies included!

shiv's primary goal is making distributing Python applications fast & easy.

📗 Full documentation can be found here.

sys requirements

  • python3.6+
  • linux/osx/windows


shiv has a few command line options of its own and accepts almost all options passable to pip install.

simple cli example

Creating an executable of flake8 with shiv:

$ shiv -c flake8 -o ~/bin/flake8 flake8
$ ~/bin/flake8 --version
3.7.8 (mccabe: 0.6.1, pycodestyle: 2.5.0, pyflakes: 2.1.1) CPython 3.7.4 on Darwin

Creating an interactive executable with the boto library:

$ shiv -o boto.pyz boto
Collecting boto
Installing collected packages: boto
Successfully installed boto-2.49.0
$ ./boto.pyz
Python 3.7.4 (v3.7.4:e09359112e, Jul  8 2019, 14:54:52)
[Clang 6.0 (clang-600.0.57)] on darwin
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> import boto
>>> boto.__version__


You can install shiv by simply downloading a release from or via pip / pypi:

pip install shiv

You can even create a pyz of shiv using shiv!

python3 -m venv .
source bin/activate
pip install shiv
shiv -c shiv -o shiv shiv


We'd love contributions! Getting bootstrapped to develop is easy:

git clone
cd shiv
python3 -m venv venv
./venv/bin activate
python3 develop

Don't forget to run and write tests:

python3 -m pip install tox

To build documentation when you changed something in docs:

python3 -m pip install -r docs/requirements.txt
sphinx-build docs build/html


Zipapps created with shiv are not guaranteed to be cross-compatible with other architectures. For example, a pyz file built on a Mac may only work on other Macs, likewise for RHEL, etc. This usually only applies to zipapps that have C extensions in their dependencies. If all your dependencies are pure python, then chances are the pyz will work on other platforms. Just something to be aware of.

Zipapps created with shiv will extract themselves into ~/.shiv, unless overridden via SHIV_ROOT. If you create many utilities with shiv, you may want to occasionally clean this directory.


Similar projects:

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