OS Support


The philosophy around OSNAP is to bundle an embedded Python environment (interpreter) with your application. Windows and OSX/MacOS [1] are supported. However, currently the support for embedded Python for each OS is quite different from each other (hopefully in the future these will converge).


In Python 3.5, Steve Dower added an embedded Python zip to the general distribution on python.org. This makes embedding Python in an application fairly straightforward. So, this is used directly by OSNAP.


As of this writing there is no embedded Python for Mac in the general distribution. OSNAP has two techniques to fill this, each with their pros and cons:


This technique compiles Python as part of the creation of the Python environment (what’s in the osnapy directory). Mac compliation of Python requires absolute path names, so we predetermine the path that osnapy will be on the end user’s system - i.e. /Applications/<application name>.app/Contents/MacOS/osnapy/ - and compile and “install” into that location. The pros/cons are:


  • This should be a complete solution since we have a regular Python environment : the Python interpreter, pip, etc.
  • All the tools are generally available and free.


  • We have to compile.
  • We need to install tools/libraries like XCode and OpenSSL.
  • There is always a chance that compilation doesn’t work for some reason.
  • It’s compiling (actually installing) into the /Applications directory, which requires root (sudo) for part of it.

eGenix™ PyRun™

This uses eGenix PyRun, which is essentially an embedded Python environment. The pros/cons are:


  • Prebuilt
  • Compact
  • Easy to use (like the Windows Embedded Python)


  • Is not necessarily 100% compatible with the general Python distribution. May not work with all packages.

Current Default

In order to support the widest range of end user applications, currently the compilation technique is the default.

[1]Here we are using OSX and MacOS interchangeably.