Installing wxPython 2.8 from Source

This document will describe the few differences and additions to the content in the BUILD document for installing wxPython built from source. Please follow the intstructions both in this file and in BUILD to perform this task. Where there is overlap the items described here will take precedence for doing installations.

Installing on Unix-like Systems (not OS X)

  1. When building wxWidgets you need to decide if you want it to be a private copy only accessed by wxPython, or if you would like it to be installed in a stanard location such as /usr. Or perhaps you already have a version of wxWidgets installed on your system (such as from an RPM) and you want wxPython to use that version too. If so then you'll want to ensure that the flags and options used to build the installed version are compatible with wxPython.

  2. If you do decide to build and install your own wxWidgets then there are a few tweaks to the configure flags described in BUILD.txt that you will probably want to make. Instead of --enable-debug use this configure flag:

    --enable-optimize \

    Normally I also use the following flag in order to have wxWidgets runtime assertions turned into Python exceptions where possible. It does add extra code to the build but probably not enough to worry about it. However if you want to get as lean a build as possible you can leave it out, but if your code does something bad then instead of exceptions you'll likely get a crash:

    --enable-debug_flag \

    If you are building a private copy of wxWidgets (IOW, not installed in a standard library location) then it can be kind of a hassle to always have to set the LD_LIBRARY_PATH variable so wxPython can find the wxWidgets shared libraries. You can hard code the library path into the binaries by using the rpath option when configuring wxWidgets. For example:

    --enable-rpath=/opt/wx/2.8/lib \

    SOLARIS NOTE: The --enable-rpath option may cause problems when using wxGTK on Solaris when compiling wxPython as described below. The woraround is to not use --enable-rpath flag for configure, but in that case all wxPython applications must have the LD_LIBRARY_PATH set to include $WXPREF/lib, or you can use the 'crle' program to modify the runtime linking environment. If this is the only installation of wxGTK on the system then you can use a system library path for prefix and not have to worry about it at all.

  3. Build and install wxGTK as described in BUILD.txt.

  4. In addition to building wxPython as described in BUILD.txt, you can install it to Python's site-packages dir, as well as some scripts into the same bin dir used by Python by using this command, plus whatever WXPORT, UNICODE, etc. settings you used for the initial build step:

    python2.5 install

    If you would like to install to some place besides the prefix where Python is installed, (such as to your home directory) then you can add "--root=<path>" after the "install" command. This will use <path> as the prefix and will install scripts to a bin subdir and the wxPython packages to a lib subdir. To use wxPython like this you'll need to ensure that the directory containing wxPython is contained in the PYTHONPATH environment variable.

Installing on OS X

Installing wxPython on OS X is nearly the same as the Unix instructions above, except for a few small, but important details:

  1. The --enable-rpath configure option is not needed since the path to the wxWidgets dylibs will automatically be encoded into the extension modules when they are built. If you end up moving the wxWidgets dynlibs to some other location (such as inside the .app bundle of your applicaiton for distribution to other users,) then you will need to set DYLD_LIBRARY_PATH to this location so the dylibs can be found at runtime.
  2. Depending on the version of OS X Python may be installed in different locations. On 10.2 (Jaguar) you need to download and install MacPython-OSX-2.3 from and the Python Framework will then be installed in /Library/Frameworks. On 10.3 (Panther) Apple supplies the Python Framework as part of the OS install, but it will be located in /System/Library/Frameworks instead. However, on Panther the site-packages dir is sym-linked to /Library/Python/2.3 so the wxPython packages will end up there, although they will still be visible from site-packages. If you are building distributions of wxPython to be installed on other machines be careful to install to /Library/Python/2.3. To complicate things further, the Jaguar version, or a custom build you do yourself will end up in /Library/Frameworks even on Panther...
  3. You need to use pythonw at the command line or the PythonLauncher app to run wxPython apps, otherwise the app will not be able to fully use the GUI display.

Installing on Windows

  1. Build wxWidgets and wxPython as described in BUILD.txt. If you would rather have a version without the code that turns runtime assertions into Python exceptions, then use "release" instead of "hybrid" when building wxWidgets and add "FINAL=1" to the command line.

  2. Install wxPython like this. Remember to add any additional flags you added for the build such as UNICODE or USE_SWIG:

    python install
  3. Copy the wxWidgets DLLs to the wx package directory so they can be found at runtime by the extension modules without requiring that they be installed on the PATH:

    copy %WXWIN%\\lib\\vc_dll\\wx*h_*.dll c:\\Python25\\Lib\\site-packages\\wx