I have started learning python and I'm also a new user to Ubuntu. I need to know the ways of compiling the .py files. I have tried with the command

python "hello.py"

What are the other ways of compiling python?


Adding to Bryan's answer, if you simply want to compile a file or a bunch of files from a terminal, the py_compile module can be executed as a script in the following manner:

python -m py_compile fileA.py fileB.py fileC.py ...

  • 8
    If you are compiling because you want speed, you can also add the -O flag, like python -O -m py_compile …, which will “turn on basic optimizations”. It mainly strips out assert statements and if __debug__ code, so for most code it has no effect. See man python and “What does Python optimization … do?” for details. – Rory O'Kane Oct 3 '14 at 5:09

Also be aware that you don't need to compile a .py file to run it. Python is an interpreted language, and you can run the scripts directly, either using:

python hello.py

Or make your script executable by adding #!/usr/bin/env python to the top of the script, making the file executable with chmod +x hello.py and then running:


The fact that Python internally compiles your .py script to bytecode .pyc files for performance reasons is an implementation detail, and unless you have a strong reason to do so, let python itself decide when and if to compile.

  • I'm confused as to why this works. Doesn't the Python interpreter needs to be able to read the script in order to run it? If you give only execute permission (chmod +x), how is the interpreter reading the script? – yellow01 Aug 10 '18 at 17:27
  • @yellow01: when you execute a script that contains a "shebang", ie, first line starts with #!/path/to/interpreter, the kernel actually executes whatever is declared there, passing the script path as an argument. In my example, when you run ./hello.py what is actually executed is /usr/bin/env python ./hello.py. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shebang_(Unix) – MestreLion Aug 11 '18 at 13:49

Check out this link Compile in Python

In the middle of the page, it talks about the py_compile module that can be imported. The syntax is as follows:

import py_compile


This method of compiling will not execute the module either like running python file.py.

There is also a method that compiles an entire directory tree but I'll let you check out the link to see how that is executed.

Hope this helps.


You may also try compileall:

python -m compileall ./

You can compile Python scripts to a binary code using various methods, but I have found out that using Nuitka is more efficient.

Nuitka is a Python-to-C++ compiler that supports almost all versions of python.

The command syntax is as easy as

nuitka hello.py

Goto http://nuitka.net/doc/user-manual.html for more information.

  • 6
    More efficient how? Why would anyone want to use it? – muru Jan 31 '17 at 0:02
  • nuitka is indeed very useful - for example, it allows you to ship Python programs to computers where Python is not installed. But as nuitka compiles Python programs to C++ machine code, you can circumvent that. – user258532 Aug 24 '18 at 13:44

protected by don.joey Mar 14 '18 at 11:18

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.