Installing PyObjC

Supported versions

PyObjC supports Python 3.6 or later and does not support Python 2.

PyObjC does not support other python implementation such as PyPy and Jython.

PyObjC is regularly tested on macOS 10.14 and should work on macOS 10.9 or later for the i386 and x86_64 architectures.

PyObjC only supports macOS and does not support other platform (iOS, Linux, …)


PyObjC is distributed as a collection of Python packages and can be installed using pip. Manual installation is also supported, but is a lot more work and is therefore more of a power-user feature.

Installation using pip

Installing or upgrading PyObjC using pip is easy:

$ pip install -U pyobjc

For most users this will install PyObjC using wheel binary archives, which means you don’t have to have a compiler on your machine.


Pip will install PyObjC 5 for users of Python 2.7, but only when using pip 9 or later.

Manual installation

Manual installation is slightly involved, but still pretty easy.

  • First download the source code packages from the cheeseshop, you need at least pyobjc-core and pyobjc-framework-Cocoa. You do not need pyobjc, that’s a helper package that is only used to pull in the other packages when installing using pip.

  • Extract the archives

  • Install every packages using the standard recipe for Python package installation:

    $ python install

    Due to package dependencies you need to install the packages in a particular order:

Requirements for building from source

PyObjC contains extensions and is distributed as source code. You therefore need a compiler to install PyObjC. The easiest way to get a compiler is do download Xcode from the Mac App Store.

Depending on the Python release you may need to install the Command Line Tools for Xcode. To install the Command Line Tools first install Xcode from the Mac App Store. The next action depends on the OSX release you are using.

If you use OSX 10.8 or earlier, open Xcode and then open the Xcode preferences. The downloads tab contains an option “components” and that list contains an option to install the “Command Line Tools”.

If you use OSX 10.9 or later, open a Terminal window and run xcode-select --install.


The Command Line Tools package may not be automaticly updated when you install a new version of Xcode. Every time Xcode is updated through the Mac App Store you need to start Xcode to check if there is a new version of the Command Line Tools.

Advanced installation options

PyObjC for PowerPC systems

To build a version of PyObjC that runs on PowerPC systems you need a system running macOS 10.6 (or earlier) running Xcode 3. The version of Xcode that is available in the Mac App Store can not create PowerPC binaries.

Distributing binaries to other macOS releases

It is possible to create self-contained application bundles for PyObjC based application using py2app. You do need to take some care when you want to ship these applications to machines running a different version of macOS than the one you used for the build

  • Later versions of macOS should work fine

  • Earlier version of macOS work fine, but you do need to ensure that Python itself is build with MACOSX_DEPLOYMENT_TARGET set to the earliest version of macOS you want to support. PyObC, and other extension packages, should automaticly pick up the deployment target from the Python build.


    PyObjC contains code that explictly weak-links to a number of APIs that are not available on all macOS releases.

    You might still end up with an application that won’t run on earlier releases when you use another extension module that (accidently) hard links to an API that is not available in the earlier release.