3.2. Man Page

Pyarmor is a powerful tool to obfuscate Python scripts with rich option set that provides both high-level operations and full access to internals.

3.2.1. pyarmor


pyarmor [options] <command> …

-h, --help

show available command set then quit

-v, --version

show version information then quit

-q, --silent

suppress all normal output ...

-d, --debug

show more information in the console ...

--home PATH

set Pyarmor HOME path ...

These options can be used after pyarmor but before command, here are available commands:


Obfuscate scripts

gen key

Generate outer runtime key


Show and configure environments


Register Pyarmor

See pyarmor <command> -h for more information on a specific command.

-q, --silent

Suppress all normal output.

For example:

pyarmor -q gen foo.py
-d, --debug

Show more information in the console

When something is wrong, print more debug information in the console. For example:

pyarmor -d gen foo.py

Set Pyarmor Home Path, Global Path, Local Path and registration file path

The default paths

All of them could be changed by this option. For example, change home path to ~/.pyarmor2/:

$ pyarmor --home ~/.pyarmor2 ...


  • Global Path is ~/.pyarmor2/config/

  • Registration files are stored in the ~/.pyarmor2/

  • Local Path still is ./.pyarmor/

Another example, keep all others but only change global path to ~/.pyarmor/config2/:

$ pyarmor --home ,config2 ...

Another, keep all others but only change local path to /var/myproject:

$ pyarmor --home ,,/var/myproject/ ...

Another, set registration file path to /opt/pyarmor/:

$ pyarmor --home ,,,/opt/pyarmor ...

It’s useful when using sudo to run pyarmor occasionally. This makes sure the registration file could be found even switch to another user.

When there are many Pyarmor Licenses registered in one machine, set each license to different path. For example:

$ pyarmor --home ~/.pyarmor1 reg pyarmor-regfile-2051.zip
$ pyarmor --home ~/.pyarmor1 gen project1/foo.py

$ pyarmor --home ~/.pyarmor2 reg pyarmor-regfile-2052.zip
$ pyarmor --home ~/.pyarmor2 gen project2/foo.py

Start pyarmor with clean configuration by setting Global Path and Local Path to any non-exists path x:

$ pyarmor --home ,x,x, gen foo.py

See also


3.2.2. pyarmor gen

Generate obfuscated scripts and all the required runtime files.


pyarmor gen <options> <SCRIPT or PATH>

-h, --help

show option list and help information then quit

-O PATH, --output PATH

output path ...

-r, --recursive

search scripts in recursive mode ...

--exclude PATTERN

exclude scripts or paths ...

-e DATE, --expired DATE

set expired date ...

-b DEV, --bind-device DEV

bind obfuscated scripts to device ...

--bind-data DATA

store private data to runtime key ...

--period N

check runtime key periodically ...


enable outer runtime key ...

--platform NAME

cross platform obfuscation ...


store runtime files inside package ...

--prefix PREFIX

import runtime package with PREFIX ...

--obf-module <0,1>

obfuscate whole module (default is 1) ...

--obf-code <0,1,2>

obfuscate each function (default is 1) ...


disable wrap mode ...

--enable <jit,rft,bcc,themida>

enable different obfuscation features ...


protect string constant ...


enable private mode for script ...


enable restrict mode for package ...


assert module is obfuscated ...


assert function is obfuscated ...

--pack BUNDLE

repack bundle with obfuscated scripts ...

--use-runtime PATH

use shared runtime package ...


This command is designed to obfuscate all the scripts and packages in the command line. For example:

pyarmor gen foo.py
pyarmor gen foo.py goo.py koo.py
pyarmor gen src/mypkg
pyarmor gen src/pkg1 src/pkg2 libs/dbpkg
pyarmor gen -r src/mypkg
pyarmor gen -r main.py src/*.py libs/utils.py libs/dbpkg

All the files in the command line will be taken as Python script, because a few scripts has unknown extension but it’s still Python script.

All the paths in the command line will be taken as Python Package, package name is set to path’s basename, all the .py files in this path are package modules. If this package has any sub-package, use -r to search recursively.

Do not use pyarmor gen src/* to obfuscate a package, it will obfuscate any file in the src, even they’re not python scripts.

Since 8.2.2, it also supports list all the scripts and packages in one file, and pass it with prefix @. For example:

pyarmor gen -r @filelist

The content of filelist includes 2 scripts and 2 packages:

-O PATH, --output PATH

Set the output path for all the generated files, default is dist

-r, --recursive

When obfuscating package, search all scripts recursively. No this option, only the scripts in package path are obfuscated.

--exclude PATTERN

Exclude scripts or paths, use this option many times to exclude more

The pattern is same as the Python standard library fnmatch

Exclude one exact script:

$ pyarmor gen --exclude "src/test.py" src

Exclude one exact path:

$ pyarmor gen -r --exclude "./test" .

Exclude test.py in any path:

$ pyarmor gen -r --exclude "*/test.py" src

Exclude any test path:

$ pyarmor gen -r --exclude "*/test" src

When obfuscating package, store the runtime files inside package. For example:

$ pyarmor gen -r -i mypkg

The runtime package will be stored inside package dist/mypkg:

$ ls dist/
...      mypkg/

$ ls dist/mypkg/
...            pyarmor_runtime_000000/

Without this option, the output path is like this:

$ ls dist/
...      mypkg/
...      pyarmor_runtime_000000/

This option can’t be used to obfuscate script.

--prefix PREFIX

Only used when obfuscating many packages at the same time and still store the runtime package inside package.

In this case, use this option to specify which package is used to store runtime package. For example:

$ pyarmor gen --prefix mypkg src/mypkg mypkg1 mypkg2

This command tells pyarmor to store runtime package inside dist/mypkg, and make dist/mypkg1 and dist/mypkg2 to import runtime package from mypkg.

Checking the content of .py files in output path to make it clear.

As a comparison, obfuscating 3 packages without this option:

$ pyarmor gen -O dist2 src/mypkg mypkg1 mypkg2

And check .py files in the path dist2.

-e DATE, --expired DATE

Expired date of obfuscated scripts.

It supports 4 forms:

  • A number stands for valid days

  • A date with ISO format YYYY-MM-DD

  • A leading . with above 2 forms

Without leading dot, the obfuscated scripts checks network time. For example:

$ pyarmor gen -e 30 foo.py
$ pyarmor gen -e 2022-12-31 foo.py

With leading dot, it checks local time. For example:

$ pyarmor gen -e .30 foo.py
$ pyarmor gen -e .2022-12-31 foo.py

When checking network time, it need connect to remote server. Check the default server by this command:

$ pyarmor cfg nts

Before v8.8.4, only supports NTP protocol, but the default server can be changed to any valid NTP server. For example:

$ pyarmor cfg nts=

Since v8.8.4, it supports HTTP server, and multiple servers. If the first server doesn’t work, then uses the second, and so on. When using HTTP protocol, just provide one valid URL. For example:

$ pyarmor cfg nts=http://worldtimeapi.org/api

The following example uses multiple servers, both NTP and HTTP:

$ pyarmor cfg nts=pool.ntp.org,http://worldtimeapi.org/api

And special name local could be used to get local time. For exmaple:

$ pyarmor cfg nts="pool.ntp.org,http://worldtimeapi.org/api,local"
-b DEV, --bind-device DEV

Use this option multiple times to bind multiple machines

Bind obfuscated script to specified device. Now only hard disk serial number, Ethernet address and IPv4 address are available.

For example:

$ pyarmor gen -b foo.py
$ pyarmor gen -b 52:38:6a:f2:c2:ff foo.py
$ pyarmor gen -b HXS2000CN2A foo.py

Also set 30 valid days for this device:

$ pyarmor gen -e 30 -b foo.py

Check all of hardware information in this device:

$ pyarmor gen -b " 52:38:6a:f2:c2:ff HXS2000CN2A" foo.py

Using this options multiple times means binding many machines. For example, the following command makes the obfuscated scripts could run 2 machines:

$ pyarmor gen -b "52:38:6a:f2:c2:ff" -b "f8:ff:c2:27:00:7f" foo.py

In case there are more network cards, binding anyone by this form:

$ pyarmor gen -b "<2a:33:50:46:8f>" foo.py

Bind all network cards by this form:

$ pyarmor gen -b "<2a:33:50:46:8f,f0:28:69:c0:24:3a>" foo.py

In Linux, it’s possible to bind named Ethernet card:

$ pyarmor gen -b "eth1/fa:33:50:46:8f:3d" foo.py

If there are many hard disks. In Windows, binding anyone by sequence no:

$ pyarmor gen -b "/0:FV994730S6LLF07AY" foo.py
$ pyarmor gen -b "/1:KDX3298FS6P5AX380" foo.py

In Linux, binding to specify name:

$ pyarmor gen -b "/dev/vda2:KDX3298FS6P5AX380" foo.py
--bind-data DATA

DATA may be @FILENAME or string

Store any private data to runtime key, then check it in the obfuscated scripts by yourself. It’s mainly used with the hook script to extend runtime key verification method.

If DATA has a leading @, then the rest is a filename. Pyarmor reads the binary data from file, and store into runtime key.

For any other case, DATA is converted to bytes as private data.

--period N

Check Runtime Key periodically.

Support units:

  • s

  • m

  • h

The default unit is hour, for example, the following examples are equivalent:

$ pyarmor gen --period 1 foo.py
$ pyarmor gen --period 3600s foo.py
$ pyarmor gen --period 60m foo.py
$ pyarmor gen --period 1h foo.py


If the obfuscated script enters an infinite loop without call any obfuscated function, it doesn’t trigger periodic check.


Enable outer key

It tells the obfuscated scripts find runtime key in outer file.

Once this option is specified, pyarmor gen key must be used to generate an outer key file and copy to the corresponding path in target device. Otherwise the obfuscated scripts will complain of missing license key to run the script

The default name of outer key is pyarmor.rkey, it can be changed by this command:

$ pyarmor cfg outer_keyname=".pyarmor.key"

By this command the name of outer key is set to .pyarmor.key.

--platform NAME

Specify target platform to run obfuscated scripts.

The name must be one of standard platform defined by Pyarmor.

It requires pyarmor.cli.runtime to get prebuilt binary libraries of other platforms.


Enable private mode for scripts.

When private mode is enabled, the obfuscated scripts could not be imported by plain script or Python interpreter.


Enable restrict mode for package, do not use it to obfuscate scripts.

This option implies --private.

When restrict mode is enabled, all the modules except __init__.py in the package could not be imported by plain scripts.

For example, obfuscate a restrict package to dist/joker:

$ pyarmor gen -i --restrict joker
$ ls dist/
...    joker/

Then create a plaint script dist/foo.py

import joker
print('import joker should be OK')
from joker import queens
print('import joker.queens should fail')

Run it to verify:

$ cd dist
$ python foo.py
... import joker should be OK
... RuntimeError: unauthorized use of script

If there are extra modules need to be exported, no restrict this module by private settings. For example, no restrict joker/queens.py by this command:

$ pyarmor cfg -p "joker.queens" restrict_module=0

Then obfuscate the package again.

--obf-module <0,1>

Enable the whole module obfuscation (default is 1)

--obf-code <0,1,2>

Enable each function obfuscation (default is 1)

Mode 2 is new in Pyarmor 8.2, more security than 1, it’s used to obfuscate attribute name in chains. For example:

obj.attr          ==> getattr(obj, 'xxxx')
obj.attr = value  ==> setattr(obj, 'xxxx', value)

Generally when RFT Mode is available, it need not this option.


Disable wrap mode

If wrap mode is enabled, when enter a function, it’s restored. but when exit, this function will be obfuscated again.

If wrap mode is disabled, once the function is restored, it’s never be obfuscated again.

If --obf-code is 0, this option is meaningless.

--enable <jit,rft,bcc,themida>

Enable different obfuscation features.


Use JIT to process some sensitive data to improve security.


Enable RFT Mode to obfuscate the script pro


Enable BCC Mode to obfuscate the script pro


Use Themida to protect extension module in runtime package

Only works for Windows platform.


Mix the string constant in scripts basic


Assert function is obfuscated

If this option is enabled, Pyarmor scans each function call in the scripts. If the called function is in the obfuscated scripts, protect it as below, and leave others as it is. For example,

def fib(n):
    a, b = 0, 1
    return a, b


will be changed to

def fib(n):
    a, b = 0, 1
    return a, b


The function __assert_armored__() is a builtin function in obfuscated script. It checks the argument, if it’s an obfuscated function, then returns this function, otherwise raises protection exception.

In this example, fib is protected, print is not.


Assert module is obfuscated

If this option is enabled, Pyarmor scans each import statement in the scripts. If the imported module is obfuscated, protect it as below, and leave others as it is. For example,

import sys
import foo

will be changed to

import sys
import foo

The function __assert_armored__() is a builtin function in obfuscated script. It checks the argument, if it’s an obfuscated module, then return this module, otherwise raises protection exception.

This option neither touches statement from import, nor the module imported by function __import__.

--pack BUNDLE

Repack bundle with obfuscated scripts

Here BUNDLE is an executable file generated by PyInstaller

Pyarmor just obfuscates the script first.

Then unpack the bundle.

Next replace all the .pyc in the bundle with obfuscated scripts, and append all the runtime files to the bundle.

Finally repack the bundle and overwrite the original BUNDLE.

--use-runtime PATH

Use shared runtime package at PATH

The runtime package must be generated by pyarmor gen runtime

If using outer key, --outer must be specified both in command pyarmor gen runtime and pyarmor gen

3.2.3. pyarmor gen key

Generate outer key for obfuscated scripts.


pyarmor gen key <options>

-O PATH, --output PATH

output path

-e DATE, --expired DATE

set expired date

--period N

check runtime key periodically

-b DEV, --bind-device DEV

bind obfuscated scripts to device


store private data to runtime key


This command is used to generate outer key, the options in this command have same meaning as in the pyarmor gen.

There must be at least one of option -e or -b for outer key.

It’s invalid that outer key is neither expired nor binding to a device. For this case, don’t use outer key.

By default the outer key is saved to dist/pyarmor.rkey. For example:

$ pyarmor gen key -e 30
$ ls dist/pyarmor.rkey

Save outer key to other path by this way:

$ pyarmor gen key -O dist/mykey2 -e 10
$ ls dist/mykey2/pyarmor.rkey

By default the outer key name is pyarmor.rkey, use the following command to change outer key name to any others. For example, sky.lic:

$ pyarmor cfg outer_keyname=sky.lic
$ pyarmor gen key -e 30
$ ls dist/sky.lic

The outer key must be stored in one of the following paths, the obfuscated script will search it in turn:

  1. First search runtime package. 1

  2. Next search path PYARMOR_RKEY, no trailing slash or backslash, and no .. in the path. Generally it’s an absolute path, for example, /var/data

  3. Next search current path

If no found in these paths, check file sys.executable + .pyarmor.rkey. For example, dist/myapp.exe.pyarmor.rkey

Still not found raise runtime error and exits.


If runtime package supports multiple Python versions and multiple platforms, it need copy key file to each sub-folder pyXY in the runtime package or configure outer_keyname with prefix ../, for example, pyarmor cfg outer_keyname=../pyarmor.rkey. Refer to issue 1599

Special output **pipe**

If ouptput path is pipe, the generated key is not save to file, but return the key content (bytes) directly.

Generally it’s used to generate runtime key by web api and send key to customer by internet.

For example,

from pyarmor.cli.__main__ import main_entry

args = ['gen', 'key', '-O', 'pipe', '-e', '2023-10-21']
data = main_entry(args)

with open('pyarmor.rkey', 'wb') as f:

3.2.4. pyarmor gen runtime

Generate shared runtime package.


pyarmor gen runtime <options>

-O PATH, --output PATH

output path


enable outer runtime key

--platform NAME

cross platform obfuscation

-e DATE, --expired DATE

set expired date

--period N

check runtime key periodically

-b DEV, --bind-device DEV

bind obfuscated scripts to device


store private data to runtime key


This command is used to generate shared runtime package and store it to -O, the options in this command have same meaning as in the pyarmor gen. For example:

$ pyarmor gen runtime -O build/my_runtime1
$ ls build/my_runtime1/

$ pyarmor gen --use-runtime build/my_runtime1 foo.py
$ cp -a build/my_runime1/pyarmor_runtime_000000 dist/

It also uses other options to generate shared runtime package:

$ pyarmor gen runtime -e .10 --bind-device 10:52:fa:2d:26 -O build/my_runtime2
$ pyarmor gen runtime --platform windows.x86_64 -e .10 -O build/my_runtime3

If shared runtime package is generated by --outer, also obfuscate scripts by --outer:

$ pyarmor gen runtime --outer -O build/my_outer_runtime
$ pyarmor gen --outer --use-runtime build/my_outer_runtime foo.py

$ cp -a build/my_outer_runtime/pyarmor_runtime_000000 dist/
$ pyarmor gen key -e .10
$ mv dist/pyarmor.rkey dist/pyarmor_runtime_000000

Please replace pyarmor_runtime_000000 with real name

3.2.5. pyarmor cfg

Configure or show Pyarmor environments


pyarmor cfg <options> [OPT[=VALUE]] …

-h, --help

show this help message and exit


private settings for special module or package

-g, --global

do everything in global settings, otherwise local settings

-r, --reset

reset option to default value

--encoding ENCODING

specify encoding to read configuration file


Run this command without arguments to show all available options:

$ pyarmor cfg

Show one exact option obf_module:

$ pyarmor cfg obf_module

Show all options which start with obf:

$ pyarmor cfg obf*

Set option to int value by any of these forms:

$ pyarmor cfg obf_module 0
$ pyarmor cfg obf_module=0
$ pyarmor cfg obf_module =0
$ pyarmor cfg obf_module = 0

Set option to boolean value:

$ pyarmor cfg wrap_mode 0
$ pyarmor cfg wrap_mode=1

Set option to string value:

$ pyarmor cfg outer_keyname "sky.lic"
$ pyarmor cfg outer_keyname = "sky.lic"

Append word to an option. For example, pyexts has 2 words .py .pyw, append new one to it:

$ pyarmor cfg pyexts + ".pym"

Current settings
    pyexts = .py .pyw .pym

Remove word from option:

$ pyarmor cfg pyexts - ".pym"

Current settings
    pyexts = .py .pyw

Append new line to option:

$ pyarmor cfg rft_excludes ^ "/win.*/"

Current settings
    rft_excludes = super

Reset option to default:

$ pyarmor cfg rft_excludes ""
$ pyarmor cfg rft_excludes=""
$ pyarmor cfg -r rft_excludes

Change option excludes in the section finder by this form:

$ pyarmor cfg finder:excludes "ast"

If no prefix finder, for example:

$ pyarmor cfg excludes "ast"

Not only option excludes in section finder, but also in other sections assert.call, mix.str etc. are changed.


Section is group name of options, here are popular sections

  • finder: how to search scripts

  • builder: how to obfuscate scripts, main section

  • runtime: how to generate runtime package and runtime key

These are not popular sections

  • mix.str: how to filter mix string

  • assert.call: how to filter assert function

  • assert.import: how to filter assert module

  • bcc: how to convert function to C code


Private settings for special modules in the package

These modules need different obfuscation options.

All the settings is only applied to specified module NAME.

For example, only no restrict modules joker/__init__.py and joker/card.py:

$ pyarmor cfg -p joker.__init__ restrict_module = 0
$ pyarmor cfg -p joker.card restrict_module = 0
$ pyarmor gen -r --restrict joker
-g, --global

Do everything in global settings

Without this option, all the changed settings are stored in Local Path, generally it’s ./.pyarmor/config. By this option, everything is stored in Global Path, generally it’s ~/.pyarmor/config/global

-r, --reset

Reset option to default value

3.2.6. pyarmor reg

Register Pyarmor or upgrade Pyarmor license


pyarmor reg [OPTIONS] [FILENAME]

-h, --help

show this help message and exit

-p NAME, --product NAME

license to this product

-u, --upgrade

upgrade Pyarmor license

-g ID, --device ID

device no. in group license


The FILENAME must be one of these forms:

  • pyarmor-regcode-xxxx.txt got by purchasing Pyarmor license

  • pyarmor-regfile-xxxx.zip got by initial registration with above file


Check the registration information:

$ pyarmor -v

Initial registration

Initial registration by the following command, replace NAME with real product name or non-profits:

$ pyarmor reg -p NAME pyarmor-regcode-xxxx.txt

A registration file pyarmor-regfile-xxxx.zip will be generated after initial registration completed. Using this file for subsequent registration:

$ pyarmor reg pyarmor-regfile-xxxx.zip

Upgrading old license

Upgrading old license by the following command, if product name is not same as old license, it’s ignored:

$ pyarmor reg -p NAME pyarmor-regcode-xxxx.txt

A registration file pyarmor-regfile-xxxx.zip will be generated after upgrade completed. Using this file for subsequent registration:

$ pyarmor reg pyarmor-regfile-xxxx.zip

Using group license

Pyarmor group also needs an internet connectection for initial registration, and generate the corresponding registration file.

One group license could have 100 offline devices, each device has its own number, from 1 to 100.

For each device, first install Pyarmor 8.2+, and generate one device file. For example, run this command in device no. 1 to generate group device file pyarmor-group-device.1:

$ pyarmor reg -g 1

Next prepare to generate device regfile pyarmor-device-regfile-xxxx.1.zip for this device.

It requires internet connection, group device file pyarmor-group-device.1, group license registration file. For example, copy group device file to initial registration machine, save it to path .pyarmor/group/, run the following command to generate pyarmor-device-regfile-xxxx.1.zip:

$ mkdir -p .pyarmor/group
$ cp pyarmor-group-device.1 .pyarmor/group/

$ pyarmor reg -g 1 pyarmor-regfile-xxxx.zip

Copy device regfile to device no. 1, then run the following command:

$ pyarmor reg pyarmor-device-regfile-xxxx.1.zip

Repeat above steps for the rest device no. 2, no. 3 …

-p NAME, --product NAME

Set product name bind to license

For non-commercial use, set product name to non-profits

When initial registration, use this option to set product name for this license.

It’s meaningless to use this option after initial registration.

TBD is a special product name. If product name is TBD at initial registration, the product name can be changed once in 6 months. If it’s still not set after 6 months, the product name will be set to non-profits automatically.

For any other product name, it can’t be changed any more.

Only Pyarmor basic and Pyarmor pro could set product name to TBD

-u, --upgrade

Upgrade old license to Pyarmor 8.0 License

Not all the old license could be upgrade to new license, check License Types

-g ID, --device ID

specify device no. in group license

Valid value is from 1 to 100

3.2.7. Environment Variables

The following environment variables only used in Build Machine when generating the obfuscated scripts, not in Target Device.


Same as pyarmor --home

It mainly used in the shell scripts to change Pyarmor settings. If pyarmor --home is set, this environment var is ignored.


Set the right Platform to run pyarmor

It’s mainly used in some platforms Pyarmor could not tell but still works.


Specify C compiler for BCC mode


Only for compatible with Pyarmor 7.x, ignore this if you don’t use old command prior to 8.0

If you do not use new commands in Pyarmor 8.0, and prefer to only use old commands, set it to 7, for example:

# In Linux
export PYARMOR_CLI=7
pyarmor -h

# Or
PYARMOR_CLI=7 pyarmor -h

# In Windows
pyarmor -h

It forces command pyarmor to use old cli directly.

Without it, pyarmor only recognizes new Pyarmor 8 commands.

This only works for command pyarmor.