When Things Go Wrong

When there is in trouble, try to solve it by these ways.

As running pyarmor:

  • Check the console output, is there any wrong path, or any odd information

  • Run pyarmor with debug option -d to get more information. For example:

    pyarmor -d obfuscate --recursive foo.py

As running the obfuscated scripts:

  • Turn on Python debug option by -d to print more information. For example:

    python -d obf_foo.py

After python debug option is on, there will be a log file pytransform.log generated in the current path, which includes more debug information.


There are a lot of reporeted issues, search here first try to find same issue.

Segment fault

In the following cases, obfuscated scripts will crash

  • Running obfuscated script by the debug version Python
  • Obfuscating scripts by Python 2.6 but running the obfuscated scripts by Python 2.7

After PyArmor 5.5.0, some machines may be crashed because of advanced mode. A quick workaround is to disable advanced mode by editing the file pytransform.py which locates in the installed path of pyarmor , in the function _load_library, uncomment about line 202. The final code looks like this:

# Disable advanced mode if required
m.set_option(5, c_char_p(1))

Bootstrap Problem

Could not find _pytransform

Generally, the dynamic library _pytransform is in the Runtime Package, before v5.7.0, it’s in the same path of obfuscated scripts. It may be:

  • _pytransform.so in Linux
  • _pytransform.dll in Windows
  • _pytransform.dylib in MacOS

First check whether the file exists. If it exists:

  • Check the permissions of dynamic library

    If there is no execute permissions in Windows, it will complain: [Error 5] Access is denied

  • Check whether ctypes could load _pytransform:

    from pytransform import _load_library
    m = _load_library(path='/path/to/dist')
  • Try to set the runtime path in the Bootstrap Code of entry script:

    from pytransform import pyarmor_runtime

Still doesn’t work, report an issue_

ERROR: Unsupport platform linux.xxx

In some machines pyarmor could not recognize the platform and raise error. If there is available dynamic library in the table Table-2. The Others Prebuilt Libraries For PyArmor. Just download it and save it in the path ~/.pyarmor/platforms/SYSTEM/ARCH, this command pyarmor -d download will also display this path at the beginning.

If there is no any available one, contact jondy.zhao@gmail.com if you’d like to run pyarmor in this platform.

/lib64/libc.so.6: version ‘GLIBC_2.14’ not found

In some machines there is no GLIBC_2.14, it will raise this exception.

One solution is patching _pytransform.so by the following way.

First check version information:

readelf -V /path/to/_pytransform.so

Version needs section '.gnu.version_r' contains 2 entries:
 Addr: 0x00000000000056e8  Offset: 0x0056e8  Link: 4 (.dynstr)
  000000: Version: 1  File: libdl.so.2  Cnt: 1
  0x0010:   Name: GLIBC_2.2.5  Flags: none  Version: 7
  0x0020: Version: 1  File: libc.so.6  Cnt: 6
  0x0030:   Name: GLIBC_2.7  Flags: none  Version: 8
  0x0040:   Name: GLIBC_2.14  Flags: none Version: 6
  0x0050:   Name: GLIBC_2.4  Flags: none  Version: 5
  0x0060:   Name: GLIBC_2.3.4  Flags: none  Version: 4
  0x0070:   Name: GLIBC_2.2.5  Flags: none  Version: 3
  0x0080:   Name: GLIBC_2.3  Flags: none  Version: 2

Then replace the entry of GLIBC_2.14 with GLIBC_2.2.5:

  • Copy 4 bytes at 0x56e8+0x10=0x56f8 to 0x56e8+0x40=0x5728
  • Copy 4 bytes at 0x56e8+0x18=0x5700 to 0x56e8+0x48=0x5730

Here are sample commands:

xxd -s 0x56f8 -l 4 _pytransform.so | sed "s/56f8/5728/" | xxd -r - _pytransform.so
xxd -s 0x5700 -l 4 _pytransform.so | sed "s/5700/5730/" | xxd -r - _pytransform.so


From v5.7.9, this patch is not required. In cross-platform all you need to do is specify the platform to centos6.x86_64 to fix this issue. For example:

pyarmor obfuscate --platform centos6.x86_64 foo.py

Obfuscating Scripts Problem

Warning: code object xxxx isn’t wrapped

It means this function isn’t been obfuscated, because it includes some special instructions.

For example, there is 2-bytes instruction JMP 255, after the code object is obfuscated, the operand is increased to 267, and the instructions will be changed to:

JMP 11

In this case, it’s complex to obfuscate the code object with wrap mode. So the code object is obfuscated with non wrap mode, but all the other code objects still are obfuscated with wrap mode.

In current version add some unused code in this function so that the operand isn’t the critical value may avoid this warning.


Before v5.5.0, in this case the code object is left as it is.

Code object could not be obufscated with advanced mode 2

Because this function includes some jump instructions that couldn’t be handled. In this case, just refine this function, make sure the first statement will not generate jump instruction. For example, assignment, function call or any simple statement. However, the compound statements, for examples, try, for, if, with, while etc. will generate the jump instructions. If there is no anyway to refactor the function, insert the following statement at the beginning of this function:

[None, None]

It will generate some instructions but doesn’t change anything.

Error: Try to run unauthorized function

If there is any file license.lic or pytransform.key in the current path, pyarmor maybe reports this error. One solution is to remove all of that files, the other solution to upgrade PyArmor to v5.4.5 later.

‘XXX’ codec can’t decode byte 0xXX

Add the exact source encode at the begin of the script. For example:

# -*- coding: utf-8 -*-

Refer to https://docs.python.org/2.7/tutorial/interpreter.html#source-code-encoding

Why plugin doesn’t work

If the plugin script doesn’t work as expected, first check the plugin script could be injected into the entry script by set Python debug flag:

# In linux
# In Windows

pyarmor obfuscate --exact --plugin check_ntp_time foo.py

It will generate patched file foo.py.pyarmor-patched, make sure the content of plugin script has been inserted into the right place, and the verify function will be executed.

Running Obfuscated Scripts Problem

The license.lic generated doesn’t work

The key is that the capsule used to obfuscate scripts must be same as the capsule used to generate licenses.

The Global Capsule will be changed if the trial license file of PyArmor is replaced with normal one, or it’s deleted occasionally (which will be generated implicitly as running command pyarmor obfuscate next time).

In any cases, generating new license file with the different capsule will not work for the obfuscated scripts before. If the old capsule is gone, one solution is to obfuscate these scripts by the new capsule again.

NameError: name ‘__pyarmor__’ is not defined

No Bootstrap Code are executed before importing obfuscated scripts.

When creating new process by Popen or Process in mod subprocess or multiprocessing, to be sure that Bootstrap Code will be called before importing any obfuscated code in sub-process. Otherwise it will raise this exception.

Marshal loads failed when running xxx.py

  1. Check whether the version of Python to run obfuscated scripts is same as the version of Python to obfuscate script
  2. Run obfuscated script by python -d to show more error message.
  3. Be sure the capsule used to generated the license file is same as the capsule used to obfuscate the scripts. The filename of the capsule will be shown in the console when the command is running.

_pytransform can not be loaded twice

When the function pyarmor_runtime is called twice, it will complaint _pytransform can not be loaded twice

For example, if an obfuscated module includes the following lines:

from pytransform import pyarmor_runtime

When importing this module from entry script, it will report this error. The first 2 lines should be in the entry script only, not in the other module.

This limitation is introduced from v5.1, to disable this check, just edit pytransform.py and comment these lines in function pyarmor_runtime:

if _pytransform is not None:
    raise PytransformError('_pytransform can not be loaded twice')


This limitation has been removed from v5.3.5.

Check restrict mode failed

Use obfuscated scripts in wrong way, by default all the obfuscated scripts can’t be changed any more.

Besides packing the obfuscated scripts will report this error either. Do not pack the obfuscated scripts, but pack the plain scripts directly.

For more information, refer to Restrict Mode

Protection Fault: unexpected xxx

Use obfuscated scripts in wrong way, by default, all the runtime files can’t be changed any more. Do not touch the following files

  • pytransform.py
  • _pytransform.so/.dll/.dylib

For more information, refer to Special Handling of Entry Script

Run obfuscated scripts reports: Invalid input packet

If the scripts are obfuscated in different platform, check the notes in Distributing Obfuscated Scripts To Other Platform

Before v5.7.0, check if there is any of license.lic or pytransform.key in the current path. Make sure they’re generated for the obfuscated scripts. If not, rename them or move them to other path.

Because the obfuscated scripts will first search the current path, then search the path of runtime module pytransform.py to find the file license.lic and pytransform.key. If they’re not generated for the obfuscated script, this error will be reported.

OpenCV fails because of NEON - NOT AVAILABLE

In some Raspberry Pi platform, run the obfuscated scripts to import OpenCV fails:

************************************************** ****************
* This OpenCV build doesn't support current CPU / HW configuration *
* *
* Use OPENCV_DUMP_CONFIG = 1 environment variable for details *
************************************************** ****************

Required baseline features:
terminate called after throwing an instance of 'cv :: Exception'
  what (): OpenCV (3.4.6) /home/pi/opencv-python/opencv/modules/core/src/system.cpp:538: error:
(-215: Assertion failed) Missing support for required CPU baseline features. Check OpenCV build
configuration and required CPU / HW setup. in function 'initialize'

One solution is to specify optioin --platform to linux.armv7.0:

pyarmor obfuscate --platform linux.armv7.0 foo.py
pyarmor build --platform linux.armv7.0
pyarmor runtime --platform linux.armv7.0

The other solution is to set environment variable PYARMOR_PLATFORM to linux.armv7.0. For examples:

PYARMOR_PLATFORM=linux.armv7.0 pyarmor obfuscate foo.py
PYARMOR_PLATFORM=linux.armv7.0 pyarmor build


export PYARMOR_PLATFORM=linux.armv7.0
pyarmor obfuscate foo.py
pyarmor build

Packing Obfuscated Scripts Problem

The final bundle does not work

First make sure the scripts could pack by PyInstaller directly and the final bundle works.

Then make sure the obfuscated scripts could work without packing.

If both of them OK, remove the output path dist and PyInstaller cached path build, then pack the script with --debug:

pyarmor pack --debug foo.py

The build files will be kept, the patched foo-patched.spec could be used by pyinstaller to pack the obfuscated scripts directly, for example:

pyinstaller -y --clean foo-patched.spec

Check this patched .spec and change options in this .spec file, make sure the final bundle could work.

No module name pytransform

If report this error as running command pyarmor pack:

  • Make sure the script specified in the command line is not obfuscated

  • Run pack with extra option --clean to remove cached myscript.spec:

    pyarmor pack --clean foo.py

PyArmor Registration Problem

Purchased pyarmor is not private

Even obfuscated with purchased version, license from trial version works:

  • Make sure command pyarmor register shows correct registration information
  • Make sure Global Capsule file ~/.pyarmor_capsule.zip is same as the one in the keyfile pyarmor-regfile-1.zip
  • Try to reboot system.

Known Issues

Obfuscate scripts in cross platform

From v5.6.0 to v5.7.0, there is a bug for cross platform. The scripts obfuscated in linux64/windows64/darwin64 don’t work after copied to one of this target platform:

armv5, android.aarch64, ppc64le, ios.arm64, freebsd, alpine, alpine.arm, poky-i586

Misc. Questions

How easy is to recover obfuscated code

If someone tries to break the obfuscation, he first must be an expert in the field of reverse engineer, and be an expert of Python, who should understand the structure of code object of python, how python interpreter each instruction. If someone of them start to reverse, he/she must step by step thousands of machine instruction, and research the algorithm by machine codes. So it’s not an easy thing to reverse pyarmor.