Using PyArmor

The syntax of the pyarmor command is:

pyarmor [command] [options]

Obfuscating Python Scripts

Use command obfuscate to obfuscate python scripts. In the most simple case, set the current directory to the location of your program and execute:

pyarmor obfuscate

PyArmor obfuscates and all the *.py in the same folder:

  • Create in the HOME folder if it doesn’t exists.
  • Creates a folder dist in the same folder as the script if it does not exist.
  • Writes the obfuscated in the dist folder.
  • Writes all the obfuscated *.py in the same folder as the script in the dist folder.
  • Copy runtime files used to run obfuscated scripts to the dist folder.

In the dist folder the obfuscated scripts and all the required files are generated:



The extra folder pytransform called Runtime Package, it’s required to run the obfuscated script.

Normally you name one script on the command line. It’s entry script. The content of would be like this:

from pytransform import pyarmor_runtime
__pyarmor__(__name__, __file__, b'\x06\x0f...')

The first 2 lines called Bootstrap Code, are only in the entry script. They must be run before using any obfuscated file. For all the other obfuscated *.py, there is only last line:

__pyarmor__(__name__, __file__, b'\x0a\x02...')

Run the obfuscated script:

cd dist

By default, only the *.py in the same path as the entry script are obfuscated. To obfuscate all the *.py in the sub-folder recursively, execute this command:

pyarmor obfuscate --recursive

Distributing Obfuscated Scripts

Just copy all the files in the output path dist to end users. Note that except the obfuscated scripts, the Runtime Package need to be distributed to end users too.

PyArmor only deals with .py files, if there are data files or binary extension in the package, copy them to dist manually.

The Runtime Package may not with the obfuscated scripts, it could be moved to any Python path, only if import pytransform works.

About the security of obfuscated scripts, refer to The Security of PyArmor


PyArmor need NOT be installed in the runtime machine

Generating License For Obfuscated Scripts

Use command licenses to generate new license.lic for obfuscated scripts.

Generate an expired license for obfuscated script:

pyarmor licenses --expired 2019-01-01 r001

PyArmor generates new license file:

  • Read data from in the HOME folder
  • Create license.lic in the licenses/r001 folder
  • Create license.lic.txt in the licenses/r001 folder

Obfuscate the scripts with this new one:

pyarmor obfuscate --with-license licenses/r001/license.lic

Now run obfuscated script, It will report error after Jan. 1, 2019:

cd dist

Generate license to bind obfuscated scripts to fixed machine, first get hardware information:

pyarmor hdinfo

Then generate new license bind to harddisk serial number and mac address:

pyarmor licenses --bind-disk "100304PBN2081SF3NJ5T" --bind-mac "20:c1:d2:2f:a0:96" code-002

Run obfuscated script with new license:

pyarmor obfuscate --with-license licenses/code-002/license.lic

cd dist/

It also could be use an outer license file license.lic with the obfuscated scripts. By outer license, just obfuscate scripts once, then generate new license to overwrite the old license on demand. This is the tradional way, refer to How to use outer license file

Extending License Type

It’s easy to extend any other licese type for obfuscated scripts: just add authentication code in the entry script. The script can’t be changed any more after it is obfuscated, so do whatever you want in your script. In this case the Runtime Module pytransform would be useful.

The prefer way is Using Plugin to Extend License Type. The advantage is that your scripts needn’t be changed at all. Just write authentication code in a separated script, and inject it in the obfuscated scripts as obfuscating. For more information, refer to How to Deal With Plugins

Here are some plugin examples

Obfuscating Single Module

To obfuscate one module exactly, use option --exact:

pyarmor obfuscate --exact

Only is obfuscated, now import this obfuscated module:

cd dist
python -c "import foo"

Obfuscating Whole Package

Run the following command to obfuscate a package:

pyarmor obfuscate --recursive --output dist/mypkg mykpg/

To import the obfuscated package:

cd dist
python -c "import mypkg"

Packing Obfuscated Scripts

Use command pack to pack obfuscated scripts into the bundle.

First install PyInstaller:

pip install pyinstaller

Set the current directory to the location of your program and execute:

pyarmor pack

PyArmor packs

  • Execute pyarmor obfuscate to obfuscate
  • Execute pyinstaller to create myscript.spec
  • Update myscript.spec, replace original scripts with obfuscated ones
  • Execute pyinstaller myscript.spec to bundle the obfuscated scripts

In the dist/myscript folder you find the bundled app you distribute to your users.

Run the final executeable file:


Generate an expired license for the bundle:

pyarmor licenses --expired 2019-01-01 code-003
pyarmor pack --with-license licenses/code-003/license.lic


For complicated cases, refer to command pack and How To Pack Obfuscated Scripts.

Improving Security Further

These PyArmor features could import security further:

  1. Using Super Plus Mode to obufscate scripts if possible, otherwise Using Super Mode, otherwise enable Advanced Mode if the platform is supported. In Windows and the performance meets the requirement, enable VM Mode
  2. Try to Binding obfuscated scripts to Python interpreter if they’re distributed as one executable bundle.
  3. Make sure the entry script is patched by cross protection code, and try to Customizing cross protection code
  4. Use the corresponding Restrict Mode to make sure no one can import the obfuscated module.
  5. Use the high security code obfuscation –obf-code=2
  6. Using Plugin To Improve Security by injecting your private checkpoints in the obfuscated scripts, there is one decorator assert_armored() and one function check_armored() in the pytransform used to prevent monkey trick hacking. You can also add any other check points to make sure the obfuscated scripts are not hacked.
  7. If data files need to be protected, refer to How to protect data files

About the security of obfuscated scripts, refer to The Security of PyArmor