PyS60 application release build toolchain

A common question for Python for Series 60 newcomers is how to build standalone Symbian applications from Python source code. We have been using Makefile based toolchain internally. I describe it in this picture, I didn’t bother to add thumbnail for the image, since it’s a 3400 pixels wide diagram.

The diagram describes building a PyS60 application with some Python extensions (Symbian native C++) mixed in and bundling it all to one downloadable SIS file. The application will appear as any first class S60 application in the menu and the user does not know it’s running Python internally, besides bad installation experience (it challenges Microsoft installers with all those unnecessary yes/no questions), extra uninstaller entries and slow start-up time.

The biggest problems are caused by embedded SISs (SIS inside other SIS files) which are not treaded very wel by several Symbian parties.  In theory, it could be build one monolithic SIS, but you’d need to recompile PyS60 from scratch and patch UIDs inside it for your own UIDs received from We are planning to explore SCons based build solution to address this problem, since Makefiles are a bit unflexible with tasks like PKG file and UID range generation.

Here is a PKG file example for final user distributable SIS file.

Also, see UIKludges project for additional details for PKG files of Python extensions.

You need to have

  • Ensymble tool
  • Series 60 SDK (contains some old GNU make)

You need to master

  • A build tool (make)
  • Symbian PKG file structure
  • Lots of different command line tools


  • It’s the best one we have for now


  • Symbian signing and certification companies don’t understand embedded SIS files (all SIS files must be signed prior embedding) and may have hard time signing SIS files containing only an extension DLL for Pyton. Symbian Signed test criteria has been built only UI application based SIS files in the mind.
  • You cannot cook your own patched PyS60 distribution without revamping some hardcoded UIDs and paths, since otherwise there are UID conflicts (EXE and DLL file UIDs are in Nokia’s protected range)
  • S60 installers askes extra confirmation for every embedded SIS file, even in the middle of the progress bar, so the user experience of installation is screwed up
  • There will extra uninstallation entry for every embedded SIS file in S60 application manager confusing the user
  • As you can see, most cons come from Symbian and Symbian signing limitations and have nothing to do with Python

Ps. I would have put this thing to, but their webmaster email address is non-functional and one cannot upload images to their Wiki.

6 thoughts on “PyS60 application release build toolchain

  1. Nice story, pictures always help! Symbian (Nokia) should have done it in the first place!

    Btw do you mean user can screw up the installation by REMOVING parts of the application/system by mistake?


    –jouni feeling sorry for Customer Support

  2. Pingback: Stefan Jenkner » Blog Archiv » Python S60

  3. Where do I get the Series 60 SDK and must it be specific for python?

  4. Pingback: Stefan Jenkner » Python S60

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