sdl2 package is implemented in a way that shall make it easy for
you to integrate and deploy it with your own software projects. You can rely
on PySDL2 as third-party package, so that the user needs to install it
before he can use your software. Alternatively, you can just copy the
whole package into your project to ship it within your own project
Bundling SDL2 with pysdl2-dll¶
sdl2 package relies on an external SDL2 library for creating the
wrapper functions. This means that the user needs to have SDL2 installed or
that you ship a SDL2 library with your project.
For macOS, Windows, and most distributions of x86 and ARM64 Linux, the easiest
and most flexible way to bundle and install the SDL2 binaries with your project
is via the
pysdl2-dll package on PyPI,
which pysdl2 will load automatically if available. This approach allows you to
add the SDL2 binaries as a dependency for your project in a requirements.txt
file, a setup.py file, a Pipfile, or any other form of Python dependency
tracking. You can also specify a minimum version of the SDL2 binaries for your
project using this mechanism if your project depends on a function not
available in earlier versions of SDL2.
For platforms without any available pysdl2-dll binaries (e.g. Alpine Linux, ARM32 Linux, BSD), PySDL2 will still work as long as a recent version of SDL2 is installed using the system’s package manager. Additionally, pysdl2-dll will still install successfully on unsupported platforms as an empty pacakge with no binaries, making it safe to add as a dependency for cross-platform projects.
Bundling SDL2 without pysdl2-dll¶
If the user has a SDL2 library installed on the target system, the
ctypes hooks of
sdl2 try to find it in the OS-specific standard
ctypes.util.find_library(). If you are going to ship your
own SDL2 library with the project or cannot rely on the standard mechanism of
ctypes, it is also possible to set the environment variable
PYSDL2_DLL_PATH, which shall point to the directory of the SDL2
library or consist of a list of directories, in which the SDL2 libraries can
PYSDL2_DLL_PATH is preferred over the standard
mechanism. If the module finds a SDL2 library in
it will try to use that one in the first place, before using any SDL2
library installed on the target system.
Let’s assume you ship your own library SDL2.dll within your project
location fancy_project/third_party. You can set the environment
PYSDL2_DLL_PATH before starting Python.
# Win32 platforms
# Unix/Posix-alike environments - bourne shells
# Unix/Posix-alike environments - C shells
setenv PYSDL2_DLL_PATH /path/to/fancy_project/third_party
# Define multiple paths to search for the libraries - Win32
You also can set the environment variable within Python using
dllpath = os.path.join('path', 'to', 'fancy_project', 'third_party')
os.environ["PYSDL2_DLL_PATH"] = dllpath
If you aim to integrate
sdl directly into your software and do
not want or are not allowed to change the environment variables, you
can also change the
os.getenv("PYSDL2_DLL_PATH") query within the
sdl2/dll.py (or sdl2/sdlimage.py, sdl2/sdlttf.py, sdl2/sdlgfx.py)
file to point to the directory, in which you keep the DLL.
Using different SDL2 versions¶
PySDL2 tries to provide interfaces to the most recent versions of the SDL2 libraries. Sometimes this means that PySDL2 tries to test for functions that might not be available for your very own project or that are not available on the target system due to a version of the specific library.
If a PySDL2 function is called that requires a newer version of a binary than the one currently being used, it will raise a RuntimeWarning indicating the minimum version of SDL2 (or SDL2_mixer, or SDL2_ttf, etc.) required to use the called function. Additionally, if you already know what minimum versions your project needs, you can check the linked binary versions at runtime:
if not (sdl2.dll.version >= 2008 and sdl2.sdlttf.dll.version >= 2015):
err = ("This project requires SDL2 >= 2.0.8 and SDL2_ttf >= 2.0.15. "
"Please update your SDL2 binaries and relaunch.")
Binary version numbers are stored as 4-digit integers, with the first digit being the major release, the second digit being the minor release, and the last two digits indicating the patch level. Thus, SDL2 2.0.10 would be version 2010 and SDL2 2.0.6 would be 2006.
Known problems with SDL2 binaries¶
The SDL2 libraries are designed to be highly consistent across platforms, but there are some occasional bugs/issues with certain common binaries that can result in unexpected problems. Here are the ones we are currently aware of:
- Support for XCF images broken in SDL2_image
- Affects: official 32-bit Windows SDL2_image 2.0.5 binaries, all official macOS SDL2_image binaries
- Support for FLAC and MP3 missing by default in SDL2_mixer
- Affects: SDL2_mixer installed with Homebrew on macOS
- Support for FLAC/MP3/OGG/MID/MOD broken in SDL2_mixer
- Affects: official SDL2_mixer 2.0.2 binaries for macOS and Windows (fixed in 2.0.4)