Portable rootless xonsh build on AppImage

AppImage is a format for distributing portable software on Linux without needing superuser permissions to install the application. It tries also to allow Linux distribution-agnostic binary software deployment for application developers, also called Upstream packaging.

AppImage allows xonsh to be run on any AppImage supported Linux distributive without installation and root access.

Try it now

You can download and try prebuilded xonsh.AppImage:

wget https://github.com/niess/linuxdeploy-plugin-python/releases/download/continuous/xonsh-x86_64.AppImage -O xonsh.AppImage
chmod +x xonsh.AppImage
./xonsh.AppImage -c "echo @(1+1)"

Build xonsh.AppImage


FROM ubuntu:16.04
RUN apt update -y && apt upgrade -y
RUN apt install --no-install-recommends -y -qq \
        fuse wget mc git \
        build-essential python-dev python-setuptools python-pip python-smbus \
        libncursesw5-dev lib32ncurses5-dev libgdbm-dev libc6-dev  \
        zlib1g-dev libsqlite3-dev tk-dev libssl-dev openssl libffi-dev autoconf \
        libfuse-dev libncurses5-dev libreadline-dev libdb5.3-dev libbz2-dev \
        libexpat1-dev liblzma-dev  automake libfuse2

RUN mkdir -p /build /appimage
WORKDIR /build
RUN git clone --depth 1 https://github.com/niess/linuxdeploy-plugin-python && \
        cd linuxdeploy-plugin-python && \
        git checkout 85d2e6fac5969d1b381f4da384248b368522ede3
CMD cd /build/linuxdeploy-plugin-python/appimage && ./build-python.sh xonsh && cp *.AppImage /appimage


docker build --no-cache -t local/appimage-xonsh .
docker run --rm --privileged --device /dev/fuse -v `pwd`:/appimage -it local/appimage-xonsh

As result you’ll find executable file xonsh-x86_64.AppImage that runs xonsh and can take command line arguments like xonsh. Enjoy!

Running portable python and pip

If you need to use python and pip from portable xonsh.AppImage just set up directories in ~/.xonshrc:

# replace host python to xonsh.AppImage python
$PATH = [$PYTHONHOME + '/bin'] + $PATH

# setting up pip packages directory
import sys

And magic is here:

xonsh$ pip3 install tqdm
xonsh$ ls /tmp/xonsh/pip/
xonsh$ python
>>> import tqdm
>>> tqdm
<module 'tqdm' from '/tmp/xonsh/pip/tqdm/__init__.py'>
>>> # nice!


Python ImportError: No module named site

xonsh$ python
ImportError: No module named site

The error above was appeared because host machine python try to find right path for site-packages. The fix is just using python from AppImage by setting right path to it across $PYTHONHOME which was set by AppImage:

xonsh$ $PATH = [$PYTHONHOME + '/bin'] + $PATH
xonsh$ python
Python 3.7.3
>>> # success

GLIBs versions

You can noticed that we build AppImage in docker with older version of Ubuntu (16.04) to avoid error with core libraries versions when binary compiled on modern version can’t use older version of libraries. In this nasty case you can see the error like /xonsh-x86_64.AppImage: /lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libc.so.6: version GLIBC_2.25 not found (required by /ppp/xonsh-x86_64.AppImage). This means you should rebuild the AppImage for older version of distributive. If you know how to fix it once and forever feel free to tell us.

Windows Subsystem for Linux v1 (WSL1)

Need WSL support:

wsl1# ./xonsh.AppImage
fuse: device not found, try 'modprobe fuse' first

Cannot mount AppImage, please check your FUSE setup.
You might still be able to extract the contents of this AppImage
if you run it with the --appimage-extract option.
See https://github.com/AppImage/AppImageKit/wiki/FUSE
for more information
open dir error: No such file or directory

Workaround is extracting appimage and run manually:

wsl1$ ./xonsh.AppImage --appimage-extract
wsl1$ ./squashfs-root/usr/bin/python3.7