Exporting Applications

tutorial processing basic

So far our programs have only worked locally (on our own computer), but by now you probably want to share your programs with other people.

To allow other people to run one of our programs, we have to include all of the files it needs to run on a particular operating system. Windows needs different files than Linux, for example. To create this OS-specific bundle, we can export our sketch as an application.

Exporting Applications

You can use the Processing editor to bundle your sketch into an application that can be run on a particular operating system. Go to File -> Export Application, which brings up this window:

export options dialog

This dialog allows you to specify options for your application:

Then click the Export button. After a few seconds, your sketch folder should pop up, and it should contain directories for each system that you chose in the export options.

exported directories

Each directory contains an executable file that works on the corresponding operating system. Note: the executable file needs the entire directory to work! So you have to copy the whole directory over, not just the .exe file inside it. For example, if my friend has a Windows laptop, I would send them the application.windows64 directory (I could rename the directory before I send it). Then they would open that directory and run the MySketch.exe file inside of it. It won’t work if you just send the .exe file without the rest of the directory!

To make it easier to send an entire directory, you can create a .zip file that collects the directory into a single file. I use 7-Zip for this, but you could just use whatever archive tool comes with your computer. For example, on Windows 10 you can right-click a directory, then click Send to, then click Compressed (zipped) folder.

creating a zip file

You probably want to create a .zip file for each system you’re targetting:

zip files

Again, you don’t have to keep the default names. You should probably rename them to MySketch-Windows.zip or something. But now that you have those .zip files, you can send them to people! There are a few ways you can do that:

Now a user can download the .zip file for their operating system, then unzip that file and run the executable application inside the directory!


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