deltachat python bindings

This package provides bindings to the deltachat-core C-library which provides imap/smtp/crypto handling as well as chat/group/messages handling to Android, Desktop and IO user interfaces.


You may also want to build a wheel using docker instead of manually building deltachat-core. See below for this.

  1. First you need to install the delta-core C-library.

  2. Install virtualenv if you don’t have it, then create and use a fresh clean python environment:

    virtualenv -p python3 venv
    source venv/bin/activate

    Afterwards invoking python or pip install will only modify files in your venv directory.

  3. Install the bindings with pip:

    pip install deltachat

    Afterwards you should be able to successfully import the bindings:

    python -c "import deltachat"

You may now look at examples.

Running tests

Get a checkout of the deltachat-core github repository and type:

cd python
pip install tox

If you want to run functional tests that run against real e-mail accounts, generate a “liveconfig” file where each lines contains account settings, for example:

# 'liveconfig' file specifying imap/smtp accounts mail_pw=password mail_pw=otherpassword

And then run the tests with this live-accounts config file:

tox -- --liveconfig liveconfig

Building manylinux1 wheels

Building portable manylinux1 wheels which come with and all it’s dependencies is easy using the provided docker tooling.

You will need docker, the first builds a custom docker image. This is slow initially but normally updates are cached by docker. If no changes were made to the dependencies this step is not needed at all even, though as mentioned docker will cache the results so there’s no harm is running it again:

$ pwd               # Make sure the current working directory is the
.../deltachat-core  # top of the deltachat-core project checkout.
$ docker build -t deltachat-wheel python/wheelbuilder/

Now you should have an image called dcwhl listed if you run docker images. This image can now be used to build both and the Python wheel with the bindings which bundle this:

$ docker run --rm -it -v $(pwd):/io/ deltachat-wheel /io/python/wheelbuilder/

The wheels will be in python/wheelhouse.


On more recent systems running the docker image may crash. You can fix this by adding vsyscall=emulate to the Linux kernel boot arguments commandline. E.g. on Debian you’d add this to GRUB_CMDLINE_LINUX_DEFAULT in /etc/default/grub.