PyInstaller: Issue with finding ‘/usr/sbin/neato’ when adding binary and data files

What will you learn?

In this tutorial, you will master the art of resolving the PyInstaller error that arises when attempting to add binary and data files but encountering difficulties in locating the specified path.

Introduction to the Problem and Solution

When working with PyInstaller, it is common to face challenges in locating specific files like ‘/usr/sbin/neato’ essential for inclusion in the bundled application. This issue can disrupt the packaging process, leading to errors. To overcome this hurdle, it is crucial to assist PyInstaller in identifying these additional files accurately for successful integration into the packaged application.

To tackle this problem effectively, we need to provide explicit paths for PyInstaller to search for when incorporating binary or data files. By furnishing precise instructions on the file locations, we can ensure that PyInstaller seamlessly includes them in the final executable.


# Specify additional paths for PyInstaller using datas option
import sys
from PyInstaller.__main__ import run

if __name__ == '__main__':
    opts = ['', '--onefile', '--add-data=/usr/sbin/neato:.']

# Copyright PHD

Note: Make sure to replace ‘/usr/sbin/neato’ with the actual path of your binary or data file.



In the provided code snippet: – We import necessary modules from the PyInstaller package. – A list named opts is defined with options for running PyInstaller alongside our script. – The ‘–add-data=/usr/sbin/neato:.’ flag guides PyInstaller on where to locate /usr/sbin/neato and incorporate it into the build. – Finally, we execute run(opts) while passing our options list.

This approach empowers us to explicitly specify additional paths and resources required by our script during packaging using PyInstaller.

    1. How do I fix “Unable to find” error in Pyinstaller? To rectify this error, ensure accurate paths are provided for any extra binary or data files using appropriate flags like –add-data.

    2. Can I include multiple files using –add-data flag? Yes, you can include multiple files by individually specifying each one within your options list.

    3. What if my file path contains spaces? Enclose paths containing spaces within double quotes (“) in your options list while specifying –add-data flag.

    4. Is there a limit on how many extra files I can include? While there isn’t a fixed limit, aim to keep unnecessary additions minimal for quicker performance during packaging.

    5. How do I troubleshoot if my file still cannot be found? Double-check your path names and verify that correct permissions are set on those files/directories being added as data binaries.

    6. Can I use relative paths instead of absolute ones? Absolutely! You can utilize relative paths based on your script’s location; just ensure they are accurately referenced within –add-data flag parameters.


Successfully addressing challenges related to integrating external resources while packaging applications with tools like Pyinstaller necessitates precision in specifying resource locations. By meticulously following detailed steps and ensuring proper configuration settings such as adding necessary flags (–add-data), users can adeptly sidestep common pitfalls encountered throughout this process.

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