Welcome to pysdl2-cffi’s documentation!

pysdl2-cffi is a Python wrapper for SDL2 written using cffi, featuring:

  • A cffi + dlopen interface to the underlying SDL2 libraries.
  • Automatically generated, consistent helper functions for SDL2, SDL_image, SDL_mixer, and SDL_ttf that hide most allocation and dereferencing.
  • Useful docstrings on every function, including the C function signature and (for SDL2 only) the library’s original doxygen documentation reformatted as Sphinx restructured text.
  • A small collection of libSDL2’s original example / test programs converted to Python using Eric S. Raymond’s ctopy.

The goal is to provide a flat, consistent, faithful-to-C binding with some more-Pythonic renaming and conveniences.

This wrapper won’t contain anything that doesn’t directly translate to part of the library’s API. The goal is to be a dependency for something like pygame, not a replacement.

This library should be compatible with Linux, OSX and Windows.

This library is licensed under the GPLv2 or (at your option) any later version. Alternatively a commercial license can be purchased from the author for a nominal fee.

Install with pip, or download from https://pypi.python.org/pypi/pysdl2-cffi

Source hosted at https://bitbucket.org/dholth/pysdl2-cffi

Documentation hosted at https://pythonhosted.org/pysdl2-cffi



  • Struct wrappers now expose all the attributes of the C-level struct as properties. Great for tinkering, as the property names can now be inspected interactively.
  • Struct wrappers no longer pass all attribute access through getattr/setattr. Arbitrary data can be attached to the struct wrappers as is customary in Python.
  • Fix a capitalization error for the “classy” API to conform to the general binding rules. ob.gL_Function is now ob.GL_Function.


  • Windows is now supported! You must manually download the SDL2 dll’s and place them on PATH set PATH=%PATH%;C:\users\me\SDL2Dir but pysdl2-cffi will attempt to load the Windows .dll as well as the Unix .so.


  • Enums are no longer wrapped in (nonexistent) classes
  • Python 2 can also pass Unicode where char* is required; automatically encoded to utf-8.


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