When you install Xcode Command Line Tools, Apple includes Python 3.9.6. I'm wondering what depends upon this specific command line tool.

Is it a dependency for any Apple software?

  • Comment buried in apple.stackexchange.com/questions/450921/… says "Why is because the SDK's are in it.
    – Gilby
    Commented Jun 6 at 5:26
  • 1
    Which practical problem are you trying to solve here?
    – nohillside
    Commented Jun 6 at 5:44
  • @Gilby I think that comment means "XCLT is large because the SDKs are in it", not "python is included in XCLT because the SDKs are in it".
    – benwiggy
    Commented Jun 6 at 6:39
  • @benwiggy Oh, yes, that is more likely.
    – Gilby
    Commented Jun 6 at 11:04
  • 1
    I’m going to close this and remove some off-topic aspects with an edit. We don’t answer why Apple does things. Reframing this to be what Apple software depends on python is legitimately on-topic. Asking if any third party software depends on a command line tools is a bit opinionated and broad and probably off topic too.
    – bmike
    Commented Jun 6 at 18:02

2 Answers 2


A quick search of the Xcode app reveals that python scripts are used in /usr/lib/bitcode_build_tool, and in the LLDB and CoreSymbolication frameworks.

Personally, I just think it's nice for everyone to have a 'known' version of python that you can rely on being there, even if it's not the latest. (Before Apple removed python 2, you could run the same scripts on Big Sur and Snow Leopard!)


I found an answer on discussions.apple.com. A user answers:

It is a dependency for Xcode. There are some obscure bits (Core Symbolication, LLDB, Bitcode build tool, and a couple of others) that have ".py" files.

  • 2
    Is there an echo in here?
    – benwiggy
    Commented Jun 7 at 8:23
  • Would you prefer this as an edit to your answer Ben?
    – bmike
    Commented Jun 7 at 10:36
  • @bmike No. The linked explanation was posted many hours after Ben’s. It’s either copying Ben’s or independently found the same information (it’s hardly rocket science). This answer provides zero value and should simply be deleted.
    – nobody
    Commented Jun 8 at 3:38

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