To enable HarfBuzz bindings for Python among other languages, make sure you have latest version of gobject-introspection available. On Ubuntu, you can install that this way: sudo apt-get install libgirepository1.0-dev And then run (if building from git), and then: ./configure --with-gobject --enable-introspection Make sure that gobject-introspection is enabled then in the final report. Compile and install. Make sure you have the installation lib dir in LD_LIBRARY_PATH, as needed for the linker to find the library. Then make sure you also have GI_TYPELIB_PATH pointing to the resulting $prefix/lib/girepository-* directory. Make sure you have pygobject installed. Then check that the following import works in your Python interpretter: from gi.repository import HarfBuzz If it does, you are ready to call HarfBuzz from Python! Congratulations. See src/ The Python API will change. Let us know on the mailing list if you are using it, and send lots of feedback.