A better Python REPL
pip install ptpython
Ptpython is an advanced Python REPL. It should work on all Python versions from 2.6 up to 3.9 and work cross platform (Linux, BSD, OS X and Windows).
Note: this version of ptpython requires at least Python 3.6. Install ptpython 2.0.5 for older Python versions.
Install it using pip:
pip install ptpython
Start it by typing
- Syntax highlighting.
- Multiline editing (the up arrow works).
- Mouse support. 
- Support for color schemes.
- Support for bracketed paste .
- Both Vi and Emacs key bindings.
- Support for double width (Chinese) characters.
- … and many other things.
 Disabled by default. (Enable in the menu.)
 If the terminal supports it (most terminals do), this allows pasting without going into paste mode. It will keep the indentation.
__pt_repr__: A nicer repr with colors
When classes implement a
__pt_repr__ method, this will be used instead of
__repr__ for printing. Any prompt_toolkit “formatted text” can be returned from here. In order to avoid writing a
__repr__ as well, the
ptpython.utils.ptrepr_to_repr decorator can be applied. For instance:
from ptpython.utils import ptrepr_to_repr from prompt_toolkit.formatted_text import HTML @ptrepr_to_repr class MyClass: def __pt_repr__(self): return HTML('<yellow>Hello world!</yellow>')
The configuration menu:
The history page and its help:
Embedding the REPL
Embedding the REPL in any Python application is easy:
from ptpython.repl import embed embed(globals(), locals())
You can make ptpython your default Python REPL by creating a PYTHONSTARTUP file containing code like this:
import sys try: from ptpython.repl import embed except ImportError: print("ptpython is not available: falling back to standard prompt") else: sys.exit(embed(globals(), locals()))
Multi-line editing mode will automatically turn on when you press enter after a colon.
To execute the input in multi-line mode, you can either press
Esc followed by
Enter. (If you want the first to work in the OS X terminal, you have to check the “Use option as meta key” checkbox in your terminal settings. For iTerm2, you have to check “Left option acts as +Esc” in the options.)
ptpython will see whether the input is syntactically correct Python code. If not, it will show a warning, and move the cursor to the error.
Running system commands: Press
Meta-! in Emacs mode or just
! in Vi navigation mode to see the “Shell command” prompt. There you can enter system commands without leaving the REPL.
Selecting text: Press
Control+Space in Emacs mode or
V (major V) in Vi navigation mode.
It is possible to create a
config.py file to customize configuration. ptpython will look in an appropriate platform-specific directory via appdirs <https://pypi.org/project/appdirs/>. See the
appdirs documentation for the precise location for your platform. A
PTPYTHON_CONFIG_HOME environment variable, if set, can also be used to explicitly override where configuration is looked for.
Have a look at this example to see what is possible: config.py
ptipython (prompt_toolkit – IPython), to get a nice interactive shell with all the power that IPython has to offer, like magic functions and shell integration. Make sure that IPython has been installed. (
pip install ipython)
This is also available for embedding:
from ptpython.ipython.repl import embed embed(globals(), locals())
django-extensions has a
shell_plus management command. When
ptpython has been installed, it will by default use
There is an experimental PDB replacement: ptpdb.
ptpython works better on Linux and OS X than on Windows. Some things might not work, but it is usable:
Ctrl-S forward search doesn’t work and freezes my terminal.
A: Try to run
stty -ixon in your terminal to disable flow control.
Meta-key doesn’t work.
A: For some terminals you have to enable the Alt-key to act as meta key, but you can also type
Escape before any key instead.
If you find another alternative, you can create an issue and we’ll list it here. If you find a nice feature somewhere that is missing in
ptpython, also create a GitHub issue and maybe we’ll implement it.
Special thanks to
- Pygments: Syntax highlighter.
- Jedi: Autocompletion library.
- wcwidth: Determine columns needed for a wide characters.
- prompt_toolkit for the interface.