A better Python REPL
pip install ptpython
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 stuff.
 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.
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())
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.
It is possible to create a
~/.ptpython/config.py file to customize the configuration.
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)
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.
- Docopt: Command-line interface description language.
- wcwidth: Determine columns needed for a wide characters.
- prompt_toolkit for the interface.