Thursday, March 03, 2011

History in Python shell

I never could get used to ipython, but still wish for command history in my shell. You too? I'm reposting this solution here that not only saves your command history between sessions but also gives you auto-completion.

Here's what you do. Store the following file in ~/.pystartup

Don't forget to export PYTHONSTARTUP as noted in the comments.

# Add auto-completion and a stored history file of commands to your Python
# interactive interpreter. Requires Python 2.0+, readline. Autocomplete is
# bound to the Esc key by default (you can change it - see readline docs).
# Store the file in ~/.pystartup, and set an environment variable to point
# to it: "export PYTHONSTARTUP=/home/user/.pystartup" in bash.
# Note that PYTHONSTARTUP does *not* expand "~", so you have to put in the
# full path to your home directory.

import atexit
import os
import readline
import rlcompleter

readline.parse_and_bind('tab: complete')
historyPath = os.path.expanduser("~/.pyhistory")

def save_history(historyPath=historyPath):
import readline

if os.path.exists(historyPath):

del os, atexit, readline, rlcompleter, save_history, historyPath

Please note that this will only work on *nix systems. As readline is only available in Unix platform.

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