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While this topic might seem like a beginner’s level concept, it is not just for a novice Python developer who has written their first code and is wondering how to run the script. This article is about giving you, a Software Engineer, several methods to run a Python script. So if one method fails for any reason, you can fall back on one of the others and run your script without any hassle!
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In this article, we’ll discuss:
Here’s what each of these terms means:
A commonly used method of running Python code is via an interactive session. We can run the Python interpreter in interactive mode. In an interactive session, you can test every piece of code as you go, making this a useful development tool. Statements written when working with an interactive session are evaluated and executed immediately. When the interactive session ends, the code ceases to exist.
You can initiate a Python interactive session by typing Python in the command-line or terminal and pressing Enter. On Windows terminal and UNIX terminal, >>> represent the standard prompt for the interactive mode. A lack of these characters means that you need to re-install Python. But once you get them, you can start typing individual lines of code in Python, which the interactive session remembers, and test them individually.
Most Python programmers prefer using text editors and directly run their Python script file or code from there. One reason for this is that in a Python interactive session, the code is lost after the session ends, but that’s not a limitation for text editors.
Text editors essentially point the Python interpreter to the Python code. Some widely used text editors are:
When working on Windows or UNIX OS, the Python files must be saved with .py as the extension. The steps to use a text editor to run Python Script are:
Instead of writing code line by line in a terminal, if you write all your code in your text editor and save it with a .py extension, you can run that Python script in the terminal in the following way:
The process for running Python script using command line or terminal is simple but will look different for different operating systems. Let us discuss how that works in the three most popular operating systems.
On Windows, the command line is called the command prompt and can be accessed in the following ways:
Once you’ve opened the command prompt:
The process to run a script in a Mac system is pretty simple:
You can also state python3 file_name.py and press Enter to run a python script stored in file_name.py
To run a script on Linux:
The interpreter serves as the Python code runner. You need it to run your code no matter how you do it. The process to run Python script by the interpreter is called the Python Execution Model, which consists of the following steps:
Instead of writing your desired version preference and options every time you run a python file, you can store the command (for example, py -3.5 mycode.py) in a file with the extension mycode.bat. The file will then be called a batch file, and it just runs your command as preferred.
You can also include @echo off optionally in your batch file to keep the python command from being echoed on screen when it’s executed.
To run your Python script written in mycode.py, you can just run the file mycode.bat, for which you just type mycode.bat on command prompt and press Enter.
To write the output of Python script to a file:
1. How do I download and install Python?
You begin by downloading the current production version of Python from the Python Download site. Then you double-click the downloaded file icon and accept default settings (or customize if you know what you need), and then click on the finish button to complete your installation.
2. Where can I run Python code online?
You can run python code online at Python.org, which is the official website of Python. You can also use online compilers like Sphere Engine to easily run Python code in different Python versions.
3. In the terminal, when do we need to give the full path of the script, and when will giving only the file name work?
When you’re in the directory where your python script exists, you can only use the python file name. If you’re in any other directory, you’ll need to give the full path.
4. How do I import a Python script into another script?
You can import a file, say, file_name.py using import by writing: import file_name
5. How do I make a Python file executable?
First, in your script, at the top, add a shebang line #!/usr/bin/env python. To make your script executable, run the command chmod +x myscript.py.
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