Changing a shell's current directory with python

Peter Hansen peter at
Mon Dec 19 02:36:48 CET 2005

Andy B. wrote:
> I've got a python utility that I want to change my shell's current
> directory based on criteria it finds.  I've scoured google and the
> python cookbook and can't seem to figure out if this is even possible.
>  So far, all my attempts have changed the current python session only.
>  Am I going to have to wrap this in a shell script?

As you've heard, you can't get there from here.  In fact, even just 
wrapping with a shell script likely won't be enough, unless you are 
willing to "source" the script every time you run it.  The only way I 
know of (and I'd be happy to hear alternatives) to do this in a 
_transparent_ manner is to combine an alias (which uses "source" for 
you) with a wrapper script _and_ to have that wrapper script read from 
some place (stdout or a temporary file or ?) to which the Python script 
can communicate the desired new environment variables and/or current 


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