# Duplicating list of lists [newbie]

George Sakkis george.sakkis at gmail.com
Sun Mar 23 16:39:53 CET 2008

On Mar 23, 11:34 am, yat... at gmail.com wrote:
> Hi there.
> I felt like I already know my toys around but it looks that I'm still
> newbie on some points.
>
> So here goes problem:
>
> Lets say that we have list to copy:
>
> a = [1,2,3]
> b = a[:]
> a[0] = 5
>
> a
>
> > [5,2,3]
> b
> >[1,2,3]
>
> So far so good
>
> But... let's say that "a" also contains lists:
>
> a = [1,2,[5,6,7]]
> b = a[:]
>
> a[0] = 55
> a
>
> > [55,2,[5,6,7]]
> b
> > [1,2,[5,6,7]]
>
> Looks OK but...
>
> a[2][0] = 99
> a
>
> > [55,2,[99,6,7]]
> b
> > [1,2,[99,6,7]]
>
> So - it looks that in list "b" there copy of all objects from list "a"
> including not copy of list [5,6,7] but reference to it.

Right; that's what it's called a "shallow copy".

> Is there simple way to copy a into b (like a[:]) with all copies of
> all objects going as deep as possible?

Yes, there is:

from copy import deepcopy
b = deepcopy(a)

HTH,
George