bad behaviour in interactive Python prompt

Mark Dickinson dickinsm at
Tue Jul 14 15:26:19 EDT 2009

On Jul 14, 8:20 pm, "~km" <knny.m... at> wrote:
> I'm experiencing a strange behaviour of the Python prompt when using
> the
> four arrow keys ( not the VIM' nor Emacs' ones ;-) ). Instead of
> getting
> the previous and next command respectively I get ugly characters. See
> it
> yourself:
> This is not directly Python-specific, but you feel quite handicapped
> if
> you must rewrite each command again... so my obvious question is:
> How can I fix this? Please, let me know if you can tell me something.
> Additional information:
> I'm running Ubuntu Linux
> I've tried the python prompt in several shell environments and got the
> same issue in csh, dash... all negative.

Where did your version of Python 2.6 come from?

If you built your copy of Python 2.6 from source, then the problem is
probably that either the readline library is missing, or (much more
likely) the include files for the readline library are missing.  Look
for a package called something like libreadline5-dev or readline-devel
and install it, and then try rebuilding Python.


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