how to start a python script only once

Daniel Fetchinson fetchinson at
Sun Mar 14 11:49:08 CET 2010

> I'd like to make sure, that a certain python program will only be run
> once per host. (linux/windows)
> so if the program is started a second time it should just terminate and
> let the other one run.
> This does not have to be the fastest solution, but it should be reliable.
> I have a few ideas, but wonder, which one is the most common
> My ideas so far:
> pid file and file locking
> --------------------------
> create a file like  with the pid of the running program an
> use file locking to avoid race connditions.
> However I currently don't know how to do file locking under windows
> and I don't know how to do file lockng with python and linux.
> I'll start googling.

This is the variant I'm using frequently too and I'd recommend to you as well.
Simple to implement and largely problem-free.


Psss, psss, put it down! -

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