Running python from pty without prompt

Steve D'Aprano steve+python at
Wed Dec 14 18:27:08 EST 2016

On Thu, 15 Dec 2016 01:28 am, Random832 wrote:

> On Tue, Dec 13, 2016, at 19:10, Steve D'Aprano wrote:
>> Can you show a simple demonstration of what you are doing?
>> I'm having difficulty following this thread because I don't know
>> what "script run on a tty" means.
> The question is literally about the input/script being the tty and not
> redirected from any other file, which causes an interactive prompt in
> CPython, but does not do so in some other languages. I don't understand
> what part of this you're not getting.

What can I say? Maybe I'm just slow. Or maybe you're falling into the curse
of knowledge:

I'm not the only one having trouble understanding the nature of this
problem -- Michael Torrie has also said "though a tty comes into this
somehow and I'm not clear on that".

What is meant by "the input/script being the tty"? And how does that relate
to the subject line which refers to a pty?

That's why I've asked for a simple example that demonstrates the issue. But
apparently this simple example is so simple that nobody knows how to write
it. I cannot replicate the OP's problem from his description alone, and I
have not seen an example where the Python prompt is shown apart from when
running Python interactively.

So... the input is the tty. I don't know what that means, but I think I know
what it isn't. I'm fairly confident it isn't when you pipe the output of
one process to Python:

# not this
[steve at ando ~]$ echo "import sys; print sys.version" | python
2.7.2 (default, May 18 2012, 18:25:10)
[GCC 4.1.2 20080704 (Red Hat 4.1.2-52)]

And likewise you said it is not when input is *redirected* from a file, so
it probably isn't this:

[steve at ando ~]$ cat myfile
import sys; print sys.version

[steve at ando ~]$ python < myfile
2.7.2 (default, May 18 2012, 18:25:10)
[GCC 4.1.2 20080704 (Red Hat 4.1.2-52)]

and surely I can eliminate passing the file name as a command line argument
(python myfile) as well. So what is left?

Michael Torrie suggests something more or less like this, redirecting stdin
to Python with a here-doc:

[steve at ando ~]$ python << .
> import sys
> print sys.version
> .
2.7.2 (default, May 18 2012, 18:25:10) 
[GCC 4.1.2 20080704 (Red Hat 4.1.2-52)]

(Michael's version used EOF rather than a dot.) There's a prompt, but it's
not the Python prompt, it's from the shell. Since you are insisting that
the Python interactive prompt is involved, then surely Michael's example
isn't what you mean either.

So I now have *four* ways of running code in Python that *don't* match the
OP's problem (five if you include the standard REPL) and I'm not closer to
understanding the OP's problem.

“Cheer up,” they said, “things could be worse.” So I cheered up, and sure
enough, things got worse.

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