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python.el is now distributed with Emacs; this repository is no longer maintained.


Donations welcome!

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If you are using Emacs 24.3 you already have a version of python.el. If you are using an Emacs 24.x prior 24.3 or you want to update your copy with some of the enhancements happening on Emacs add the following snippet in your .emacs:

(add-to-list 'load-path user-emacs-directory)

(defun my:ensure-python.el (&optional branch overwrite)
  "Install python.el from BRANCH.
After the first install happens the file is not overwritten again
unless the optional argument OVERWRITE is non-nil.  When called
interactively python.el will always be overwritten with the
latest version."
    (completing-read "Install python.el from branch: "
                     (list "master" "emacs-24")
                     nil t)
  (let* ((branch (or branch "master"))
         (url (format
               (concat ""
                       "/lisp/progmodes/python.el?h=%s") branch))
         (destination (expand-file-name "python.el" user-emacs-directory))
         (write (or (not (file-exists-p destination)) overwrite)))
    (when write
          (url-retrieve-synchronously url)
        (delete-region (point-min) (1+ url-http-end-of-headers))
        (write-file destination))
      (byte-compile-file destination t)


The master branch does its best to remain compatible with Emacs 24.x but it may break, although fixing compatibility breakage is priority (fill a bug report if you happen to find this). The "emacs-24" tends to be safer but new features are not added into it.

Whatever flavor you choose, if you are using a version prior to Emacs 24.3 you need cl-lib[0] which is available from GNU ELPA[1] package archive.

[0] [1]

Alternate method with el-get

If you are using el-get already you can install python24 for the current emacs-24 branch version or python for the master branch.


This is now the official Python major mode for GNU Emacs.

It aims to provide the stuff you'll expect from a major mode for python editing while keeping it simple.

Currently it implements Syntax highlighting, Indentation, Movement, Shell interaction, Shell completion, Shell virtualenv support, Pdb tracking, Symbol completion, Skeletons, FFAP, Code Check, Eldoc, Imenu.

  • Syntax highlighting
  • Solid (auto)indentation support
  • auto-detection of indentation levels for current file
  • Robust triple quoted strings support
  • Fancy variable assignment colorization
  • Movement commands you'll expect from a major-mode.
  • Sexp-like movement
  • Python shell integration (not only for Python 2 but also Python 3!)
  • Python shell completion (Same as above!)
  • Python shell virtualenv support (as simple as setting a variable!)
  • PDB Tracking (it even supports ipdb!)
  • Symbol completion that sucks because a running inferior shell process and valid code in the current buffer are needed (Don't blame me, it's like that in every python-mode I know). Notice I don't recommend this thing, use ropemacs instead
  • Skeletons with a tight integration with dabbrev out of the box
  • FFAP (Find Filename At Point), click on an import statement and go to the module definition.
  • Code check via pychecker by default (this is customizable of course)
  • Eldoc support (this suffers the same drawbacks as the symbol completion, but it's the only sane way to do it from Elisp)
  • imenu support to easily navigate your code
  • add-log-current-defun support
  • hideshow support
  • outline support
  • fill paragraph (with customizable docstring formatting)

The code is well organized in parts with some clean sensitive naming.


None, besides Emacs>=24.

Emacs 23?

Latest know version to work with Emacs 23 can be found at any functionality/bugfixing back-port that may (or may not) happen in the future will be placed there.

Bug Reports

The github bug-tracker is being deprecated.

To report bugs, or to contribute fixes and improvements, use the built-in Emacs bug reporter (M-x report-emacs-bug) or send email to You can browse Emacs bug database at For more information on contributing, see the CONTRIBUTE file (distributed with Emacs).


python.el is free software under the GPL v3, see LICENSE file for details.


Python's flying circus support for Emacs







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