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Python's flying circus support for Emacs

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python.el is now distributed with Emacs; this repository is no longer maintained.


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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' repository you can download python.el from the following URLs:

The trunk version does its best to keep 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).

Put python.el where you place all your Emacs Lisp files and byte-compile it. One way to do it is to visit the file with Emacs and then issue M-x byte-compile-file

After that add the following to your .emacs:

(add-to-list 'load-path "/folder/containing/file")  ;; if it's not already in `load-path'
(require 'python)

The most simple installation option is to use el-get and add either python or python24 to your list of packages.

In case your el-get recipes are outdated you can append the following to your el-get-sources depending on the version you prefer:

(:name python
       :description "Python's flying circus support for Emacs (trunk version, hopefully Emacs 24.x compatible)"
       :type http
       :url "")


(:name python24
       :description "Python's flying circus support for Emacs (24.x)"
       :builtin "24.3"
       :type http
       :url "")


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.

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