Integration of IPython pdb
Latest commit 70d40ff Jun 14, 2016 @gotcha Back to development: 0.10.2


IPython pdb


ipdb exports functions to access the IPython debugger, which features tab completion, syntax highlighting, better tracebacks, better introspection with the same interface as the pdb module.

Example usage:

import ipdb
ipdb.set_trace(context=5)  # will show five lines of code
                           # instead of the default three lines'x[0] = 3')
result = ipdb.runcall(function, arg0, arg1, kwarg='foo')
result = ipdb.runeval('f(1,2) - 3')

The post-mortem function,, is equivalent to the magic function %debug.

If you install ipdb with a tool which supports setuptools entry points, an ipdb script is made for you. You can use it to debug your python 2 scripts like

$ bin/ipdb

And for python 3

$ bin/ipdb3

Alternatively with Python 2.7 only, you can also use

$ python -m ipdb

You can also enclose code with the with statement to launch ipdb if an exception is raised:

from ipdb import launch_ipdb_on_exception

with launch_ipdb_on_exception():


Context managers were introduced in Python 2.5. Adding a context manager implies dropping Python 2.4 support. Use ipdb==0.6 with 2.4.


Using from future import print_function for Python 3 compat implies dropping Python 2.5 support. Use ipdb<=0.8 with 2.5.

Issues with stdout

Some tools, like nose fiddle with stdout.

Until ipdb==0.9.4, we tried to guess when we should also fiddle with stdout to support those tools. However, all strategies tried until 0.9.4 have proven brittle.

If you use nose or another tool that fiddles with stdout, you should explicitely ask for stdout fiddling by using ipdb like this

import ipdb

from ipdb import slaunch_ipdb_on_exception
with slaunch_ipdb_on_exception():


ipdb source code and tracker are at

Pull requests should take care of updating the changelog HISTORY.txt.

Third-party support


Zope2 Products.PDBDebugMode uses ipdb, if available, in place of pdb.


iw.debug allows you to trigger an ipdb debugger on any published object of a Zope2 application.


ipdbplugin is a nose test runner plugin that also uses the IPython debugger instead of pdb. (It does not depend on ipdb anymore).