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Running a Py File: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Run Your Python Scripts and Code

A Python script or program is a file containing executable Python code. Being able to run Python scripts and code is essential for any Python developer. It allows you to test and debug your code, ensuring it works as intended. In this tutorial, we will explore various techniques for running Python scripts and code in different environments.

To maximize the benefits of this tutorial, it is recommended that you have a basic understanding of your operating system’s command line or terminal, as well as how to navigate your file manager. Familiarity with a Python-friendly IDE or code editor, and knowledge of the Python REPL (Read-Eval-Print Loop), will also be helpful.

What Scripts and Modules Are

In computing, a script refers to a text file that contains a series of commands or instructions to automate specific tasks, usually written in a scripting language. In the case of Python, a script is a file with .py extension that contains Python code. These scripts are typically interpreted at runtime, rather than compiled beforehand.

How to Run Python Scripts From the Command Line

Running Python scripts from the command line is a common and straightforward method. There are multiple ways to execute a Python script:

  1. Using the python Command: Open your command line or terminal and type python, followed by the script’s filename. This method requires Python to be installed on your system.

  2. Using the Script’s Filename Directly: If the script has the appropriate shebang line (#! python) at the beginning, you can run it directly by typing the filename in the command line and pressing enter.

  3. Running Modules With the -m Option: If your script is organized as a module with a if __name__ == "__main__": block, you can run it using the -m option followed by the module name.

How to Run Python Code Interactively

Python provides an interactive mode for executing code line by line. This mode is useful for quick testing and experimentation. You can access the Python Interpreter by typing python or python3 in your command line or terminal. Once in the interpreter, you can enter Python code directly and see the results immediately.

How to Run Scripts From Python Code

Python allows you to run scripts from within other Python code using the exec() function or the import statement.

  1. Taking Advantage of import Statements: By importing a script file as a module, you can access its functions, classes, and variables within your Python code. This method is useful when you want to reuse code or organize your codebase into multiple files.

  2. Using the importlib Standard-Library Module: The importlib module provides additional flexibility and control for importing and executing Python scripts dynamically. It allows you to programmatically import and run scripts at runtime.

  3. Leveraging the Power of the Built-in exec() Function: The exec() function enables you to execute Python code stored as a string. This method is useful when you want to dynamically generate and execute code.

How to Run Python Scripts on IDEs and Code Editors

Most Python-friendly IDEs and code editors offer built-in features to run Python scripts directly from within the editor. These features provide a more integrated development environment and streamline the execution process. Consult the documentation of your specific IDE or code editor to learn how to run Python scripts within it.

How to Run Python Scripts From a File Manager

You can also run Python scripts by executing them from your operating system’s file manager. The process may differ depending on your operating system. In general, you need to associate the .py file extension with the Python interpreter, allowing you to run scripts by double-clicking them.


Running Python scripts and code is essential for any Python developer. By understanding the various methods and techniques for executing Python code, you can test, debug, and automate your programs effectively. Whether it’s running scripts from the command line, executing code interactively, or integrating with IDEs and code editors, being able to run Python code is a fundamental skill that every Python developer should possess.