Deprecated since version 2.6: The
user module has been removed in Python 3.
As a policy, Python doesn’t run user-specified code on startup of Python
programs. (Only interactive sessions execute the script specified in the
PYTHONSTARTUP environment variable if it exists).
However, some programs or sites may find it convenient to allow users to have a standard customization file, which gets run when a program requests it. This module implements such a mechanism. A program that wishes to use the mechanism must execute the statement
user module looks for a file
.pythonrc.py in the user’s home
directory and if it can be opened, executes it (using
execfile()) in its
own (the module
user’s) global namespace. Errors during this phase are
not caught; that’s up to the program that imports the
user module, if it
wishes. The home directory is assumed to be named by the
environment variable; if this is not set, the current directory is used.
.pythonrc.py could conceivably test for
sys.version if it
wishes to do different things depending on the Python version.
A warning to users: be very conservative in what you place in your
.pythonrc.py file. Since you don’t know which programs will use it,
changing the behavior of standard modules or functions is generally not a good
A suggestion for programmers who wish to use this mechanism: a simple way to let
users specify options for your package is to have them define variables in their
.pythonrc.py file that you test in your module. For example, a module
spam that has a verbosity level can look for a variable
user.spam_verbose, as follows:
import user verbose = bool(getattr(user, "spam_verbose", 0))
(The three-argument form of
getattr() is used in case the user has not
spam_verbose in their
Programs with extensive customization needs are better off reading a program-specific customization file.
Programs with security or privacy concerns should not import this module; a
user can easily break into a program by placing arbitrary code in the
Modules for general use should not import this module; it may interfere with the operation of the importing program.
- Site-wide customization mechanism.