This document is for an old version of Python that is no longer supported. You should upgrade, and read the Python documentation for the current stable release.

File Objects

These APIs are a minimal emulation of the Python 2 C API for built-in file objects, which used to rely on the buffered I/O (FILE*) support from the C standard library. In Python 3, files and streams use the new io module, which defines several layers over the low-level unbuffered I/O of the operating system. The functions described below are convenience C wrappers over these new APIs, and meant mostly for internal error reporting in the interpreter; third-party code is advised to access the io APIs instead.

PyFile_FromFd(int fd, const char *name, const char *mode, int buffering, const char *encoding, const char *errors, const char *newline, int closefd)

Create a Python file object from the file descriptor of an already opened file fd. The arguments name, encoding, errors and newline can be NULL to use the defaults; buffering can be -1 to use the default. name is ignored and kept for backward compatibility. Return NULL on failure. For a more comprehensive description of the arguments, please refer to the function documentation.


Since Python streams have their own buffering layer, mixing them with OS-level file descriptors can produce various issues (such as unexpected ordering of data).

Changed in version 3.2: Ignore name attribute.

int PyObject_AsFileDescriptor(PyObject *p)

Return the file descriptor associated with p as an int. If the object is an integer, its value is returned. If not, the object’s fileno() method is called if it exists; the method must return an integer, which is returned as the file descriptor value. Sets an exception and returns -1 on failure.

PyObject* PyFile_GetLine(PyObject *p, int n)
Return value: New reference.

Equivalent to p.readline([n]), this function reads one line from the object p. p may be a file object or any object with a readline() method. If n is 0, exactly one line is read, regardless of the length of the line. If n is greater than 0, no more than n bytes will be read from the file; a partial line can be returned. In both cases, an empty string is returned if the end of the file is reached immediately. If n is less than 0, however, one line is read regardless of length, but EOFError is raised if the end of the file is reached immediately.

int PyFile_WriteObject(PyObject *obj, PyObject *p, int flags)

Write object obj to file object p. The only supported flag for flags is Py_PRINT_RAW; if given, the str() of the object is written instead of the repr(). Return 0 on success or -1 on failure; the appropriate exception will be set.

int PyFile_WriteString(const char *s, PyObject *p)

Write string s to file object p. Return 0 on success or -1 on failure; the appropriate exception will be set.

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