# 29.9. traceback — Print or retrieve a stack traceback¶

Source code: Lib/traceback.py

This module provides a standard interface to extract, format and print stack traces of Python programs. It exactly mimics the behavior of the Python interpreter when it prints a stack trace. This is useful when you want to print stack traces under program control, such as in a “wrapper” around the interpreter.

The module uses traceback objects — this is the object type that is stored in the sys.last_traceback variable and returned as the third item from sys.exc_info().

The module defines the following functions:

traceback.print_tb(tb, limit=None, file=None)

Print up to limit stack trace entries from traceback object tb (starting from the caller’s frame) if limit is positive. Otherwise, print the last abs(limit) entries. If limit is omitted or None, all entries are printed. If file is omitted or None, the output goes to sys.stderr; otherwise it should be an open file or file-like object to receive the output.

Changed in version 3.5: Added negative limit support.

traceback.print_exception(etype, value, tb, limit=None, file=None, chain=True)

Print exception information and stack trace entries from traceback object tb to file. This differs from print_tb() in the following ways:

• if tb is not None, it prints a header Traceback (most recent call last):
• it prints the exception etype and value after the stack trace
• if type(value) is SyntaxError and value has the appropriate format, it prints the line where the syntax error occurred with a caret indicating the approximate position of the error.

The optional limit argument has the same meaning as for print_tb(). If chain is true (the default), then chained exceptions (the __cause__ or __context__ attributes of the exception) will be printed as well, like the interpreter itself does when printing an unhandled exception.

Changed in version 3.5: The etype argument is ignored and inferred from the type of value.

traceback.print_exc(limit=None, file=None, chain=True)

This is a shorthand for print_exception(*sys.exc_info(), limit, file, chain).

traceback.print_last(limit=None, file=None, chain=True)

This is a shorthand for print_exception(sys.last_type, sys.last_value, sys.last_traceback, limit, file, chain). In general it will work only after an exception has reached an interactive prompt (see sys.last_type).

traceback.print_stack(f=None, limit=None, file=None)

Print up to limit stack trace entries (starting from the invocation point) if limit is positive. Otherwise, print the last abs(limit) entries. If limit is omitted or None, all entries are printed. The optional f argument can be used to specify an alternate stack frame to start. The optional file argument has the same meaning as for print_tb().

Changed in version 3.5: Added negative limit support.

traceback.extract_tb(tb, limit=None)

Return a StackSummary object representing a list of “pre-processed” stack trace entries extracted from the traceback object tb. It is useful for alternate formatting of stack traces. The optional limit argument has the same meaning as for print_tb(). A “pre-processed” stack trace entry is a FrameSummary object containing attributes filename, lineno, name, and line representing the information that is usually printed for a stack trace. The line is a string with leading and trailing whitespace stripped; if the source is not available it is None.

traceback.extract_stack(f=None, limit=None)

Extract the raw traceback from the current stack frame. The return value has the same format as for extract_tb(). The optional f and limit arguments have the same meaning as for print_stack().

traceback.format_list(extracted_list)

Given a list of tuples or FrameSummary objects as returned by extract_tb() or extract_stack(), return a list of strings ready for printing. Each string in the resulting list corresponds to the item with the same index in the argument list. Each string ends in a newline; the strings may contain internal newlines as well, for those items whose source text line is not None.

traceback.format_exception_only(etype, value)

Format the exception part of a traceback. The arguments are the exception type and value such as given by sys.last_type and sys.last_value. The return value is a list of strings, each ending in a newline. Normally, the list contains a single string; however, for SyntaxError exceptions, it contains several lines that (when printed) display detailed information about where the syntax error occurred. The message indicating which exception occurred is the always last string in the list.

traceback.format_exception(etype, value, tb, limit=None, chain=True)

Format a stack trace and the exception information. The arguments have the same meaning as the corresponding arguments to print_exception(). The return value is a list of strings, each ending in a newline and some containing internal newlines. When these lines are concatenated and printed, exactly the same text is printed as does print_exception().

Changed in version 3.5: The etype argument is ignored and inferred from the type of value.

traceback.format_exc(limit=None, chain=True)

This is like print_exc(limit) but returns a string instead of printing to a file.

traceback.format_tb(tb, limit=None)

A shorthand for format_list(extract_tb(tb, limit)).

traceback.format_stack(f=None, limit=None)

A shorthand for format_list(extract_stack(f, limit)).

traceback.clear_frames(tb)

Clears the local variables of all the stack frames in a traceback tb by calling the clear() method of each frame object.

New in version 3.4.

traceback.walk_stack(f)

Walk a stack following f.f_back from the given frame, yielding the frame and line number for each frame. If f is None, the current stack is used. This helper is used with StackSummary.extract().

New in version 3.5.

traceback.walk_tb(tb)

Walk a traceback following tb_next yielding the frame and line number for each frame. This helper is used with StackSummary.extract().

New in version 3.5.

The module also defines the following classes:

## 29.9.1. TracebackException Objects¶

New in version 3.5.

TracebackException objects are created from actual exceptions to capture data for later printing in a lightweight fashion.

class traceback.TracebackException(exc_type, exc_value, exc_traceback, *, limit=None, lookup_lines=True, capture_locals=False)

Capture an exception for later rendering. limit, lookup_lines and capture_locals are as for the StackSummary class.

Note that when locals are captured, they are also shown in the traceback.

__cause__

A TracebackException of the original __cause__.

__context__

A TracebackException of the original __context__.

__suppress_context__

The __suppress_context__ value from the original exception.

stack

A StackSummary representing the traceback.

exc_type

The class of the original traceback.

filename

For syntax errors - the file name where the error occurred.

lineno

For syntax errors - the line number where the error occurred.

text

For syntax errors - the text where the error occurred.

offset

For syntax errors - the offset into the text where the error occurred.

msg

For syntax errors - the compiler error message.

classmethod from_exception(exc, *, limit=None, lookup_lines=True, capture_locals=False)

Capture an exception for later rendering. limit, lookup_lines and capture_locals are as for the StackSummary class.

Note that when locals are captured, they are also shown in the traceback.

format(*, chain=True)

Format the exception.

If chain is not True, __cause__ and __context__ will not be formatted.

The return value is a generator of strings, each ending in a newline and some containing internal newlines. print_exception() is a wrapper around this method which just prints the lines to a file.

The message indicating which exception occurred is always the last string in the output.

format_exception_only()

Format the exception part of the traceback.

The return value is a generator of strings, each ending in a newline.

Normally, the generator emits a single string; however, for SyntaxError exceptions, it emits several lines that (when printed) display detailed information about where the syntax error occurred.

The message indicating which exception occurred is always the last string in the output.

## 29.9.2. StackSummary Objects¶

New in version 3.5.

StackSummary objects represent a call stack ready for formatting.

class traceback.StackSummary
classmethod extract(frame_gen, *, limit=None, lookup_lines=True, capture_locals=False)

Construct a StackSummary object from a frame generator (such as is returned by walk_stack() or walk_tb()).

If limit is supplied, only this many frames are taken from frame_gen. If lookup_lines is False, the returned FrameSummary objects will not have read their lines in yet, making the cost of creating the StackSummary cheaper (which may be valuable if it may not actually get formatted). If capture_locals is True the local variables in each FrameSummary are captured as object representations.

classmethod from_list(a_list)

Construct a StackSummary object from a supplied list of FrameSummary objects or old-style list of tuples. Each tuple should be a 4-tuple with filename, lineno, name, line as the elements.

format()

Returns a list of strings ready for printing. Each string in the resulting list corresponds to a single frame from the stack. Each string ends in a newline; the strings may contain internal newlines as well, for those items with source text lines.

For long sequences of the same frame and line, the first few repetitions are shown, followed by a summary line stating the exact number of further repetitions.

Changed in version 3.6: Long sequences of repeated frames are now abbreviated.

## 29.9.3. FrameSummary Objects¶

New in version 3.5.

FrameSummary objects represent a single frame in a traceback.

class traceback.FrameSummary(filename, lineno, name, lookup_line=True, locals=None, line=None)

Represent a single frame in the traceback or stack that is being formatted or printed. It may optionally have a stringified version of the frames locals included in it. If lookup_line is False, the source code is not looked up until the FrameSummary has the line attribute accessed (which also happens when casting it to a tuple). line may be directly provided, and will prevent line lookups happening at all. locals is an optional local variable dictionary, and if supplied the variable representations are stored in the summary for later display.

## 29.9.4. Traceback Examples¶

This simple example implements a basic read-eval-print loop, similar to (but less useful than) the standard Python interactive interpreter loop. For a more complete implementation of the interpreter loop, refer to the code module.

import sys, traceback

def run_user_code(envdir):
source = input(">>> ")
try:
exec(source, envdir)
except Exception:
print("Exception in user code:")
print("-"*60)
traceback.print_exc(file=sys.stdout)
print("-"*60)

envdir = {}
while True:
run_user_code(envdir)


The following example demonstrates the different ways to print and format the exception and traceback:

import sys, traceback

def lumberjack():
bright_side_of_death()

def bright_side_of_death():
return tuple()[0]

try:
lumberjack()
except IndexError:
exc_type, exc_value, exc_traceback = sys.exc_info()
print("*** print_tb:")
traceback.print_tb(exc_traceback, limit=1, file=sys.stdout)
print("*** print_exception:")
# exc_type below is ignored on 3.5 and later
traceback.print_exception(exc_type, exc_value, exc_traceback,
limit=2, file=sys.stdout)
print("*** print_exc:")
traceback.print_exc(limit=2, file=sys.stdout)
print("*** format_exc, first and last line:")
formatted_lines = traceback.format_exc().splitlines()
print(formatted_lines[0])
print(formatted_lines[-1])
print("*** format_exception:")
# exc_type below is ignored on 3.5 and later
print(repr(traceback.format_exception(exc_type, exc_value,
exc_traceback)))
print("*** extract_tb:")
print(repr(traceback.extract_tb(exc_traceback)))
print("*** format_tb:")
print(repr(traceback.format_tb(exc_traceback)))
print("*** tb_lineno:", exc_traceback.tb_lineno)


The output for the example would look similar to this:

*** print_tb:
File "<doctest...>", line 10, in <module>
lumberjack()
*** print_exception:
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "<doctest...>", line 10, in <module>
lumberjack()
File "<doctest...>", line 4, in lumberjack
bright_side_of_death()
IndexError: tuple index out of range
*** print_exc:
Traceback (most recent call last):
File "<doctest...>", line 10, in <module>
lumberjack()
File "<doctest...>", line 4, in lumberjack
bright_side_of_death()
IndexError: tuple index out of range
*** format_exc, first and last line:
Traceback (most recent call last):
IndexError: tuple index out of range
*** format_exception:
['Traceback (most recent call last):\n',
'  File "<doctest...>", line 10, in <module>\n    lumberjack()\n',
'  File "<doctest...>", line 4, in lumberjack\n    bright_side_of_death()\n',
'  File "<doctest...>", line 7, in bright_side_of_death\n    return tuple()[0]\n',
'IndexError: tuple index out of range\n']
*** extract_tb:
[<FrameSummary file <doctest...>, line 10 in <module>>,
<FrameSummary file <doctest...>, line 4 in lumberjack>,
<FrameSummary file <doctest...>, line 7 in bright_side_of_death>]
*** format_tb:
['  File "<doctest...>", line 10, in <module>\n    lumberjack()\n',
'  File "<doctest...>", line 4, in lumberjack\n    bright_side_of_death()\n',
'  File "<doctest...>", line 7, in bright_side_of_death\n    return tuple()[0]\n']
*** tb_lineno: 10


The following example shows the different ways to print and format the stack:

>>> import traceback
>>> def another_function():
...     lumberstack()
...
>>> def lumberstack():
...     traceback.print_stack()
...     print(repr(traceback.extract_stack()))
...     print(repr(traceback.format_stack()))
...
>>> another_function()
File "<doctest>", line 10, in <module>
another_function()
File "<doctest>", line 3, in another_function
lumberstack()
File "<doctest>", line 6, in lumberstack
traceback.print_stack()
[('<doctest>', 10, '<module>', 'another_function()'),
('<doctest>', 3, 'another_function', 'lumberstack()'),
('<doctest>', 7, 'lumberstack', 'print(repr(traceback.extract_stack()))')]
['  File "<doctest>", line 10, in <module>\n    another_function()\n',
'  File "<doctest>", line 3, in another_function\n    lumberstack()\n',
'  File "<doctest>", line 8, in lumberstack\n    print(repr(traceback.format_stack()))\n']


This last example demonstrates the final few formatting functions:

>>> import traceback
>>> traceback.format_list([('spam.py', 3, '<module>', 'spam.eggs()'),
...                        ('eggs.py', 42, 'eggs', 'return "bacon"')])
['  File "spam.py", line 3, in <module>\n    spam.eggs()\n',
'  File "eggs.py", line 42, in eggs\n    return "bacon"\n']
>>> an_error = IndexError('tuple index out of range')
>>> traceback.format_exception_only(type(an_error), an_error)
['IndexError: tuple index out of range\n']