29.9. traceback — Print or retrieve a stack traceback

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(traceback, limit=None, file=None)

Print up to limit stack trace entries from traceback. 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.

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

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

  • if traceback is not None, it prints a header Traceback (most recent call last):
  • it prints the exception type and value after the stack trace
  • if type 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.

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.

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

This is a shorthand for print_exception(*sys.exc_info()).

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). 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)

This function prints a stack trace from its invocation point. The optional f argument can be used to specify an alternate stack frame to start. The optional limit and file arguments have the same meaning as for print_exception().

traceback.extract_tb(traceback, limit=None)

Return a list of up to limit “pre-processed” stack trace entries extracted from the traceback object traceback. It is useful for alternate formatting of stack traces. If limit is omitted or None, all entries are extracted. A “pre-processed” stack trace entry is a 4-tuple (filename, line number, function name, text) representing the information that is usually printed for a stack trace. The text 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(list)

Given a list of tuples 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(type, 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(type, 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().

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 Stack.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 Stack.extract.

New in version 3.5.

The module also defines the following classes:

29.9.1. TracebackException Objects

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=False are as for the StackSummary class.

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

New in version 3.5.

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

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

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

New in version 3.5.

`.__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 filename where the error
occured.
`.lineno` For syntax errors - the linenumber where the error
occured.
`.text` For syntax errors - the text where the error
occured.
`.offset` For syntax errors - the offset into the text where the
error occured.
`.msg` For syntax errors - the compiler error message.
TracebackException.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.

New in version 3.5.

TracebackException.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 emites 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.

New in version 3.5.

29.9.2. StackSummary Objects

StackSummary objects represent a call stack ready for formatting.

classmethod StackSummary.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.

New in version 3.5.

classmethod StackSummary.from_list(a_list)

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

New in version 3.5.

29.9.3. FrameSummary Objects

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:")
    traceback.print_exception(exc_type, exc_value, exc_traceback,
                              limit=2, file=sys.stdout)
    print("*** print_exc:")
    traceback.print_exc()
    print("*** format_exc, first and last line:")
    formatted_lines = traceback.format_exc().splitlines()
    print(formatted_lines[0])
    print(formatted_lines[-1])
    print("*** format_exception:")
    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:
[('<doctest...>', 10, '<module>', 'lumberjack()'),
 ('<doctest...>', 4, 'lumberjack', 'bright_side_of_death()'),
 ('<doctest...>', 7, 'bright_side_of_death', 'return tuple()[0]')]
*** 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']