Frequently Asked Questions

How can I load external Python files in Pyodide?

The two possible solutions are,

  • include these files in a Python package, build a pure Python wheel with python setup.py bdist_wheel and load it with micropip.

  • fetch the Python code as a string and evaluate it in Python,

    pyodide.runPython(await fetch('https://some_url/...'))
    

In both cases, files need to be served with a web server and cannot be loaded from local file system.

Why can’t I load files from the local file system?

For security reasons Javascript in the browser is not allowed to load local data files. You need to serve them with a web-browser. Recently there is a Native File System API supported in Chrome but not in Firefox. There is a discussion about implementing it for Firefox here.

How can I change the behavior of runPython and runPythonAsync?

You can directly call Python functions from Javascript. For many purposes it makes sense to make your own Python function as an entrypoint and call that instead of using runPython. The definitions of {any}runPython <pyodide.runPython> and runPythonAsync are very simple:

function runPython(code){
  pyodide.pyodide_py.eval_code(code, pyodide.globals);
}
async function runPythonAsync(code, messageCallback, errorCallback) {
  await pyodide.loadPackagesFromImports(code, messageCallback, errorCallback);
  let coroutine = pyodide.pyodide_py.eval_code_async(code, pyodide.globals);
  try {
    let result = await coroutine;
    return result;
  } finally {
    coroutine.destroy();
  }
};

To make your own version of runPython you could do:

pyodide.runPython(`
  import pyodide
  def my_eval_code(code, ns):
    extra_info = None
    result = pyodide.eval_code(code, ns)
    return ns["extra_info"], result]
`)

function myRunPython(code){
  return pyodide.globals.get("my_eval_code")(code, pyodide.globals);
}

Then pyodide.myRunPython("2+7") returns [None, 9] and pyodide.myRunPython("extra_info='hello' ; 2 + 2") returns ['hello', 4]. If you want to change which packages pyodide.loadPackagesFromImports loads, you can monkey patch pyodide.find_imports which takes code as an argument and returns a list of packages imported.

How can I execute code in a custom namespace?

The second argument to pyodide.eval_code is a global namespace to execute the code in. The namespace is a Python dictionary.

let my_namespace = pyodide.globals.dict();
pyodide.runPython(`x = 1 + 1`, my_namespace);
pyodide.runPython(`y = x ** x`, my_namespace);
my_namespace.y; // ==> 4

How to detect that code is run with Pyodide?

At run time, you can detect that a code is running with Pyodide using,

import sys

if "pyodide" in sys.modules:
   # running in Pyodide

More generally you can detect Python built with Emscripten (which includes Pyodide) with,

import platform

if platform.system() == 'Emscripten':
    # running in Pyodide or other Emscripten based build

This however will not work at build time (i.e. in a setup.py) due to the way the Pyodide build system works. It first compiles packages with the host compiler (e.g. gcc) and then re-runs the compilation commands with emsdk. So the setup.py is never run inside the Pyodide environment.

To detect Pyodide, at build time use,

import os

if "PYODIDE" in os.environ:
    # building for Pyodide

We used to use the environment variable PYODIDE_BASE_URL for this purpose, but this usage is deprecated.

How do I create custom Python packages from Javascript?

Put a collection of functions into a Javascript object and use pyodide.registerJsModule: Javascript:

let my_module = {
  f : function(x){
    return x*x + 1;
  },
  g : function(x){
    console.log(`Calling g on argument ${x}`);
    return x;
  },
  submodule : {
    h : function(x) {
      return x*x - 1;
    },
    c  : 2,
  },
};
pyodide.registerJsModule("my_js_module", my_module);

You can import your package like a normal Python package:

import my_js_module
from my_js_module.submodule import h, c
assert my_js_module.f(7) == 50
assert h(9) == 80
assert c == 2

How can I send a Python object from my server to Pyodide?

The best way to do this is with pickle. If the version of Python used in the server exactly matches the version of Python used in the client, then objects that can be successfully pickled can be sent to the client and unpickled in Pyodide. If the versions of Python are different then for instance sending AST is unlikely to work since there are breaking changes to Python AST in most Python minor versions.

Similarly when pickling Python objects defined in a Python package, the package version needs to match exactly between the server and pyodide.

Generally, pickles are portable between architectures (here amd64 and wasm32). The rare cases when they are not portable, for instance currently tree based models in scikit-learn, can be considered as a bug in the upstream library.

Security Issues with pickle

Unpickling data is similar to eval. On any public-facing server it is a really bad idea to unpickle any data sent from the client. For sending data from client to server, try some other serialization format like JSON.

How can I use a Python function as an event handler and then remove it later?

Note that the most straight forward way of doing this will not work:

from js import document
def f(*args):
    document.querySelector("h1").innerHTML += "(>.<)"

document.body.addEventListener('click', f)
document.body.removeEventListener('click', f)

This leaks f and does not remove the event listener (instead removeEventListener will silently do nothing).

To do this correctly use :func:pyodide.create_proxy as follows:

from js import document
from pyodide import create_proxy
def f(*args):
    document.querySelector("h1").innerHTML += "(>.<)"

proxy_f = create_proxy(f)
document.body.addEventListener('click', proxy_f)
# Store proxy_f in Python then later:
document.body.removeEventListener('click', proxy_f)
proxy_f.destroy()

This also avoids memory leaks.

How can I use fetch with optional arguments from Python?

The most obvious translation of the Javascript code won’t work:

import json
resp = await js.fetch('/someurl', {
  "method": "POST",
  "body": json.dumps({ "some" : "json" }),
  "credentials": "same-origin",
  "headers": { "Content-Type": "application/json" }
})

this leaks the dictionary and the fetch api ignores the options that we attempted to provide. You can do this correctly as follows:

import json
from pyodide import to_js
from js import Object
resp = await js.fetch('example.com/some_api',
  method= "POST",
  body= json.dumps({ "some" : "json" }),
  credentials= "same-origin",
  headers= Object.fromEntries(to_js({ "Content-Type": "application/json" })),
)

How can I control the behavior of stdin / stdout / stderr?

This works much the same as it does in native Python: you can overwrite sys.stdin, sys.stdout, and sys.stderr respectively. If you want to do it temporarily, it’s recommended to use contextlib.redirect_stdout and contextlib.redirect_stderr. There is no contextlib.redirect_stdin but it is easy to make your own as follows:

from contextlib import _RedirectStream
class redirect_stdin(_RedirectStream):
    _stream = "stdin"

For example, if you do:

from io import StringIO
with redirect_stdin(StringIO("\n".join(["eval", "asyncio.ensure_future", "functools.reduce", "quit"]))):
  help()

it will print:

Welcome to Python 3.8's help utility!
<...OMITTED LINES>
Help on built-in function eval in module builtins:
eval(source, globals=None, locals=None, /)
    Evaluate the given source in the context of globals and locals.
<...OMITTED LINES>
Help on function ensure_future in asyncio:
asyncio.ensure_future = ensure_future(coro_or_future, *, loop=None)
    Wrap a coroutine or an awaitable in a future.
<...OMITTED LINES>
Help on built-in function reduce in functools:
functools.reduce = reduce(...)
    reduce(function, sequence[, initial]) -> value
    Apply a function of two arguments cumulatively to the items of a sequence,
<...OMITTED LINES>
You are now leaving help and returning to the Python interpreter.