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Also called: python shell, direct mode, online shell Also see: idle

edited screenshot of the python website
An online shell from can by launched directly from the website

A python shell let you run and execute python code directly, line by line. Also called language shell or Read Eval Print Loop (REPL). Unlike an code editor who let you edit usually several lines and offers options to load and save python files ((.py).


If you open a terminal and type python, you can interact with python in direct mode. The difference of just typing python in a terminal and working in a python shell is that the shell offers usually some advanced functionality, like color-coding, help hints or code completion.

shell and IDE

Python's default editor idle offers a shell and an editor. Most Integrated Development Editors (IDE) offer an code editor and a python shell or at least a terminal.

  • PyCharm offers an code editor, a python shell and a terminal
  • Idle (usually installed together with python) offers an code editor and a python shell

online shells

There exist several online python shells running inside a webbrowser. For example, directly at the python homepage:

Several websites offers free / paid access to python online shells.

See for a list of online python editors / shells

todo: <todo #horst:2020-05-04>find list of python online shells</todo> todo: <todo>find list of python offline shells</todo> todo: <todo>find the pyflake? offline shell that I once used on Ubuntu</todo>

google search for python online shells

en/glossary/s/shell.txt · Last modified: 2020/05/23 17:07 by horst