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Python `-m`

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How -m is invoked

If you have a module foo


Then python -m foo will execute __main__.py

json pretty print

cat some_json_file | python -m json.tool


zipfile.py -l zipfile.zip        # Show listing of a zipfile
zipfile.py -t zipfile.zip        # Test if a zipfile is valid
zipfile.py -e zipfile.zip target # Extract zipfile into target dir
zipfile.py -c zipfile.zip src ... # Create zipfile from sources


python -m gzip wordlist.txt  # Will create wordlist.txt.gz
python -m gzip -d wordlist.txt.gz  # Will extract to wordlist.txt


compare two directories

$ python -m filecmp /tmp/a /tmp/b
diff /tmp/a /tmp/b
Only in /tmp/a : ['1']
Only in /tmp/b : ['2']
Identical files : ['4']
Differing files : ['3']

Several modules lets you encode/decode in various formats:

  • base64
  • uu
  • encodings.rot_13
  • binhex
  • mimify
  • quopri

For example:

$ echo 'secertpassword' | python -m encodings.rot_13

http servers

python -m SimpleHTTPServer # 2
python -m http.server #3
python -m pydoc {module/func}


python -m cProfile script.py
python -m timeit script.py
python -m pstats script.py
python -m trace script.py



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