thebeav thebeav - 2 months ago 5x
Python Question

Reading binary data from stdin

Is it possible to read stdin as binary data in Python 2.6? If so, how?

I see in the Python 3.1 documentation that this is fairly simple, but the facilities for doing this in 2.6 don't seem to be there.

If the methods described in 3.1 aren't available, is there a way to close stdin and reopen in in binary mode?


Just to be clear, I am using 'type' in a MS-DOS shell to pipe the contents of a binary file to my python code. This should be the equivalent of a Unix 'cat' command, as far as I understand. But when I test this out, I always get one byte less than the expected file size.

Update #2

First off, thanks for all the answers. I'm slowly working towards a real, usable solution here. In the end, I'm still trying to build a self contained JAR file that executes my Python code automatically passing through all the command line arguments untainted.

The reason I'm going the Java/JAR/Jython route is because one of my main external libraries is only available as a Java JAR. But unfortunately, I had started my work as Python. It might have been easier to convert my code over to Java a while ago, but since this stuff was all supposed to be compatible, I figured I would try trucking through it and prove it could be done.

In case anyone was wondering, this is also related to the question I asked a few days ago.

Some of that question was answered in this question.

So I'll try to update my original question with some notes on what I have figured out so far.


Use the -u command line switch to force Python 2 to treat stdin, stdout and stderr as binary unbuffered streams.

C:> type mydoc.txt | python.exe -u