What is the use of #! (shebang) In Python?

In Python, the #! ( shebang also known as a hashbang or a pound-bang) symbol is not directly used within the Python code itself. Instead, it is used at the beginning of a script file to specify the interpreter that should be used to execute the script. This is primarily relevant when running the script from the command line.

When you place a shebang line at the beginning of a script file, it indicates the path to the interpreter that should be used to run the script. For example, if you’re writing a Python script, you might include the following shebang line at the top of your script file:

#!/usr/bin/env python3Code language: Python (python)

This tells the operating system to use the python3 interpreter to execute the script.

Here’s what happens when you run a script with a shebang from the command line:

  • The operating system reads the shebang line at the beginning of the script.
  • It identifies the interpreter specified in the shebang line (e.g., python3).
  • It uses the identified interpreter to execute the script.

This mechanism is particularly useful when you want to ensure that a specific version of the interpreter is used to run your script, even if the system’s default version might be different. It’s also valuable for scripting languages other than Python.

Keep in mind that the shebang line is specific to scripts that are intended to be executed directly from the command line or from other systems that respect shebang instructions (such as Unix-like systems). When using a Python interpreter to run scripts directly, you typically don’t need to include the shebang line in the Python code itself.

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  • Muhammad Nabil

    I am a skilled and experienced Python developer with a huge passion for programming and a keen eye for details. I earned a Bachelor's degree in Computer Engineering in 2019 from the Modern Academy for Engineering and Technology. I am passionate about helping programmers write better Python code, and I am confident that I can make a significant contribution to any team. I am also a creative thinker who can come up with new and innovative ways to improve the efficiency and readability of code. My specialization includes Python, Django, SQL, Apache NiFi, Apache Hadoop, AWS, and Linux (CentOS and Ubuntu). Besides my passion for Python, I am a solo traveler who loves Pink Floyd, online video games, and Italian pizza.

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