How Did We Fix Python Interpretor’s Readline Issue in Mojave?

Santoash Rajaram
·March 06, 2019

you upgraded to Mojave and realized that the up arrow to go to the previous command in your history stopped working and it’s printing escape characters like bellow, then it means your are running into a readline issue.

Python 3.7.0 (default, Jun 29 2018, 20:13:13)
[Clang 9.1.0 (clang-902.0.39.2)] on darwin
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> ^D

Apparently the readline module conflicts with the standard module—so it has been renamed to gnureadline. Bellow are the steps I needed to take to fix the issue.

Step 1

pip install gnureadline

Step 2

Create ~/.pystartup and add the following:

# Add auto-completion and a stored history file of commands to your Python
# interactive interpreter. Requires Python 2.0+, readline. Autocomplete is
# bound to the Esc key by default (you can change it - see readline docs).

import atexit
import os
import gnureadline
import rlcompleter

historyPath = os.path.expanduser("~/.pyhistory")

def save_history(historyPath=historyPath):
    import gnureadline

if os.path.exists(historyPath):

del os, atexit, gnureadline, rlcompleter, save_history, historyPath

Step 3

Set the PYTHONSTARTUP environment variable in the appropriate startup file for your shell (e.g .bashrc or .zshrc).

export PYTHONSTARTUP=~/.pystartup

That should do it!

Share links