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A Python package for a basic CLI and GUI user interface

Project description


Bun (Basic user interface) is a small Python package for a basic user interface.

License Latest release Python DOI PyPI

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This package grew out of a desire to satisfy two goals simultaneously: (1) have the simplest possible coding interface for printing color-coded messages and getting basic information from the user; and (2) let the user choose to use a command-line interface (CLI) or a graphical user interface (GUI) at run time. Bun (Basic user interface) is the result. It provides functions such as inform, warn, alert and others, which you can use in code like this:

if writable(dest_dir):
    inform(f'Will write output to {dest_dir}.')
    alert(f'Output destination {dest_dir} is not writable.')

Bun is simple and limited in functionality, as well as being somewhat opinionated in its design, but it satisfies the needs of many programs. Bun wraps packages such as Rich and wxPython to provide simple high-level calls. Here is some sample output from an application that uses Bun:

Many user interface packages already exist for Python, but their use requires configuration and more complicated code to use. Bun aims to be simpler.


The instructions below assume you have a Python interpreter installed on your computer; if that's not the case, please first install Python version 3 and familiarize yourself with running Python programs on your system.

On Linux, macOS, and Windows operating systems, you should be able to install bun with pip. To install bun from the Python package repository (PyPI), run the following command:

python3 -m pip install bun --upgrade

As an alternative to getting it from PyPI, you can use pip to install bun directly from GitHub, like this:

python3 -m pip install git+ --upgrade


[... forthcoming ...]

Known issues and limitations

As of version 0.0.5, the code for the GUI version is currently not included in the released version of Bun. The original code is in fact used by some applications, but the generalization and incorporation of that code into Bun is incomplete, so until more work is done, the GUI code is kept in a separate git branch (gui).

Getting help

If you find an issue, please submit it in the GitHub issue tracker for this repository.


We would be happy to receive your help and participation with enhancing Bun! Please visit the guidelines for contributing for some tips on getting started.


Software produced by the Caltech Library is Copyright (C) 2020, Caltech. This software is freely distributed under a BSD/MIT type license. Please see the LICENSE file for more information.

Authors and history

I developed the first version of this code while implementing Holdit. I started using the code in essentially every Python software package I have written since then, first by copy-pasting the code (which was initially very short) and eventually creating a single-file module (named This was obviously a suboptimal approach. Finally, in 2020, I decided it was time to break it out into a proper self-contained Python package.


This work was funded by the California Institute of Technology Library.

The vector artwork of a bun, used as the icon for this repository, was created by Vectors Market from the Noun Project. It is licensed under the Creative Commons CC-BY 3.0 license.

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