Skip to main content
Help us improve PyPI by participating in user testing. All experience levels needed!

An interpreter framework

Project description


kmd allows to easily build command line driven shells with powerful tab-completion capabilities.

The kmd.Kmd class derives from cmd.Cmd and modifies it in the following ways:

  1. Instead of Python’s readline module, kmd.Kmd uses the alternative rl readline bindings.
  2. Setup and tear-down of the readline completer have been moved to preloop and postloop respectively. Subclasses must make sure to call their parents’ implementations.
  3. Incomplete command names are automatically expanded if they are unique.
  4. Command aliases can be defined by extending the aliases dictionary. Alias names apply to all do_, complete_, and help_ attributes.
  5. Lines starting with ‘#’ are treated as comments. The new comment method is invoked, receiving the line as argument. By default this method clears the lastcmd.
  6. It is now possible to configure the shell_escape_chars. The default is ‘!’.
  7. If a history_file is set, kmd.Kmd loads and saves the history in preloop and postloop. The history size is controlled by setting history_max_entries.
  8. The new run method encapsulates the full execution cycle of a Kmd.

Package Contents

Implements the mechanics of a command shell, similar to cmd.Cmd.
Implements a set of ready-to-use completions.


Complete names of files and directories on the filesystem. This is the real deal, thanks to rl providing access to all the necessary readline features. Includes full quoting support as well as support for decomposed UTF-8 on HFS Plus!
Complete names of users known to the system.
Complete names of hosts in the system’s /etc/hosts file.
Complete names of variables in the process environment.
Complete names of executables on the system PATH.

Example Code

import os
import kmd

from kmd.completions.filename import FilenameCompletion
from kmd.completions.environment import EnvironmentCompletion

class MyShell(kmd.Kmd):

    def preloop(self):
        super(MyShell, self).preloop()
        self.completefilename = FilenameCompletion()
        self.completeenviron = EnvironmentCompletion()

    def do_cat(self, args):
        os.system('cat ' + args)

    def complete_cat(self, text, *ignored):
        return self.completefilename(text)

    def do_echo(self, args):
        os.system('echo ' + args)

    def complete_echo(self, text, *ignored):
        return self.completeenviron(text)

def main():

For further details please refer to the API Documentation. Also see gpgkeys, a front-end for GnuPG built entirely around tab completion.


kmd development is hosted on GitHub where it also has an issue tracker.


Installation requires Python 2.5 or higher.

Note: kmd uses the rl library. Since rl contains a C extension, it is a good idea to review its installation instructions and make sure all dependencies are in place.

To install the kmd package, type:

easy_install kmd


2.2 - 2012-05-10

  • String and filename quoting was not respected when was called with arguments. [stefan]
  • Switch to a happier looking Sphinx theme. [stefan]
  • Require rl >= 2.2. [stefan]

2.1.2 - 2012-04-14

  • Update documentation more. [stefan]

2.1.1 - 2012-03-29

  • Update documentation. [stefan]

2.1 - 2011-11-05

  • Add Kmd.input method as extension point for subclasses. [stefan]
  • Make sure hostname completion survives a missing hosts file. [stefan]
  • Require rl >= 2.0.1. [stefan]

2.0 - 2011-10-06

  • Add Kmd.aliases dictionary to define command aliases. [stefan]
  • Refactor Kmd.do_help for easier customization. [stefan]
  • Make sure error messages go to stderr. [stefan]
  • Switch to pretty Sphinx-based docs. [stefan]
  • Require rl >= 2.0. [stefan]

1.0 - 2011-07-14

  • Initial release.

Project details

Release history Release notifications

This version
History Node


History Node


History Node


History Node


History Node


History Node


Download files

Download the file for your platform. If you're not sure which to choose, learn more about installing packages.

Filename, size & hash SHA256 hash help File type Python version Upload date (35.6 kB) Copy SHA256 hash SHA256 Source None May 10, 2012

Supported by

Elastic Elastic Search Pingdom Pingdom Monitoring Google Google BigQuery Sentry Sentry Error logging CloudAMQP CloudAMQP RabbitMQ AWS AWS Cloud computing Fastly Fastly CDN DigiCert DigiCert EV certificate StatusPage StatusPage Status page