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Display module dependencies

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Python module dependency visualization.

This package is primarly intended to be used from the command line through the pydeps command.

Feature requests and bug reports:

Please report bugs and feature requests on GitHub at

How to install

pip install pydeps

To create graphs with pydeps you also need to install Graphviz. Please follow the installation instructions provided in the Graphviz link (and make sure the dot command is on your path).


usage: pydeps [-h] [--debug] [--config FILE] [--no-config] [--version]
              [-L LOG] [-v] [-o file] [-T FORMAT] [--display PROGRAM]
              [--noshow] [--show-deps] [--show-raw-deps] [--show-dot]
              [--nodot] [--no-output] [--show-cycles] [--debug-mf INT]
              [--noise-level INT] [--max-bacon INT] [--pylib] [--pylib-all]
              [--include-missing] [-x PATTERN [PATTERN ...]]
              [-xx MODULE [MODULE ...]] [--only MODULE_PATH [MODULE_PATH ...]]
              [--externals] [--reverse] [--cluster] [--min-cluster-size INT]
              [--max-cluster-size INT] [--keep-target-cluster]
              [--rmprefix PREFIX [PREFIX ...]]
positional arguments:
fname filename
optional arguments:
-h, --help show this help message and exit
--config FILE specify config file
--no-config disable processing of config files
--version print pydeps version
-L LOG, --log LOG
 set log-level to one of CRITICAL, ERROR, WARNING, INFO, DEBUG, NOTSET.
-v, --verbose be more verbose (-vv, -vvv for more verbosity)
-o file write output to ‘file’
-T FORMAT output format (svg|png)
--display PROGRAM
 program to use to display the graph (png or svg file depending on the T parameter)
--noshow don’t call external program to display graph
--show-deps show output of dependency analysis
 show output of dependency analysis before removing skips
--show-dot show output of dot conversion
--nodot skip dot conversion
--no-output don’t create .svg/.png file, implies –no-show (-t/-o will be ignored)
--show-cycles show only import cycles
--debug turn on all the show and verbose options (mainly for debugging pydeps itself)
--noise-level INT
 exclude sources or sinks with degree greater than noise-level
--max-bacon INT
 exclude nodes that are more than n hops away (default=2, 0 -> infinite)
--pylib include python std lib modules
--pylib-all include python all std lib modules (incl. C modules)
 include modules that are not installed (or can’t be found on sys.path)
 only include modules that start with MODULE_PATH, multiple paths can be provided
--externals create list of direct external dependencies
--reverse draw arrows to (instead of from) imported modules
--cluster draw external dependencies as separate clusters
--min-cluster-size INT
 the minimum number of nodes a dependency must have before being clustered (default=0)
--max-cluster-size INT
 the maximum number of nodes a dependency can have before the cluster is collapsed to a single node (default=0)
 draw target module as a cluster
--rmprefix PREFIX
 remove PREFIX from the displayed name of the nodes (multiple prefixes can be provided)
-x PATTERN, --exclude PATTERN
 input files to skip (e.g. foo.*), multiple patterns can be provided
--exclude-exact MODULE
 (shorthand -xx MODULE) same as –exclude, except requires the full match. -xx will exclude, but not

Note: if an option with a variable number of arguments (like -x) is provided before fname, separe the arguments from the filename with -- otherwise fname will be parsed as an argument of the option. Example: $ pydeps -x os sys -- pydeps.

You can of course also import pydeps from Python and use it as a library, look in tests/ for examples.


This is the result of running pydeps on itself (pydeps pydeps):

(full disclosure: this is for an early version of pydeps)


pydeps finds imports by looking for import-opcodes in python bytecodes (think .pyc files). Therefore, only imported files will be found (ie. pydeps will not look at files in your directory that are not imported). Additionally, only files that can be found using the Python import machinery will be considered (ie. if a module is missing or not installed, it will not be included regardless if it is being imported). This can be modified by using the --include-missing flag.

Displaying the graph:

To display the resulting .svg or .png files, pydeps by default calls an appropriate opener for the platform, like xdg-open foo.svg.

This can be overridden with the --display PROGRAM option, where PROGRAM is an executable that can display the image file of the graph.

You can also export the name of such a viewer in either the PYDEPS_DISPLAY or BROWSER environment variable, which changes the default behaviour when --display is not used.


All options can also be set in a .pydeps file using .ini file syntax (parsable by ConfigParser). Command line options override options in the .pydeps file in the current directory, which again overrides options in the user’s home directory (%USERPROFILE%\.pydeps on Windows and ${HOME}/.pydeps otherwise).

An example .pydeps file:

max_bacon = 2
no_show = True
verbose = 0
pylib = False
exclude =

Bacon (Scoring)

pydeps also contains an Erdős-like scoring function (a.k.a. Bacon number, from Six degrees of Kevin Bacon ( that lets you filter out modules that are more than a given number of ‘hops’ away from the module you’re interested in. This is useful for finding the interface a module has to the rest of the world.

To find pydeps’ interface to the Python stdlib (less some very common modules).

shell> pydeps pydeps --show --max-bacon 2 --pylib -x os re types _* enum

--max-bacon 2 (the default) gives the modules that are at most 2 hops away, and modules that belong together have similar colors. Compare that to the output with the --max-bacon=0 (infinite) filter:

Import cycles

pydeps can detect and display cycles with the --show-cycles parameter. This will _only_ display the cycles, and for big libraries it is not a particularly fast operation. Given a folder with the following contents (this uses yaml to define a directory structure, like in the tests):

    - |
        from . import b
    - |
        from . import a

pydeps relimp --show-cycles displays:

Clustering externals

Running pydeps pydeps –max-bacon=4 on version 1.8.0 of pydeps gives the following graph:

If you are not interested in the internal structure of external modules, you can add the --cluster flag, which will collapse external modules into folder-shaped objects:

shell> pydeps pydeps --max-bacon=4 --cluster

To see the internal structure _and_ delineate external modules, use the --max-cluster-size flag, which controls how many nodes can be in a cluster before it is collapsed to a folder icon:

shell> pydeps pydeps --max-bacon=4 --cluster --max-cluster-size=1000

or, using a smaller max-cluster-size:

shell> pydeps pydeps --max-bacon=4 --cluster --max-cluster-size=3

To remove clusters with too few nodes, use the --min-cluster-size flag:

shell> pydeps pydeps --max-bacon=4 --cluster --max-cluster-size=3 --min-cluster-size=2

In some situations it can be useful to draw the target module as a cluster:

shell> pydeps pydeps --max-bacon=4 --cluster --max-cluster-size=3 --min-cluster-size=2 --keep-target-cluster

..and since the cluster boxes include the module name, we can remove those prefixes:

shell> pydeps pydeps --max-bacon=4 --cluster --max-cluster-size=3 --min-cluster-size=2 --keep-target-cluster --rmprefix pydeps. stdlib_list.

Intermediate format

An attempt has been made to keep the intermediate formats readable, eg. the output from pydeps --show-deps .. looks like this:

"pydeps.mf27": {
    "imported_by": [
    "kind": "imp.PY_SOURCE",
    "name": "pydeps.mf27",
    "path": "pydeps\\"
"pydeps.py2depgraph": {
    "imported_by": [
    "imports": [
    "kind": "imp.PY_SOURCE",
    "name": "pydeps.py2depgraph",
    "path": "pydeps\\"
}, ...

Version history

Version 1.9.13 Thanks to glumia and SimonBiggs for improving the documentation.

Version 1.9.10 no_show is now honored when placed in .pydeps file. Thanks to romain-dartigues for the PR.

Version 1.9.8 Fix for maximum recursion depth exceeded when using large frameworks (like sympy). Thanks to tanujkhattar for finding the fix and to balopat for reporting it.

Version 1.9.7 Check PYDEPS_DISPLAY and BROWSER for a program to open the graph, PR by jhermann

Version 1.9.1 graphs are now stable on Python 3.x as well - this was already the case for Py2.7 (thanks to pawamoy for reporting and testing the issue and to kinow for helping with testing).

Version 1.9.0 supports Python 3.8.

Version 1.8.7 includes a new flag --rmprefix which lets you remove prefixes from the node-labels in the graph. The _name_ of the nodes are not effected so this does not cause merging of nodes, nor does it change coloring - but it can lead to multiple nodes with the same label (hovering over the node will give the full name). Thanks to aroberge for the enhancement request.

Version 1.8.5 With svg as the output format (which is the default), paths are now hilighted on mouse hover (thanks to tomasito665 for the enhancement request).

Version 1.8.2 incldes a new flag --only that causes pydeps to only report on the paths specified:

shell> pydeps mypackage --only mypackage.a mypackage.b

Version 1.8.0 includes 4 new flags for drawing external dependencies as clusters. See below for examples. Additionally, the arrowheads now have the color of the source node.

Version 1.7.3 includes a new flag -xx or --exclude-exact which matches the functionality of the --exclude flag, except it requires an exact match, i.e. -xx will exclude, but not (thanks to AvenzaOleg for the PR).

Version 1.7.2 includes a new flag, --no-output, which prevents creation of the .svg/.png file.

Version 1.7.1 fixes excludes in .pydeps files (thanks to eqvis for the bug report).

Version 1.7.0 The new --reverse flag reverses the direction of the arrows in the dependency graph, so they point _to_ the imported module instead of _from_ the imported module (thanks to goetzk for the bug report and tobiasmaier for the PR!).

Version 1.5.0 Python 3 support (thanks to eight04 for the PR).

Version 1.3.4 --externals will now include modules that haven’t been installed (what modulefinder calls badmodules).

Version 1.2.8 A shortcut for finding the direct external dependencies of a package was added:

pydeps --externals mypackage

which will print a json formatted list of module names to the screen, e.g.:

(dev) go|c:\srv\lib\dk-tasklib> pydeps --externals dktasklib

which means that the dktasklib package only depends on the dkfileutils package.

This functionality is also available programmatically:

import os
from pydeps.pydeps import externals
# the directory that contains (one level up from actual package):
print externals('mypackage')

Version 1.2.5: The defaults are now sensible, such that:

shell> pydeps mypackage

will likely do what you want. It is the same as pydeps --show --max-bacon=2 mypackage which means display the dependency graph in your browser, but limit it to two hops (which includes only the modules that your module imports – not continuing down the import chain). The old default behavior is available with pydeps --noshow --max-bacon=0 mypackage.


  1. Fork it
  2. It is appreciated (but not required) if you raise an issue first:
  3. Create your feature branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  4. Commit your changes (git commit -am ‘Add some feature’)
  5. Push to the branch (git push origin my-new-feature)
  6. Create new Pull Request

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