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Find and visualise reference cycles between Python objects.

Project description

The refcycle package provides support for creating, analysing, and visualising graphs of Python objects and the references between them. Its main intended use is for finding reference cycles amongst Python objects.


  • An ObjectGraph class representing a collection of objects and references.

  • Computation of strongly-connected components of the object graph.

  • Ability to export to JSON and reimport later for offline analysis.

  • Integration with Graphviz for exporting images.

  • Supports Python 2 and Python 3 (CPython only).


Up-to-date documentation can be found on “Read the Docs”, at

Getting refcycle

The refcycle project lives on GitHub, at You can download a snapshot of the latest development version from there:

After downloading, unpack the archive, and do:

cd refcycle-master
python install


The refcycle package is copyright (c) 2013 Mark Dickinson.

Licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0 (the “License”); you may not use this file except in compliance with the License. You may obtain a copy of the License at

Unless required by applicable law or agreed to in writing, software distributed under the License is distributed on an “AS IS” BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTIES OR CONDITIONS OF ANY KIND, either express or implied. See the License for the specific language governing permissions and limitations under the License.

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