How do I determine if my python shell is executing in 32bit or 64bit?

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How do I determine if my python shell is executing in 32bit or 64bit?

I need a way to tell what mode the shell is in from within the shell.

While I’m primarily an OS X user, I’d be interested in knowing about other platforms as well.

I’ve tried looking at the platform module but it seems only to tell you about “about the bit architecture and the linkage format used for the executable”: the binary is compiled as 64bit though (I’m running on OS X 10.6) so it seems to always report 64bit even though I’m using the methods described here to force 32bit mode).

Asked By: jkp

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Answer #1:

One way is to look at sys.maxsize as documented here:

$ python-32 -c 'import sys;print("%x" % sys.maxsize, sys.maxsize > 2**32)'
('7fffffff', False)
$ python-64 -c 'import sys;print("%x" % sys.maxsize, sys.maxsize > 2**32)'
('7fffffffffffffff', True)

sys.maxsize was introduced in Python 2.6. If you need a test for older systems, this slightly more complicated test should work on all Python 2 and 3 releases:

$ python-32 -c 'import struct;print( 8 * struct.calcsize("P"))'
32
$ python-64 -c 'import struct;print( 8 * struct.calcsize("P"))'
64

BTW, you might be tempted to use platform.architecture() for this. Unfortunately, its results are not always reliable, particularly in the case of OS X universal binaries.

$ arch -x86_64 /usr/bin/python2.6 -c 'import sys,platform; print platform.architecture()[0], sys.maxsize > 2**32'
64bit True
$ arch -i386 /usr/bin/python2.6 -c 'import sys,platform; print platform.architecture()[0], sys.maxsize > 2**32'
64bit False
Answered By: Ned Deily

Answer #2:

When starting the Python interpreter in the terminal/command line you may also see a line like:

Python 2.7.2 (default, Jun 12 2011, 14:24:46) [MSC v.1500 64 bit (AMD64)] on win32

Where [MSC v.1500 64 bit (AMD64)] means 64-bit Python.
Works for my particular setup.

Answered By: Dustin

Answer #3:

Basically a variant on Matthew Marshall’s answer (with struct from the std.library):

import struct
print struct.calcsize("P") * 8
Answered By: ChristopheD

Answer #4:

Try using ctypes to get the size of a void pointer:

import ctypes
print ctypes.sizeof(ctypes.c_voidp)

It’ll be 4 for 32 bit or 8 for 64 bit.

Answered By: Matthew Marshall

Answer #5:

Open python console:

import platform
platform.architecture()[0]

it should display the ’64bit’ or ’32bit’ according to your platform.

Alternatively( in case of OS X binaries ):

import sys
sys.maxsize > 2**32
# it should display True in case of 64bit and False in case of 32bit
Answered By: abe312

Answer #6:

On my Centos Linux system I did the following:

1) Started the Python interpreter (I’m using 2.6.6)
2) Ran the following code:

import platform
print(platform.architecture())

and it gave me

(64bit, 'ELF')
Answered By: rekabbnad

Answer #7:

For a non-programmatic solution, look in the Activity Monitor. It lists the architecture of 64-bit processes as “Intel (64-bit)”.

Answered By: Peter Hosey

Answer #8:

Grouping everything…

Considering that:

  • The question is asked for OSX (I have an old (and cracked) VM with an ancient Python version)
  • My main env is Win
  • I only have the 32bit version installed on Win (and I built a “crippled” one on Lnx)

I’m going to exemplify on all 3 platforms, using Python 3 and Python 2.

  1. Check [Python 3.Docs]: sys.maxsize value – compare it to 0x100000000 (2 ** 32): greater for 64bit, smaller for 32bit:
    • OSX 9 x64:
      • Python 2.7.10 x64:
        >>> import sys
        >>> "Python {0:s} on {1:s}".format(sys.version, sys.platform)
        'Python 2.7.10 (default, Oct 14 2015, 05:51:29) n[GCC 4.8.2] on darwin'
        >>> hex(sys.maxsize), sys.maxsize > 0x100000000
        ('0x7fffffffffffffff', True)
        
    • Ubuntu 16 x64:
      • Python 3.5.2 x64:
        >>> import sys
        >>> "Python {0:s} on {1:s}".format(sys.version, sys.platform)
        'Python 3.5.2 (default, Nov 23 2017, 16:37:01) n[GCC 5.4.0 20160609] on linux'
        >>> hex(sys.maxsize), sys.maxsize > 0x100000000
        ('0x7fffffffffffffff', True)
        
      • Python 3.6.4 x86:
        >>> import sys
        >>> "Python {0:s} on {1:s}".format(sys.version, sys.platform)
        'Python 3.6.4 (default, Apr 25 2018, 23:55:56) n[GCC 5.4.0 20160609] on linux'
        >>> hex(sys.maxsize), sys.maxsize > 0x100000000
        ('0x7fffffff', False)
        
    • Win 10 x64:
      • Python 3.5.4 x64:
        >>> import sys
        >>> "Python {0:s} on {1:s}".format(sys.version, sys.platform)
        'Python 3.5.4 (v3.5.4:3f56838, Aug  8 2017, 02:17:05) [MSC v.1900 64 bit (AMD64)] on win32'
        >>> hex(sys.maxsize), sys.maxsize > 0x100000000
        ('0x7fffffffffffffff', True)
        
      • Python 3.6.2 x86:
        >>> import sys
        >>> "Python {0:s} on {1:s}".format(sys.version, sys.platform)
        'Python 3.6.2 (v3.6.2:5fd33b5, Jul  8 2017, 04:14:34) [MSC v.1900 32 bit (Intel)] on win32'
        >>> hex(sys.maxsize), sys.maxsize > 0x100000000
        ('0x7fffffff', False)
        

  1. Use [Python 3.Docs]: struct.calcsize(format) to determine the object size produced by the (pointer) format. In other words, determines the pointer size (sizeof(void*)):
    • OSX 9 x64:
      • Python 2.7.10 x64:
        >>> import struct
        >>> struct.calcsize("P") * 8
        64
        
    • Ubuntu 16 x64:
      • Python 3.5.2 x64:
        >>> import struct
        >>> struct.calcsize("P") * 8
        64
        
      • Python 3.6.4 x86:
        >>> import struct
        >>> struct.calcsize("P") * 8
        32
        
    • Win 10 x64:
      • Python 3.5.4 x64:
        >>> import struct
        >>> struct.calcsize("P") * 8
        64
        
      • Python 3.6.2 x86:
        >>> import struct
        >>> struct.calcsize("P") * 8
        32
        

  1. Use [Python 3.Docs]: ctypes – A foreign function library for Python. It also boils down to determining the size of a pointer (sizeof(void*)). As a note, ctypes uses #2. (not necessarily for this task) via “${PYTHON_SRC_DIR}/Lib/ctypes/__init__.py” (around line #15):
    • OSX 9 x64:
      • Python 2.7.10 x64:
        >>> import ctypes
        >>> ctypes.sizeof(ctypes.c_void_p) * 8
        64
        
    • Ubuntu 16 x64:
      • Python 3.5.2 x64:
        >>> import ctypes
        >>> ctypes.sizeof(ctypes.c_void_p) * 8
        64
        
      • Python 3.6.4 x86:
        >>> import ctypes
        >>> ctypes.sizeof(ctypes.c_void_p) * 8
        32
        
    • Win 10 x64:
      • Python 3.5.4 x64:
        >>> import ctypes
        >>> ctypes.sizeof(ctypes.c_void_p) * 8
        64
        
      • Python 3.6.2 x86:
        >>> import ctypes
        >>> ctypes.sizeof(ctypes.c_void_p) * 8
        32
        

  1. [Python 3.Docs]: platform.architecture(executable=sys.executable, bits=”, linkage=”) !!! NOT reliable on OSX !!! due to multi arch executable (or .dylib) format (in some cases, uses #2.):
    • OSX 9 x64:
      • Python 2.7.10 x64:
        >>> import platform
        >>> platform.architecture()
        ('64bit', '')
        
    • Ubuntu 16 x64:
      • Python 3.5.2 x64:
        >>> import platform
        >>> platform.architecture()
        ('64bit', 'ELF')
        
      • Python 3.6.4 x86:
        >>> import platform
        >>> platform.architecture()
        ('32bit', 'ELF')
        
    • Win 10 x64:
      • Python 3.5.4 x64:
        >>> import platform
        >>> platform.architecture()
        ('64bit', 'WindowsPE')
        
      • Python 3.6.2 x86:
        >>> import platform
        >>> platform.architecture()
        ('32bit', 'WindowsPE')
        

  1. Lame workaround (gainarie) – invoke an external command ([man7]: FILE(1)) via [Python 3.Docs]: os.system(command). The limitations of #4. apply (sometimes it might not even work):
    • OSX 9 x64:
      • Python 2.7.10 x64:
        >>> import os
        >>> os.system("file {0:s}".format(os.path.realpath(sys.executable)))
        /opt/OPSWbuildtools/2.0.6/bin/python2.7.global: Mach-O 64-bit executable x86_64
        
    • Ubuntu 16 x64:
      • Python 3.5.2 x64:
        >>> import os
        >>> os.system("file {0:s}".format(os.path.realpath(sys.executable)))
        /usr/bin/python3.5: ELF 64-bit LSB executable, x86-64, version 1 (SYSV), dynamically linked, interpreter /lib64/ld-linux-x86-64.so.2, for GNU/Linux 2.6.32, BuildID[sha1]=59a8ef36ca241df24686952480966d7bc0d7c6ea, stripped
        
      • Python 3.6.4 x86:
        >>> import os
        >>> os.system("file {0:s}".format(os.path.realpath(sys.executable)))
        /home/cfati/Work/Dev/Python-3.6.4/python: ELF 32-bit LSB executable, Intel 80386, version 1 (SYSV), dynamically linked, interpreter /lib/ld-linux.so.2, for GNU/Linux 2.6.32, BuildID[sha1]=5c3d4eeadbd13cd91445d08f90722767b0747de2, not stripped
        
    • Win 10 x64:
      • file utility is not present, there are other 3rd Party tools that can be used, but I’m not going to insist on them

Win specific:

  1. Check env vars (e.g. %PROCESSOR_ARCHITECTURE% (or others)) via [Python 3.Docs]: os.environ:
    • Win 10 x64:
      • Python 3.5.4 x64:
        >>> import os
        >>> os.environ["PROCESSOR_ARCHITECTURE"]
        'AMD64'
        
      • Python 3.6.2 x86:
        >>> import os
        >>> os.environ["PROCESSOR_ARCHITECTURE"]
        'x86'
        

  1. [Python 3.Docs]: sys.version (also displayed in the 1st line when starting the interpreter)
    • Check #1.
Answered By: CristiFati

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