How can I randomly select an item from a list? How can I randomly select an item from a list? python python

How can I randomly select an item from a list?


Use random.choice():

import randomfoo = ['a', 'b', 'c', 'd', 'e']print(random.choice(foo))

For cryptographically secure random choices (e.g., for generating a passphrase from a wordlist), use secrets.choice():

import secretsfoo = ['battery', 'correct', 'horse', 'staple']print(secrets.choice(foo))

secrets is new in Python 3.6. On older versions of Python you can use the random.SystemRandom class:

import randomsecure_random = random.SystemRandom()print(secure_random.choice(foo))


If you want to randomly select more than one item from a list, or select an item from a set, I'd recommend using random.sample instead.

import randomgroup_of_items = {'a', 'b', 'c', 'd', 'e'}  # a sequence or set will work here.num_to_select = 2                           # set the number to select here.list_of_random_items = random.sample(group_of_items, num_to_select)first_random_item = list_of_random_items[0]second_random_item = list_of_random_items[1] 

If you're only pulling a single item from a list though, choice is less clunky, as using sample would have the syntax random.sample(some_list, 1)[0] instead of random.choice(some_list).

Unfortunately though, choice only works for a single output from sequences (such as lists or tuples). Though random.choice(tuple(some_set)) may be an option for getting a single item from a set.

EDIT: Using Secrets

As many have pointed out, if you require more secure pseudorandom samples, you should use the secrets module:

import secrets                              # imports secure module.secure_random = secrets.SystemRandom()      # creates a secure random object.group_of_items = {'a', 'b', 'c', 'd', 'e'}  # a sequence or set will work here.num_to_select = 2                           # set the number to select here.list_of_random_items = secure_random.sample(group_of_items, num_to_select)first_random_item = list_of_random_items[0]second_random_item = list_of_random_items[1]

EDIT: Pythonic One-Liner

If you want a more pythonic one-liner for selecting multiple items, you can use unpacking.

import randomfirst_random_item, second_random_item = random.sample({'a', 'b', 'c', 'd', 'e'}, 2)


If you also need the index, use random.randrange

from random import randrangerandom_index = randrange(len(foo))print(foo[random_index])


matomo