How to get Linux console window width in Python How to get Linux console window width in Python python python

How to get Linux console window width in Python

Not sure why it is in the module shutil, but it landed there in Python 3.3, Querying the size of the output terminal:

>>> import shutil>>> shutil.get_terminal_size((80, 20))  # pass fallbackos.terminal_size(columns=87, lines=23)  # returns a named-tuple

A low-level implementation is in the os module. Also works in Windows.

A backport is now available for Python 3.2 and below:

import osrows, columns = os.popen('stty size', 'r').read().split()

uses the 'stty size' command which according to a thread on the python mailing list is reasonably universal on linux. It opens the 'stty size' command as a file, 'reads' from it, and uses a simple string split to separate the coordinates.

Unlike the os.environ["COLUMNS"] value (which I can't access in spite of using bash as my standard shell) the data will also be up-to-date whereas I believe the os.environ["COLUMNS"] value would only be valid for the time of the launch of the python interpreter (suppose the user resized the window since then).

(See answer by @GringoSuave on how to do this on python 3.3+)


import console(width, height) = console.getTerminalSize()print "Your terminal's width is: %d" % width

EDIT: oh, I'm sorry. That's not a python standard lib one, here's the source of (I don't know where it's from).

The module seems to work like that: It checks if termcap is available, when yes. It uses that; if no it checks whether the terminal supports a special ioctl call and that does not work, too, it checks for the environment variables some shells export for that.This will probably work on UNIX only.

def getTerminalSize():    import os    env = os.environ    def ioctl_GWINSZ(fd):        try:            import fcntl, termios, struct, os            cr = struct.unpack('hh', fcntl.ioctl(fd, termios.TIOCGWINSZ,        '1234'))        except:            return        return cr    cr = ioctl_GWINSZ(0) or ioctl_GWINSZ(1) or ioctl_GWINSZ(2)    if not cr:        try:            fd =, os.O_RDONLY)            cr = ioctl_GWINSZ(fd)            os.close(fd)        except:            pass    if not cr:        cr = (env.get('LINES', 25), env.get('COLUMNS', 80))        ### Use get(key[, default]) instead of a try/catch        #try:        #    cr = (env['LINES'], env['COLUMNS'])        #except:        #    cr = (25, 80)    return int(cr[1]), int(cr[0])