How do I find the location of Python module sources?


How do I learn where the source file for a given Python module is installed? Is the method different on Windows than on Linux?

I’m trying to look for the source of the datetime module in particular, but I’m interested in a more general answer as well.

Asked By: Daryl Spitzer



The sys.path list contains the list of directories which will be searched for modules at runtime:

python -v
>>> import sys
>>> sys.path
['', '/usr/local/lib/', '/usr/local/lib/python2.5', ... ]
Answered By: Greg Hewgill

Running python -v from the command line should tell you what is being imported and from where. This works for me on Windows and Mac OS X.

C:>python -v
# installing zipimport hook
import zipimport # builtin
# installed zipimport hook
# C:Python24libsite.pyc has bad mtime
import site # from
# wrote C:Python24libsite.pyc
# C:Python24libos.pyc has bad mtime
import os # from
# wrote C:Python24libos.pyc
import nt # builtin
# C:Python24libntpath.pyc has bad mtime

I’m not sure what those bad mtime’s are on my install!

Answered By: jblocksom

datetime is a builtin module, so there is no (Python) source file.

For modules coming from .py (or .pyc) files, you can use mymodule.__file__, e.g.

> import random
> random.__file__
Answered By: Bjarke Ebert

Not all python modules are written in python. Datetime happens to be one of them that is not, and (on linux) is

You would have to download the source code to the python standard library to get at it.

Answered By: JimB

For a pure python module you can find the source by looking at themodule.__file__.
The datetime module, however, is written in C, and therefore datetime.__file__ points to a .so file (there is no datetime.__file__ on Windows), and therefore, you can’t see the source.

If you download a python source tarball and extract it, the modules’ code can be found in the Modules subdirectory.

For example, if you want to find the datetime code for python 2.6, you can look at


You can also find the latest version of this file on github on the web at

Answered By: Moe

Check out this nifty “cdp” command to cd to the directory containing the source for the indicated Python module:

cdp () {
  cd "$(python -c "import os.path as _, ${1}; 
    print _.dirname(_.realpath(${1}.__file__[:-1]))"
Answered By: Daryl Spitzer

New in Python 3.2, you can now use e.g. code_info() from the dis module:

Answered By: evdama

In the python interpreter you could import the particular module and then type help(module). This gives details such as Name, File, Module Docs, Description et al.


import os


Help on module os:


os - OS routines for Mac, NT, or Posix depending on what system we're on.





This exports:

- all functions from posix, nt, os2, or ce, e.g. unlink, stat, etc.

- os.path is one of the modules posixpath, or ntpath

- is 'posix', 'nt', 'os2', 'ce' or 'riscos'

et al

Answered By: Vijay

I realize this answer is 4 years late, but the existing answers are misleading people.

The right way to do this is never __file__, or trying to walk through sys.path and search for yourself, etc. (unless you need to be backward compatible beyond 2.1).

It’s the inspect module—in particular, getfile or getsourcefile.

Unless you want to learn and implement the rules (which are documented, but painful, for CPython 2.x, and not documented at all for other implementations, or 3.x) for mapping .pyc to .py files; dealing with .zip archives, eggs, and module packages; trying different ways to get the path to .so/.pyd files that don’t support __file__; figuring out what Jython/IronPython/PyPy do; etc. In which case, go for it.

Meanwhile, every Python version’s source from 2.0+ is available online at (e.g., 2.7 or 3.3). So, once you discover that inspect.getfile(datetime) is a .so or .pyd file like /usr/local/lib/python2.7/lib-dynload/, you can look it up inside the Modules directory. Strictly speaking, there’s no way to be sure of which file defines which module, but nearly all of them are either foo.c or foomodule.c, so it shouldn’t be hard to guess that datetimemodule.c is what you want.

Answered By: abarnert

Here’s a one-liner to get the filename for a module, suitable for shell aliasing:

echo 'import sys; t=__import__(sys.argv[1],fromlist=["."]); print(t.__file__)'  | python - 

Set up as an alias:

alias getpmpath="echo 'import sys; t=__import__(sys.argv[1],fromlist=["."]); print(t.__file__)'  | python - "

To use:

$ getpmpath twisted
$ getpmpath twisted.web
Answered By: Ernest

from the standard library try imp.find_module

>>> import imp
>>> imp.find_module('fontTools')
(None, 'C:\Python27\lib\site-packages\FontTools\fontTools', ('', '', 5))
>>> imp.find_module('datetime')
(None, 'datetime', ('', '', 6))
Answered By: Codespaced

On windows you can find the location of the python module as shown below:i.e find rest_framework module
enter image description here

Answered By: Duncan O. N.

For those who prefer a GUI solution: if you’re using a gui such as Spyder (part of the Anaconda installation) you can just right-click the module name (such as “csv” in “import csv”) and select “go to definition” – this will open the file, but also on the top you can see the exact file location (“C:…”)

Answered By: Anon

If you’re using pip to install your modules, just pip show $module the location is returned.

On Ubuntu 12.04, for example numpy package for python2, can be found at:


Of course, this is not generic answer

Answered By: nexayq

If you are not using interpreter then you can run the code below:

import site
print (site.getsitepackages())


['C:\Users\<your username>\AppData\Local\Programs\Python\Python37', 'C:\Users\<your username>\AppData\Local\Programs\Python\Python37\lib\site-packages']

The second element in Array will be your package location. In this case:

C:Users<your username>AppDataLocalProgramsPythonPython37libsite-packages
Answered By: Supradeep

In an IDE like Spyder, import the module and then run the module individually.
enter image description here

Answered By: Anirudh Sharma

Another way to check if you have multiple python versions installed, from the terminal.

$ python3 -m pip show pyperclip

Location: /Library/Frameworks/Python.framework/Versions/3.7/lib/python3.7/site-

$ python -m pip show pyperclip

Location: /Users/umeshvuyyuru/Library/Python/2.7/lib/python/site-packages

Answered By: vub

Just updating the answer in case anyone needs it now, I’m at Python 3.9 and using Pip to manage packages. Just use pip show, e.g.:

pip show numpy

It will give you all the details with the location of where pip is storing all your other packages.

Answered By: Ritik Attri

as written above
in python just use help(module)

import fractions


if your module, in the example fractions, is installed then it will tell you location and info about it, if its not installed it says module not available

if its not available it doesn’t come by default with python in which case you can check where you found it for download info

Answered By: Harry P

Inspired by this answer.

With utilizing grep and awk tools.
I find this works in the bash shell.

pip show <any-installed-package> | grep Location | awk -F': ' '{print $2}'

The idea is to filter the module path in the result.

$pip show pygments
Name: Pygments
Version: 2.16.1
Summary: Pygments is a syntax highlighting package written in Python.
Home-page: None
Author: None
Author-email: Georg Brandl <[email protected]>
License: BSD-2-Clause
Location: $USER/.local/lib/python3.8/site-packages
Answered By: Xiangyu Meng

You can run this on pyCharm or other editor as per your wish

import module_name


This will display the location of your module.

Answered By: Vivek Parhi
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