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Python module dependency visualization. This package installs the pydeps command, and normal usage will be to use it from the command line.

How to install

pip install pydeps

Basic Usage

From the shell:

shell> pydeps [flags] module-directory

Detailed usage examples can be found below the version history.

Note: pydeps finds imports by looking for import-opcodes in python bytecodes (think .pyc files). Therefore, only imported files will be found (ie. pydeps will not look at files in your directory that are not imported). Additionally, only files that can be found using the Python import machinery will be considered (ie. if a module is missing or not installed, it will not be included regardless if it is being imported). This can be modified by using the --include-missing flag described below.

Creating the graph:

To create graphs you need to install Graphviz Please follow the installation instructions provided in the Graphviz link (and make sure the dot command is on your path).

Displaying the graph:

To display the resulting .svg or .png files, pydeps by default calls an appropriate opener for the platform, like xdg-open foo.svg.

This can be overridden with the --display PROGRAM option, where PROGRAM is an executable that can display the image file of the graph.

You can also export the name of such a viewer in either the PYDEPS_DISPLAY or BROWSER environment variable, which changes the default behaviour when --display is not used.

Feature requests and bug reports:

Please report bugs and feature requests on GitHub at

Version history

Version 1.9.10 no_show is now honored when placed in .pydeps file. Thanks to romain-dartigues for the PR.

Version 1.9.8 Fix for maximum recursion depth exceeded when using large frameworks (like sympy). Thanks to tanujkhattar for finding the fix and to balopat for reporting it.

Version 1.9.7 Check PYDEPS_DISPLAY and BROWSER for a program to open the graph, PR by jhermann

Version 1.9.6 --no-show and --no-dot as aliases for --noshow and --nodot, PR by jhermann

Version 1.9.1 graphs are now stable on Python 3.x as well - this was already the case for Py2.7 (thanks to pawamoy for reporting and testing the issue and to kinow for helping with testing).

Version 1.9.0 supports Python 3.8.

Version 1.8.7 includes a new flag --rmprefix which lets you remove prefixes from the node-labels in the graph. The _name_ of the nodes are not effected so this does not cause merging of nodes, nor does it change coloring - but it can lead to multiple nodes with the same label (hovering over the node will give the full name). Thanks to aroberge for the enhancement request.

Version 1.8.5 With svg as the output format (which is the default), paths are now hilighted on mouse hover (thanks to tomasito665 for the enhancement request).

Version 1.8.2 incldes a new flag --only that causes pydeps to only report on the paths specified:

shell> pydeps mypackage --only mypackage.a mypackage.b

Version 1.8.0 includes 4 new flags for drawing external dependencies as clusters. See below for examples. Additionally, the arrowheads now have the color of the source node.

Version 1.7.3 includes a new flag -xx or --exclude-exact which matches the functionality of the --exclude flag, except it requires an exact match, i.e. -xx will exclude, but not (thanks to AvenzaOleg for the PR).

Version 1.7.2 includes a new flag, --no-output, which prevents creation of the .svg/.png file.

Version 1.7.1 fixes excludes in .pydeps files (thanks to eqvis for the bug report).

Version 1.7.0 The new --reverse flag reverses the direction of the arrows in the dependency graph, so they point _to_ the imported module instead of _from_ the imported module (thanks to goetzk for the bug report and tobiasmaier for the PR!).

Version 1.5.0 Python 3 support (thanks to eight04 for the PR).

Version 1.3.4 --externals will now include modules that haven’t been installed (what modulefinder calls badmodules).

Version 1.2.8 A shortcut for finding the direct external dependencies of a package was added:

pydeps --externals mypackage

which will print a json formatted list of module names to the screen, e.g.:

(dev) go|c:\srv\lib\dk-tasklib> pydeps --externals dktasklib

which means that the dktasklib package only depends on the dkfileutils package.

This functionality is also available programmatically:

import os
from pydeps.pydeps import externals
# the directory that contains (one level up from actual package):
print externals('mypackage')

Version 1.2.5: The defaults are now sensible, such that:

shell> pydeps mypackage

will likely do what you want. It is the same as pydeps --show --max-bacon=2 mypackage which means display the dependency graph in your browser, but limit it to two hops (which includes only the modules that your module imports – not continuing down the import chain). The old default behavior is available with pydeps --noshow --max-bacon=0 mypackage.


This is the result of running pydeps on itself (pydeps pydeps):

(full disclosure: this is for an early version of pydeps)

Bacon (Scoring)

pydeps also contains an Erdős-like scoring function (a.k.a. Bacon number, from Six degrees of Kevin Bacon ( that lets you filter out modules that are more than a given number of ‘hops’ away from the module you’re interested in. This is useful for finding the interface a module has to the rest of the world.

To find pydeps’ interface to the Python stdlib (less some very common modules).

shell> pydeps pydeps --show --max-bacon 2 --pylib -x os re types _* enum

--max-bacon 2 (the default) gives the modules that are at most 2 hops away, and modules that belong together have similar colors. Compare that to the output with the --max-bacon=0 (infinite) filter:


All options can also be set in a .pydeps file using .ini file syntax (parsable by ConfigParser). Command line options override options in the .pydeps file in the current directory, which again overrides options in the user’s home directory (%USERPROFILE%\.pydeps on Windows and ${HOME}/.pydeps otherwise).

An example .pydeps file:

max_bacon = 2
no_show = True
verbose = 0
pylib = False
exclude =

Import cycles

pydeps can detect and display cycles with the --show-cycles parameter. This will _only_ display the cycles, and for big libraries it is not a particularly fast operation. Given a folder with the following contents (this uses yaml to define a directory structure, like in the tests):

    - |
        from . import b
    - |
        from . import a

pydeps relimp --show-cycles displays:

Clustering externals

Running pydeps pydeps –max-bacon=4 on version 1.8.0 of pydeps gives the following graph:

If you are not interested in the internal structure of external modules, you can add the --cluster flag, which will collapse external modules into folder-shaped objects:

shell> pydeps pydeps --max-bacon=4 --cluster

To see the internal structure _and_ delineate external modules, use the --max-cluster-size flag, which controls how many nodes can be in a cluster before it is collapsed to a folder icon:

shell> pydeps pydeps --max-bacon=4 --cluster --max-cluster-size=1000

or, using a smaller max-cluster-size:

shell> pydeps pydeps --max-bacon=4 --cluster --max-cluster-size=3

To remove clusters with too few nodes, use the --min-cluster-size flag:

shell> pydeps pydeps --max-bacon=4 --cluster --max-cluster-size=3 --min-cluster-size=2

In some situations it can be useful to draw the target module as a cluster:

shell> pydeps pydeps --max-bacon=4 --cluster --max-cluster-size=3 --min-cluster-size=2 --keep-target-cluster

..and since the cluster boxes include the module name, we can remove those prefixes:

shell> pydeps pydeps --max-bacon=4 --cluster --max-cluster-size=3 --min-cluster-size=2 --keep-target-cluster --rmprefix pydeps. stdlib_list.

Intermediate format

An attempt has been made to keep the intermediate formats readable, eg. the output from pydeps --show-deps .. looks like this:

"pydeps.mf27": {
    "imported_by": [
    "kind": "imp.PY_SOURCE",
    "name": "pydeps.mf27",
    "path": "pydeps\\"
"pydeps.py2depgraph": {
    "imported_by": [
    "imports": [
    "kind": "imp.PY_SOURCE",
    "name": "pydeps.py2depgraph",
    "path": "pydeps\\"
}, ...

Usage (parameters)

usage: pydeps [-h] [--debug] [--config FILE] [--no-config] [--version]
              [-L LOG] [-v] [-o file] [-T FORMAT] [--display PROGRAM]
              [--noshow] [--show-deps] [--show-raw-deps] [--show-dot]
              [--nodot] [--no-output] [--show-cycles] [--debug-mf INT]
              [--noise-level INT] [--max-bacon INT] [--pylib] [--pylib-all]
              [--include-missing] [-x PATTERN [PATTERN ...]]
              [-xx MODULE [MODULE ...]] [--only MODULE_PATH [MODULE_PATH ...]]
              [--externals] [--reverse] [--cluster] [--min-cluster-size INT]
              [--max-cluster-size INT] [--keep-target-cluster]
              [--rmprefix PREFIX [PREFIX ...]]
positional arguments:
fname filename
optional arguments:
-h, --help show this help message and exit
--config FILE specify config file
--no-config disable processing of config files
--version print pydeps version
-L LOG, --log LOG
 set log-level to one of CRITICAL, ERROR, WARNING, INFO, DEBUG, NOTSET.
-v, --verbose be more verbose (-vv, -vvv for more verbosity)
-o file write output to ‘file’
-T FORMAT output format (svg|png)
--display PROGRAM
 program to use to display the graph (png or svg file depending on the T parameter)
--noshow don’t call external program to display graph
--show-deps show output of dependency analysis
 show output of dependency analysis before removing skips
--show-dot show output of dot conversion
--nodot skip dot conversion
--no-output don’t create .svg/.png file, implies –no-show (-t/-o will be ignored)
--show-cycles show only import cycles
--debug turn on all the show and verbose options (mainly for debugging pydeps itself)
--noise-level INT
 exclude sources or sinks with degree greater than noise-level
--max-bacon INT
 exclude nodes that are more than n hops away (default=2, 0 -> infinite)
--pylib include python std lib modules
--pylib-all include python all std lib modules (incl. C modules)
 include modules that are not installed (or can’t be found on sys.path)
--x PATTERN, --exclude PATTERN
 input files to skip (e.g. foo.*), multiple patterns can be provided
--xx MODULE, --exclude-exact MODULE
 same as –exclude, except requires the full match. -xx will exclude, but not
 only include modules that start with MODULE_PATH, multiple paths can be provided
--externals create list of direct external dependencies
--reverse draw arrows to (instead of from) imported modules
--cluster draw external dependencies as separate clusters
--min-cluster-size INT
 the minimum number of nodes a dependency must have before being clustered (default=0)
--max-cluster-size INT
 the maximum number of nodes a dependency can have before the cluster is collapsed to a single node (default=0)
 draw target module as a cluster
--rmprefix PREFIX
 remove PREFIX from the displayed name of the nodes (multiple prefixes can be provided)

You can of course import pydeps from Python (look in the tests/ file for examples.


  1. Fork it
  2. It is appreciated (but not required) if you raise an issue first:
  3. Create your feature branch (git checkout -b my-new-feature)
  4. Commit your changes (git commit -am ‘Add some feature’)
  5. Push to the branch (git push origin my-new-feature)
  6. Create new Pull Request

API documentation

Module contents

Python module dependency visualization. This package installs the pydeps command, and normal usage will be to use it from the command line.

pydeps.arguments module

class pydeps.arguments.Argument(*flags, **args)[source]

Bases: object

class pydeps.arguments.Arguments(config_files=None, debug=False, *posargs, **kwargs)[source]

Bases: object

add(*flags, **kwargs)[source]
class pydeps.arguments.Namespace(ns)[source]

Bases: object


pydeps.cli module

command line interface (cli) code.


Initial parser that can set values for the rest of the parsing process.

pydeps.cli.error(*args, **kwargs)[source]

Print an error message and exit.


Parse command line arguments, and return a dict.

pydeps.cli.verbose = None

the (will become) verbose function

pydeps.colors module

Color calculations.

class pydeps.colors.ColorSpace(nodes)[source]

Bases: object

add_to_tree(parts, tree)[source]
pydeps.colors.brightness(r, g, b)[source]

From w3c (range 0..255).

pydeps.colors.brightnessdiff(a, b)[source]

greater than 125 is good.

pydeps.colors.colordiff(rgb1, rgb2)[source]

From w3c (greater than 500 is good). (range [0..765])


Return count hues, equidistantly spaced.

pydeps.colors.foreground(background, *options)[source]

Find the best foreground color from options based on background color.

pydeps.colors.frange(start, end, step)[source]

Like range(), but with floats.


Originally used to calculate color based on module name.


Convert rgb to hex.


Convert floats in [0..1] to integers in [0..256)

pydeps.depgraph module

class pydeps.depgraph.DepGraph(depgraf, types, **args)[source]

Bases: object


Traverse depth-first adding imported_by.

dissimilarity_metric(a, b)[source]

Return non-zero if references to this module are strange, and should be drawn extra-long. The value defines the length, in rank. This is also good for putting some vertical space between seperate subsystems.

Returns an int between 1 (default) and 4 (highly unrelated).


Exclude modules that are more than limit hops away from __main__.

get_colors(src, colorspace=None)[source]
proximity_metric(a, b)[source]

Return the weight of the dependency from a to b. Higher weights usually have shorter straighter edges. Return 1 if it has normal weight. A value of 4 is usually good for ensuring that a related pair of modules are drawn next to each other.

Returns an int between 1 (unknown, default), and 4 (very related).


Remove all sources marked as excluded.

skip_modules = ['os', 'sys', 'qt', 'time', '__future__', 'types', 're', 'string', 'bdb', 'pdb', '__main__', 'south']
class pydeps.depgraph.Source(name, path=None, imports=(), exclude=False, args=None)[source]

Bases: object

get_label(splitlength=0, rmprefix=None)[source]

Number of incoming arrows.


Is this module just noise? (too common either at top or bottom of the graph).


Convert a module name to a formatted node label. This is a default policy - please override.


Number of outgoing arrows.

class pydeps.depgraph.imp[source]

Bases: enum.Enum


pydeps.depgraph2dot module

class pydeps.depgraph2dot.CycleGraphDot(**kw)[source]

Bases: object

render(depgraph, ctx)[source]
class pydeps.depgraph2dot.PyDepGraphDot(**kw)[source]

Bases: object

render(depgraph, ctx)[source]
pydeps.depgraph2dot.cycles2dot(target, depgraph, **kw)[source]
pydeps.depgraph2dot.dep2dot(target, depgraph, **kw)[source] module

Graphviz interface., fmt)[source]

Call dot command, and provide helpful error message if we cannot find it.[source]

Prepare a command line for execution by Popen., fname)[source]

Try to display the svg file on this platform.

Note that this is also used to display PNG files, despite the name., **kw)[source]

Execute the dot command to create an svg output.[source]

Test unicode with py3 support., txt)[source]

Pipe txt into the command cmd and return the output.[source]

Convert an item into bytes.

pydeps.dummymodule module

class pydeps.dummymodule.DummyModule(target, **args)[source]

Bases: object

We create a file that imports the module to be investigated.


Legal module names are dotted strings where each part is a valid Python identifier. (and not a keyword, and support unicode identifiers in Python3, ..)

print_import(fp, module)[source]

Return the content of the dummy module.

pydeps.dummymodule.fname2modname(fname, package_root)[source]

A directory is a module if it contains an file.


A file name is a python source file iff it ends with ‘.py’ and doesn’t start with a dot.

pydeps.dummymodule.python_sources_below(directory, package=True)[source]

pydeps.mf27 module

Find modules used by a script, using introspection.

pydeps.mf27.AddPackagePath(packagename, path)[source]
class pydeps.mf27.Module(name, file=None, path=None)[source]
class pydeps.mf27.ModuleFinder(path=None, debug=0, excludes=[], replace_paths=[])[source]

Return a list of modules that appear to be missing. Use any_missing_maybe() if you want to know which modules are certain to be missing, and which may be missing.


Return two lists, one with modules that are certainly missing and one with modules that may be missing. The latter names could either be submodules or just global names in the package.

The reason it can’t always be determined is that it’s impossible to tell which names are imported when from module import * is done with an extension module, short of actually importing it.

determine_parent(caller, level=-1)[source]
ensure_fromlist(module, fromlist, recursive=0)[source]
find_head_package(parent, name)[source]
find_module(name, path, parent=None)[source]
import_hook(name, caller=None, fromlist=None, level=-1)[source]
import_module(partname, fqname, parent)[source]
load_module(fqname, fp, pathname, file_info)[source]
load_package(fqname, pathname)[source]
load_tail(q, tail)[source]
msg(level, msgtxt, *args)[source]

Print a report to stdout, listing the found modules with their paths, as well as modules that are missing, or seem to be missing.

scan_code(co, module)[source]
scan_opcodes(co, unpack=<built-in function unpack>)[source]
scan_opcodes_25(co, unpack=<built-in function unpack>)[source]
pydeps.mf27.ReplacePackage(oldname, newname)[source]

pydeps.package_names module


pydeps.py2depgraph module

class pydeps.py2depgraph.Module(name, file=None, path=None)[source]

Bases: object

class pydeps.py2depgraph.MyModuleFinder(syspath, *args, **kwargs)[source]

Bases: pydeps.mf27.ModuleFinder

ensure_fromlist(module, fromlist, recursive=0)[source]
import_hook(name, caller=None, fromlist=None, level=-1)[source]
import_module(partnam, fqname, parent)[source]
load_module(fqname, fp, pathname, xxx_todo_changeme)[source]
class pydeps.py2depgraph.RawDependencies(fname, **kw)[source]

Bases: object

class pydeps.py2depgraph.imp[source]

Bases: enum.Enum

pydeps.py2depgraph.py2dep(target, **kw)[source]

“Calculate dependencies for pattern and return a DepGraph.


pydeps.pycompat module

Compatibility imports between py2/py3

pydeps.pydeps module

cli entrypoints.

pydeps.pydeps.depgraph_to_dotsrc(target, dep_graph, **kw)[source]

Convert the dependency graph (DepGraph class) to dot source code.

pydeps.pydeps.externals(trgt, **kwargs)[source]

Return a list of direct external dependencies of pkgname. Called for the pydeps --externals command.


Entry point for the pydeps command.

This function should do all the initial parameter and environment munging before calling _pydeps (so that function has a clean execution path).

pydeps.pystdlib module


Return a set of all module-names in the Python standard library.

pydeps.render_context module

class pydeps.render_context.RenderBuffer(target, reverse=False, cluster=False, min_cluster_size=0, max_cluster_size=1, keep_target_cluster=False, **kw)[source]

Bases: object

write_node(n, **attrs)[source]
write_rule(a, b, **attrs)[source]
class pydeps.render_context.RenderContext(out=None, reverse=False)[source]

Bases: object


Write txt dedented.


Set up a graphviz graph context.


Write indented rule.


Get value of output stream (StringIO).


Write txt to file and output stream (StringIO).


Write comma separated attribute values (if exists).

write_node(a, **attrs)[source]

a [a1=x,a2=y];

write_rule(a, b, **attrs)[source]

a -> b [a1=x,a2=y];


Write txt and add newline.

pydeps.render_context.to_unicode(s)[source] module

Abstracting the target for pydeps to work on.


Bases: object

The compilation target.


Clean up after ourselves.