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automatically save ipython sessions

I often like to start my ipython session from where I last left off - similar to saving a firefox browsing session. IPython already automatically saves your input history so that you can look up commands in your history, but it doesn't save your variables. Here are the steps to save the state of your variables on exit and have them loaded on startup:

  1. Add the script below to your ipython folder (by default $HOME/.ipython). This script takes care of saving user variables on exit.

  2. Add this line to your profile's ipython startup script (e.g., $HOME/.ipython/profile_default/startup/
    get_ipython().ex("import save_user_variables;del save_user_variables")

  3. In your ipython profile config file (by default $HOME/.ipython/profile_default/ find the following line:
    # c.StoreMagics.autorestore = False
    Uncomment it and set it to true. This automatically reloads stored variables on startup. Alternatively you can use reload the last session manually using %store -r.

FYI this was tested using IPython version 2.1.0 in linux mint.

def get_response(quest,default=None,opts=('y','n'),please=None,fmt=None):
raw_input = input
except NameError:
quest += " ("
quest += "/".join(['['+o+']' if o==default else o for o in opts])
quest += "): "
if default is not None: opts = list(opts)+['']
if please is None: please = quest
if fmt is None: fmt = lambda x: x
rin = input(quest)
while fmt(rin) not in opts: rin = input(please)
return default if default is not None and rin == '' else fmt(rin)
def get_user_vars():
Get variables in user namespace (ripped directly from ipython namespace
magic code)
import IPython
ip = IPython.get_ipython()
user_ns = ip.user_ns
user_ns_hidden = ip.user_ns_hidden
nonmatching = object()
var_hist = [ i for i in user_ns
if not i.startswith('_') \
and (user_ns[i] is not user_ns_hidden.get(i, nonmatching)) ]
return var_hist
def shutdown_logger():
Prompts for saving the current session during shutdown
import IPython, pickle
var_hist = get_user_vars()
ip = IPython.get_ipython()
db = ip.db
# collect any variables that need to be deleted from db
keys = map(lambda x: x.split('/')[1], db.keys('autorestore/*'))
todel = set(keys).difference(ip.user_ns)
changed = [db[k] != ip.user_ns[k.split('/')[1]]
for k in db.keys('autorestore/*') if k.split('/')[1] in ip.user_ns]
if len(var_hist) == 0 and len(todel) == 0 and not any(changed): return
if get_response("Save session?", 'n', fmt=str.lower) == 'n': return
except KeyboardInterrupt:
# Save interactive variables (ignore unsaveable ones)
for name in var_hist:
obj = ip.user_ns[name]
db[ 'autorestore/' + name ] = obj
except pickle.PicklingError:
print("Could not store variable '%s'. Skipping..." % name)
del db[ 'autorestore/' + name ]
# Remove any previously stored variables that were deleted in this session
for k in todel:
del db['autorestore/'+k]
import atexit
del atexit

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@alphaCTzo7G alphaCTzo7G commented Jan 6, 2018

@tgarc, saw your answer on Stackoverflow on how to save variable on exit, using the above script.

does this still work with Ipython 6.0 or recent ones? I tried on Windows 10, ipython 6, and it didnt work..


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@tgarc tgarc commented Jan 23, 2018

Sorry @alphaCTzo7G your message got buried in my inbox. Try the new edits I made. Works as before using IPython 6 on my windows machine.

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