Interactive Shell Access to Tornado Local Environment

Posted on Apr 21, 2013

I’ve been working on Tornado for last few days and I really needed a shell access to the local virtual environment of my Tornado app so that I can test few things out. Exactly like Django has ./ shell. But as we all know Tornado lacks a good documentation. Most of the things except the use of the native classes, require a lot of trial and error(at least for me, I’m not so bright). So I looked around and found how Flask has a way of having an interactive shell access to the environment. And I just replicated it.

Create a file called whatever you like) on the root of your project and put these codes in it -

#!/usr/bin/env python

import os
import readline
from pprint import pprint

# Your app file
from app import *

# These project specific. But I need these to run my project
from config import *
from settings import *

# This is the main part
os.environ['PYTHONINSPECT'] = 'True'

From Python documentation -

PYTHONINSPECT If this is set to a non-empty string it is equivalent to specifying the -i option. This variable can also be modified by Python code using os.environ to force inspect mode on program termination.

And the -i option -

-i When a script is passed as first argument or the -c option is used, enter interactive mode after executing the script or the command, even when sys.stdin does not appear to be a terminal. The PYTHONSTARTUP file is not read. This can be useful to inspect global variables or a stack trace when a script raises an exception.

Now just navigate to your project root and execute python or you can do ./ if you know how. This will take you to an interactive shell where you can play around with your project.