This documentation is for a development version of IPython. There may be significant differences from the latest stable release.

5.x Series

IPython 5.4.1

Released a few hours after 5.4, fix a crash when backports.shutil-get-terminal-size is not installed. #10629

IPython 5.4

IPython 5.4-LTS is the first release of IPython after the release of the 6.x series which is Python 3 only. It backports most of the new exposed API additions made in IPython 6.0 and 6.1 and avoid having to write conditional logics depending of the version of IPython.

Please upgrade to pip 9 or greater before upgrading IPython. Failing to do so on Python 2 may lead to a broken IPython install.

Configurable TerminalInteractiveShell

Backported from the 6.x branch as an exceptional new feature. See PR #10373 and #10364

IPython gained a new c.TerminalIPythonApp.interactive_shell_class option that allow to customize the class used to start the terminal frontend. This should allow user to use custom interfaces, like reviving the former readline interface which is now a separate package not maintained by the core team.

Define _repr_mimebundle_

Object can now define _repr_mimebundle_ in place of multiple _repr_*_ methods and return a full mimebundle. This greatly simplify many implementation and allow to publish custom mimetypes (like geojson, plotly, dataframes....). See the Cutom Display Logic example notebook for more informations.

Execution Heuristics

The heuristic for execution in the command line interface is now more biased toward executing for single statement. While in IPython 4.x and before a single line would be executed when enter is pressed, IPython 5.x would insert a new line. For single line statement this is not true anymore and if a single line is valid Python, IPython will execute it regardless of the cursor position. Use Ctrl-O to insert a new line. PR #10489

Implement Display IDs

Implement display id and ability to update a given display. This should greatly simplify a lot of code by removing the need for widgets and allow other frontend to implement things like progress-bars. See PR #10048

Display function

The display() function is now available by default in an IPython session, meaning users can call it on any object to see their rich representation. This should allow for better interactivity both at the REPL and in notebook environment.

Scripts and library that rely on display and may be run outside of IPython still need to import the display function using from IPython.display import display. See PR #10596


  • _mp_main_ is not reloaded which fixes issues with multiprocessing. PR #10523
  • Use user colorscheme in Pdb as well PR #10479
  • Faster shutdown. PR #10408
  • Fix a crash in reverse search. PR #10371
  • added Completer.backslash_combining_completions boolean option to deactivate backslash-tab completion that may conflict with windows path.

IPython 5.3

Released on February 24th, 2017. Remarkable changes and fixes:

  • Fix a bug in set_next_input leading to a crash of terminal IPython. PR #10231, #10296, #10229
  • Always wait for editor inputhook for terminal IPython PR #10239, PR #10240
  • Disable _ipython_display_ in terminal PR #10249, PR #10274
  • Update terminal colors to be more visible by default on windows PR #10260, PR #10238, #10281
  • Add Ctrl-Z shortcut (suspend) in terminal debugger PR #10254, #10273
  • Indent on new line by looking at the text before the cursor PR #10264, PR #10275, #9283
  • Update QtEventloop integration to fix some matplotlib integration issues PR #10201, PR #10311, #10201
  • Respect completions display style in terminal debugger PR #10305, PR #10313
  • Add a config option TerminalInteractiveShell.extra_open_editor_shortcuts to enable extra shortcuts to open the input in an editor. These are v in vi mode, and C-X C-E in emacs mode (PR #10330). The F2 shortcut is always enabled.

IPython 5.2.2

  • Fix error when starting with IPCompleter.limit_to__all__ configured.

IPython 5.2.1

  • Fix tab completion in the debugger. PR #10223

IPython 5.2

Released on January 29th, 2017. Remarkable changes and fixes:

  • restore IPython’s debugger to raise on quit. PR #10009
  • The configuration value c.TerminalInteractiveShell.highlighting_style can now directly take a class argument for custom color style. PR #9848
  • Correctly handle matplotlib figures dpi PR #9868
  • Deprecate -e flag for the %notebook magic that had no effects. PR #9872
  • You can now press F2 while typing at a terminal prompt to edit the contents in your favourite terminal editor. Set the EDITOR environment variable to pick which editor is used. PR #9929
  • sdists will now only be .tar.gz as per upstream PyPI requirements. PR #9925
  • IPython.core.debugger have gained a set_trace() method for convenience. PR #9947
  • The ‘smart command mode’ added to the debugger in 5.0 was removed, as more people preferred the previous behaviour. Therefore, debugger commands such as c will act as debugger commands even when c is defined as a variable. PR #10050
  • Fixes OS X event loop issues at startup, PR #10150
  • Deprecate the %autoindent magic. PR #10176
  • Emit a DeprecationWarning when setting the deprecated limit_to_all option of the completer. PR #10198
  • The %%capture magic can now capture the result of a cell (from an expression on the last line), as well as printed and displayed output. PR #9851.

Changes of behavior to InteractiveShellEmbed.

InteractiveShellEmbed interactive behavior have changed a bit in between 5.1 and 5.2. By default %kill_embedded magic will prevent further invocation of the current call location instead of preventing further invocation of the current instance creation location. For most use case this will not change much for you, though previous behavior was confusing and less consistent with previous IPython versions.

You can now deactivate instances by using %kill_embedded --instance flag, (or -i in short). The %kill_embedded magic also gained a --yes/-y option which skip confirmation step, and -x/--exit which also exit the current embedded call without asking for confirmation.

See PR #10207.

IPython 5.1

  • Broken %timeit on Python2 due to the use of __qualname__. PR #9804
  • Restore %gui qt to create and return a QApplication if necessary. PR #9789
  • Don’t set terminal title by default. PR #9801
  • Preserve indentation when inserting newlines with Ctrl-O. PR #9770
  • Restore completion in debugger. PR #9785
  • Deprecate IPython.core.debugger.Tracer() in favor of simpler, newer, APIs. PR #9731
  • Restore NoOpContext context manager removed by mistake, and add DeprecationWarning. PR #9765
  • Add option allowing Prompt_toolkit to use 24bits colors. PR #9736
  • Fix for closing interactive matplotlib windows on OS X. PR #9854
  • An embedded interactive shell instance can be used more than once. PR #9843
  • More robust check for whether IPython is in a terminal. PR #9833
  • Better pretty-printing of dicts on PyPy. PR #9827
  • Some coloured output now looks better on dark background command prompts in Windows. PR #9838
  • Improved tab completion of paths on Windows . PR #9826
  • Fix tkinter event loop integration on Python 2 with future installed. PR #9824
  • Restore Ctrl-\ as a shortcut to quit IPython.
  • Make get_ipython() accessible when modules are imported by startup files. PR #9818
  • Add support for running directories containing a __main__.py file with the ipython command. PR #9813

True Color feature

prompt_toolkit uses pygments styles for syntax highlighting. By default, the colors specified in the style are approximated using a standard 256-color palette. prompt_toolkit also supports 24bit, a.k.a. “true”, a.k.a. 16-million color escape sequences which enable compatible terminals to display the exact colors specified instead of an approximation. This true_color option exposes that capability in prompt_toolkit to the IPython shell.

Here is a good source for the current state of true color support in various terminal emulators and software projects: https://gist.github.com/XVilka/8346728

IPython 5.0

Released July 7, 2016

New terminal interface

IPython 5 features a major upgrade to the terminal interface, bringing live syntax highlighting as you type, proper multiline editing and multiline paste, and tab completions that don’t clutter up your history.

New terminal interface features

These features are provided by the Python library prompt_toolkit, which replaces readline throughout our terminal interface.

Relying on this pure-Python, cross platform module also makes it simpler to install IPython. We have removed dependencies on pyreadline for Windows and gnureadline for Mac.

Backwards incompatible changes

  • The %install_ext magic function, deprecated since 4.0, has now been deleted. You can distribute and install extensions as packages on PyPI.
  • Callbacks registered while an event is being handled will now only be called for subsequent events; previously they could be called for the current event. Similarly, callbacks removed while handling an event will always get that event. See #9447 and PR #9453.
  • Integration with pydb has been removed since pydb development has been stopped since 2012, and pydb is not installable from PyPI.
  • The autoedit_syntax option has apparently been broken for many years. It has been removed.

New terminal interface

The overhaul of the terminal interface will probably cause a range of minor issues for existing users. This is inevitable for such a significant change, and we’ve done our best to minimise these issues. Some changes that we’re aware of, with suggestions on how to handle them:

IPython no longer uses readline configuration (~/.inputrc). We hope that the functionality you want (e.g. vi input mode) will be available by configuring IPython directly (see Terminal IPython options). If something’s missing, please file an issue.

The PromptManager class has been removed, and the prompt machinery simplified. See Custom Prompts to customise prompts with the new machinery.

IPython.core.debugger now provides a plainer interface. IPython.terminal.debugger contains the terminal debugger using prompt_toolkit.

There are new options to configure the colours used in syntax highlighting. We have tried to integrate them with our classic --colors option and %colors magic, but there’s a mismatch in possibilities, so some configurations may produce unexpected results. See Terminal Colors for more information.

The new interface is not compatible with Emacs ‘inferior-shell’ feature. To continue using this, add the --simple-prompt flag to the command Emacs runs. This flag disables most IPython features, relying on Emacs to provide things like tab completion.

Provisional Changes

Provisional changes are experimental functionality that may, or may not, make it into a future version of IPython, and which API may change without warnings. Activating these features and using these API are at your own risk, and may have security implication for your system, especially if used with the Jupyter notebook,

When running via the Jupyter notebook interfaces, or other compatible client, you can enable rich documentation experimental functionality:

When the docrepr package is installed setting the boolean flag InteractiveShell.sphinxify_docstring to True, will process the various object through sphinx before displaying them (see the docrepr package documentation for more information.

You need to also enable the IPython pager display rich HTML representation using the InteractiveShell.enable_html_pager boolean configuration option. As usual you can set these configuration options globally in your configuration files, alternatively you can turn them on dynamically using the following snippet:

ip = get_ipython()
ip.sphinxify_docstring = True
ip.enable_html_pager = True

You can test the effect of various combinations of the above configuration in the Jupyter notebook, with things example like :

import numpy as np

This is part of an effort to make Documentation in Python richer and provide in the long term if possible dynamic examples that can contain math, images, widgets... As stated above this is nightly experimental feature with a lot of (fun) problem to solve. We would be happy to get your feedback and expertise on it.

Deprecated Features

Some deprecated features are listed in this section. Don’t forget to enable DeprecationWarning as an error if you are using IPython in a Continuous Integration setup or in your testing in general:

import warnings
warnings.filterwarnings('error', '.*', DeprecationWarning, module='yourmodule.*')
  • hooks.fix_error_editor seems unused and is pending deprecation.
  • IPython/core/excolors.py:ExceptionColors is deprecated.
  • IPython.core.InteractiveShell:write() is deprecated; use sys.stdout instead.
  • IPython.core.InteractiveShell:write_err() is deprecated; use sys.stderr instead.
  • The formatter keyword argument to Inspector.info in IPython.core.oinspec has no effect.
  • The global_ns keyword argument of IPython Embed was deprecated, and has no effect. Use module keyword argument instead.

Known Issues:

  • <Esc> Key does not dismiss the completer and does not clear the current buffer. This is an on purpose modification due to current technical limitation. Cf PR #9572. Escape the control character which is used for other shortcut, and there is no practical way to distinguish. Use Ctr-G or Ctrl-C as an alternative.
  • Cannot use Shift-Enter and Ctrl-Enter to submit code in terminal. cf #9587 and #9401. In terminal there is no practical way to distinguish these key sequences from a normal new line return.
  • PageUp and pageDown do not move through completion menu.
  • Color styles might not adapt to terminal emulator themes. This will need new version of Pygments to be released, and can be mitigated with custom themes.