I am using the following answer for How do you run Python code using Emacs.

I was wondering instead of opening python shell using C-c C-z and running C-c C-c to get results;

=> Can only the output results show up on the mini-buffer?

Opened Python shell buffer takes half of the window. I just want to see the output results in the minibuffer, or most compact buffer windows as possible.


1 Answer 1


One idea would be to use call-process or shell-command-to-string. Here is an example:

(defun python-fn (code)
  (let* ((temporary-file-directory ".")
         (tmpfile (make-temp-file "py-" nil ".py")))
    (with-temp-file tmpfile
      (insert code))
    (car (split-string (shell-command-to-string (format "python %s" tmpfile)) "\n$"))))

(python-fn "a = 150
b = 125
if b > a:
  print(\"b is greater than a\")
elif a == b:
  print(\"a and b are equal\")
  print(\"a is greater than b\")")
  • How could I run it? M-x does not see python-fn ? C-c C-c did not make any change :-( I am getting: ‘shell-command-to-string’ is not a valid command name, but I have something called shell-command+ which seems like working but also generates stty: 'standard input': Inappropriate ioctl for device stty: 'standard input': Inappropriate ioctl for device output too
    – alper
    Commented Nov 9, 2020 at 10:51
  • 1
    A function can be made interactive (so that you can use M-x) by adding (interactive) to the first line of a defun that contains code. If the defun contains an optional doc-string, then the (interactive) statement goes below the doc-string. This example/answer is not meant to be used interactively. You can paste the example/answer to the *scratch* buffer and place your cursor just after the last closing parenthesis of each code snippet and type C-x C-e, which is bound to eval-last-sexp. I have never used shell-command+ and do not know where it is defined.
    – lawlist
    Commented Nov 9, 2020 at 14:46
  • 1
    Likewise, shell-command-to-string is not an interactive function. I am hesitant to write up an example/answer that is made to be used interactively because the python language is rather finicky in terms of code indents, and I want to avoid opening a Pandora's Box that may create a lot of work.
    – lawlist
    Commented Nov 9, 2020 at 14:52
  • elpa.gnu.org/packages/shell-command+.html ; here I can do python run.py and it runs the code and prints its output. ; emacs couldn't find shell-command-to-string in package-install section. //
    – alper
    Commented Nov 9, 2020 at 20:41
  • 1
    My example/answer relates to using shell-command-to-string, not shell-command and not shell-command+. If you are in a python file-visiting buffer and you want to run the most recent version that was saved to the hard drive, you could type M-: aka M-x eval-expression and paste (car (split-string (shell-command-to-string (format "python %s" buffer-file-name)) "\n$")) and then press the RET key. If you arelady know the file name, you could input/paste (car (split-string (shell-command-to-string (format "python %s" "/path/to/file.py")) "\n$")).
    – lawlist
    Commented Nov 9, 2020 at 21:22

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