I'm trying to allow for evaluation of code blocks within a trusted Org mode document (following instructions at https://orgmode.org/manual/Evaluating-Code-Blocks.html) but can't seem to dodge the prompt. Minimal examples:

#+PROPERTY: header-args: :eval yes

#+begin_src python :results output
print("Hello World")
#+header: :eval yes
#+begin_src python :results output
print("Hello World")
#+begin_src python :results output :eval yes
print("Hello World")

It seems that in each case, :eval yes is ignored and I am prompted:

Evaluate this python code block on your system? (yes or no)

I would prefer not to use

(setq org-confirm-babel-evaluate nil)


Code evaluation works OK if I answer yes, but I'd prefer not to have to do that when the source is trusted.

I assume I must have the syntax wrong, but am not sure how to fix it.

In init.el:

    '((emacs-lisp . t)
      (python . t)))

Emacs 28.2

1 Answer 1


There is one mistake in the syntax: the name of the property should not end with a colon, so the #+PROPERTY line should read:

#+PROPERTY: header-args :eval yes

However, that only affects the first of your examples; the other two blocks are unaffected by the syntax error. The fact is that if org-confirm-babel-evaluate is at its default value of t, they all pop the question. Assuming that you are interpreting the doc correctly, it seems like a bug to me.

Here's the doc of the :eval header:

The ‘eval’ header argument can limit evaluation of specific code blocks
and ‘CALL’ keyword.  It is useful for protection against evaluating
untrusted code blocks by prompting for a confirmation.

     Org always evaluates the source code without asking permission.

It seems pretty unequivocal that if the header is :eval yes then Org evaluates the block with no questions asked (whatever the value of org-confirm-babel-evaluate is). That's the way you interpreted it and I agree with your interpretation.

Unfortunately, the code does not agree:

  (let* ((headers (nth 2 info))
     (eval (or (cdr  (assq :eval headers))
           (when (assq :noeval headers) "no")))
     (query (or (equal eval "query")
                (and export (equal eval "query-export"))
                (if (functionp org-confirm-babel-evaluate)
                    (funcall org-confirm-babel-evaluate
                    ;; Language, code block body.
                    (nth 0 info)
                    (org-babel--expand-body info))

Even though the value of the eval variable is "yes", the query variable is set to whatever org-confirm-babel-evaluate is set (in the simplest case where it is either t or nil - but that's the only case we are interested in here). So in the default case where org-config-babel-evaluate is t, then the query value will be t as well.

The subsequent cond then:

     (noeval nil)
     (query 'query)
     (t t))))

finds query to be t and returns the symbol query which makes the caller of this function (org-babel-confirm-evaluate) pop the dreaded question.

It seems to me that the query variable in org-babel-check-confirm-evaluate is calculated incorrectly (assuming that the doc means what it says) and that's a bug that should be reported to the Org mode ML.

One possible workaround is to modify the cond in org-babel-check-confirm-evaluate to check if eval is "yes" before going on to the query case:

     (noeval nil)
     ((equal eval "yes") t)   ; add case to check `eval`
     (query 'query)
     (t t))))

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