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The mmap module

(New in 2.0) This module provides an interface to the operating system’s memory mapping functions. The mapped region behaves pretty much like a string object, but data is read directly from the file.

Example: Using the mmap module
# File: mmap-example-1.py

import mmap
import os

filename = "samples/sample.txt"

file = open(filename, "r+")
size = os.path.getsize(filename)

data = mmap.mmap(file.fileno(), size)

# basics
print data
print len(data), size

# use slicing to read from the file
print repr(data[:10]), repr(data[:10])

# or use the standard file interface
print repr(data.read(10)), repr(data.read(10))

$ python mmap-example-1.py
<mmap object at 008A2A10>
302 302
'We will pe' 'We will pe'
'We will pe' 'rhaps even'

Under Windows, the file must currently be opened for both reading and writing (r+, or w+), or the mmap call will fail.

Memory mapped regions can be used instead of ordinary strings in many places, including regular expressions and many string operations:

Example: Using string functions and regular expressions on a mapped region
# File: mmap-example-2.py

import mmap
import os, string, re

def mapfile(filename):
    file = open(filename, "r+")
    size = os.path.getsize(filename)
    return mmap.mmap(file.fileno(), size)

data = mapfile("samples/sample.txt")

# search
index = data.find("small")
print index, repr(data[index-5:index+15])

# regular expressions work too!
m = re.search("small", data)
print m.start(), m.group()

$ python mmap-example-2.py
43 'only small\015\012modules '
43 small