How do I find the location of Python module sources?


How do I learn where the source file for a given Python module is installed? Is the method different on Windows than on Linux?

I'm trying to look for the source of the datetime module in particular, but I'm interested in a more general answer as well.

2/24/2016 10:14:18 PM

Accepted Answer

For a pure python module you can find the source by looking at themodule.__file__. The datetime module, however, is written in C, and therefore datetime.__file__ points to a .so file (there is no datetime.__file__ on Windows), and therefore, you can't see the source.

If you download a python source tarball and extract it, the modules' code can be found in the Modules subdirectory.

For example, if you want to find the datetime code for python 2.6, you can look at


You can also find the latest Mercurial version on the web at

9/9/2015 6:12:12 AM

Running python -v from the command line should tell you what is being imported and from where. This works for me on Windows and Mac OS X.

C:\>python -v
# installing zipimport hook
import zipimport # builtin
# installed zipimport hook
# C:\Python24\lib\site.pyc has bad mtime
import site # from C:\Python24\lib\
# wrote C:\Python24\lib\site.pyc
# C:\Python24\lib\os.pyc has bad mtime
import os # from C:\Python24\lib\
# wrote C:\Python24\lib\os.pyc
import nt # builtin
# C:\Python24\lib\ntpath.pyc has bad mtime

I'm not sure what those bad mtime's are on my install!

Licensed under: CC-BY-SA with attribution
Not affiliated with: Stack Overflow