Byte Array in Python


Question

How can I represent a byte array (like in Java with byte[]) in Python? I'll need to send it over the wire with gevent.

byte key[] = {0x13, 0x00, 0x00, 0x00, 0x08, 0x00};
1
71
5/28/2013 4:49:01 PM

Accepted Answer

In Python 3, we use the bytes object, also known as str in Python 2.

# Python 3
key = bytes([0x13, 0x00, 0x00, 0x00, 0x08, 0x00])

# Python 2
key = ''.join(chr(x) for x in [0x13, 0x00, 0x00, 0x00, 0x08, 0x00])

I find it more convenient to use the base64 module...

# Python 3
key = base64.b16decode(b'130000000800')

# Python 2
key = base64.b16decode('130000000800')

You can also use literals...

# Python 3
key = b'\x13\0\0\0\x08\0'

# Python 2
key = '\x13\0\0\0\x08\0'
71
9/11/2011 6:51:54 PM

Just use a bytearray (Python 2.6 and later) which represents a mutable sequence of bytes

>>> key = bytearray([0x13, 0x00, 0x00, 0x00, 0x08, 0x00])
>>> key
bytearray(b'\x13\x00\x00\x00\x08\x00')

Indexing get and sets the individual bytes

>>> key[0]
19
>>> key[1]=0xff
>>> key
bytearray(b'\x13\xff\x00\x00\x08\x00')

and if you need it as a str (or bytes in Python 3), it's as simple as

>>> bytes(key)
'\x13\xff\x00\x00\x08\x00'

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