[Solved] How to use 2to3 properly for python?

I have some code in python 2.7 and I want to convert it all into python 3.3 code. I know 2to3 can be used but I am not sure exactly how to use it.

Solution #1:

Install the following module which adds the 2to3 command directly to entry_points.

pip install 2to3

As it is written on 2to3 docs, to translate an entire project from one directory tree to another, use:

2to3 --output-dir=python3-version/mycode -W -n python2-version/mycode
Respondent: Faruk Sahin

Solution #2:

If you don’t have 2to3 on your path, you can directly invoke lib2to3:

python -m lib2to3

And as the docs (and other answers) mention, you can use some flags for more customization:

  • the -w flag to enable writeback, which applies the changes to the file
  • the -n to disable backups

(there are a few more flags; see the docs for more information.)

Respondent: Graham

Solution #3:

It’s important to have a backup before running 2to3.

  1. If you’re using git, make a commit.
  2. Otherwise, make a backup copy of your files.

First, run 2to3 in “soft mode” to see what it would actually do:

$ 2to3 /path/to/your/project

If you’re happy with what it would do, you can then run 2to3 “for real”:

$ 2to3 --write --nobackups /path/to/your/project

And now you have properly run 2to3 🙂

Respondent: aude

Solution #4:

On Windows:

python {path_to_python} --output-dir={output_dir} -W -n {input_dir}

path_to_python = directory where Python is installed

output_dir = directory where to output the Python3 scripts

input_dir = directory from where to read the Python2 scripts

Respondent: szdrnja

Solution #5:

To convert all python 2 files in a directory to 3, you simply could run $ C:Program -w -n. inside the directory that you want to translate. It would skip all the non .py files anyway, and convert the rest.
note: remove the -n flag, if you want the backup file too.

Respondent: Nuhman

Solution #6:

First install python 2to3 package :

C:Default> pip install 2to3

Than convert your python2 file into python3 in your new folder i.e. python3-version/mycode

C:Default> 2to3 --output-dir=python3-version/mycode -w -n

Your new python3 file can be seen in new folder i.e. python3-version/mycode

Respondent: Shivam Bharadwaj

Solution #7:

To convert the code from python2 to python3 first install the 2to3 package by using

pip install 2to3

Then run this command in directory where is your python code

2to3 -w -n .
  • -w flag to enable writeback, which applies the changes to the file
  • -n to disable backups
Respondent: Sohaib

Solution #8:

Running it is very simple! I am going to consider you already have it installed and explain step-by-step how to proceed after that:

  1. Open terminal (or cmd for win users) inside the main folder containing the files you want to convert


  1. Type

python {your_2to3.py_install_directory} -w .

e.g. in my case (win10) it would be:

python C:"Program Files" -w .

This is going to make the program scan the entire directory (and sub directories as well) and automatically convert everything that is written in Python2 to Python3.

-w flag makes the script apply the changes creating new converted files. So remove this you’d like to just scan and see what needs conversion (but without actually doing anything)

If you’d like to convert just one file instead of entire folders simply substitute . for

e.g. python { directory} -w

Also, by default it creates a .bak file for everything it converts. It is highly advised to keep it this way since any conversion is prone to errors but if you’d like to disable the automatic backup you could also add the -n flag.

e.g. python C:"Program Files" -w -n


Respondent: luzclasil

Solution #9:

The python file is mostly found in the directory C:/Program Files/Python/Tools/scripts if you already have python installed. I have python 3.6 and 2to3 is in the directory C:/Program Files/Python36/Tools/scripts.
To convert a certain python 2 code to python 3, go to your command promt, change the directory to C:/Program Files/Python36/Tools/scripts where the 2to3 file is found. Then add the following command:
python -w (directory to your script).

eg. C:Program FilesPython36Toolsscripts? python -w

the ‘-w’ here ensures a backup file for your file is created.

Respondent: Yidana Isaac

The answers/resolutions are collected from stackoverflow, are licensed under cc by-sa 2.5 , cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0 .

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