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What is the Meaning of Python m flag


If you are regularly installing new Python modules, then you have noticed one thing, which is every time you write an install command, you have seen the -m flag. So, what does the -m flag mean in python -m pip install <package> command? or upgrading pip by using the python -m pip install –upgrade pip.

Well, let’s find out in this article what is Python -m flag means and why we always attach the -m flag while installing a new package.

Python m flag

The -m stands for module-name in Python. The module-name should be a valid module name in Python. The -m flag in Python searches the sys.path for the named module and executes its contents as the __main__ module.

When the -m flag is used with a command on the command-line interface, followed by a <module_name>, it allows the module to be executed as an executable file.

If the -m flag is given to the Python statement, the first element of sys.argv will be the full path to the module file (while the module file is being found, the first item will be set to “-m”).

When -c is used with a statement on the command-line interface, it executes the Python statement(s) given as a command.

When a package name is provided instead of a normal module, the interpreter will execute the .main as the main module.

When invoking Python, you may specify any of these options,

python [-bBdEhiIOqsSuvVWx?] [-c command | -m module-name | script | - ] [args]

When you call a command with -m module-name, the given module is located on the Python module path and executed as a script.

Here the command may include multiple statements separated by newlines. Leading whitespace is significant in Python statements!

If you type python –help, you will get the following suggestions made for your help.

# More flags above

-m mod: run the library module as a script.

# More flags below

That is it for -m flag in Python.

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