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26.6. atexit — Exit handlers

New in version 2.0.

The atexit module defines a single function to register cleanup functions. Functions thus registered are automatically executed upon normal interpreter termination.

Note: the functions registered via this module are not called when the program is killed by a signal, when a Python fatal internal error is detected, or when os._exit() is called.

This is an alternate interface to the functionality provided by the sys.exitfunc variable.

Note: This module is unlikely to work correctly when used with other code that sets sys.exitfunc. In particular, other core Python modules are free to use atexit without the programmer’s knowledge. Authors who use sys.exitfunc should convert their code to use atexit instead. The simplest way to convert code that sets sys.exitfunc is to import atexit and register the function that had been bound to sys.exitfunc.

atexit.register(func[, *args[, **kargs]])

Register func as a function to be executed at termination. Any optional arguments that are to be passed to func must be passed as arguments to register().

At normal program termination (for instance, if sys.exit() is called or the main module’s execution completes), all functions registered are called in last in, first out order. The assumption is that lower level modules will normally be imported before higher level modules and thus must be cleaned up later.

If an exception is raised during execution of the exit handlers, a traceback is printed (unless SystemExit is raised) and the exception information is saved. After all exit handlers have had a chance to run the last exception to be raised is re-raised.

Changed in version 2.6: This function now returns func which makes it possible to use it as a decorator without binding the original name to None.

See also:

Module readline
Useful example of atexit to read and write readline history files.

26.6.1. atexit Example

The following simple example demonstrates how a module can initialize a counter from a file when it is imported and save the counter’s updated value automatically when the program terminates without relying on the application making an explicit call into this module at termination.

_count = int(open(“/tmp/counter”).read())
except IOError:
_count = 0
def incrcounter(n):
global _count _count = _count + n
def savecounter():
open(“/tmp/counter”, “w”).write(“%d” % _count)

import atexit atexit.register(savecounter)

Positional and keyword arguments may also be passed to register() to be passed along to the registered function when it is called:

def goodbye(name, adjective):
print ‘Goodbye, %s, it was %s to meet you.’ % (name, adjective)

import atexit atexit.register(goodbye, ‘Donny’, ‘nice’)

# or: atexit.register(goodbye, adjective=’nice’, name=’Donny’)

Usage as a decorator:

import atexit

@atexit.register def goodbye():

print “You are now leaving the Python sector.”

This obviously only works with functions that don’t take arguments.