importerror: bad magic number in python ( Cause and Solution )

importerror_ bad magic number in python ( Cause and Solution )

importerror: bad magic number error occurs mainly in random module python with Ubuntu operating system because of byte prefix in .pyc file. Actually, what happens with unix-oriented operating systems, The operating system assigns the first few BYTES of the file as an identifier or marker with the file. This is nothing but the magic numbers. The same applies to .pyc files of python. Now if someone tries to use a different Python interpreter or make changes in those .pyc files. The python interpreter throws a bad magic number error. This is the root cause of the following error.

importerror: bad magic number ( Solution ) –

The first and most convenient way to fix this Importerror is –

Solution 1: Removing unnecessary files –

This .pyc file is metafiles that automatically get generated in each run. The same files cause an error in the system. So it is better to remove them from the system.

rm *.pyc 

Or Try the below command for the same.

find . -name '*.pyc' -delete

Solution 2:  Reinstalling the package –

The error is just because of the temporary file. If we reinstall the package, the new temp file will be generated. In this way also we can get rid of the bad magic number-related errors.

Possible Scenarios for Validations :

  1. Using Python 2 compiled python code with Python 3 versions.
  2. Sometimes while cloning any repository and running the same throws this error. It is due to a mistake of the developer while committing the code in the repository. They commit the .pyc ( temporary or metafiles ). In the clone, you will get the same, and then the interpreter through the same error.

How do I fix a bad magic number error ( package-specific ) –

As I explained this error with the random modules but it occurs with some other python modules like –

1. Importerror bad magic number in HologramAuth

2. ImportError: bad magic number in kconfiglib

3. importerror: bad magic number in ‘argparse’ tautulli

The root cause and the fix would be generic in all the above packages (HologramAuth,’argparse’ tautulli, kconfiglib etc)


Bonus for you –

Most of us are familiar with .pyc file but some of not. Let’s see here –

what is a .pyc file ?

This is a temporary file by the interpreter. The interpreter generates the same if some of the packages are imported into another module. So this file tracks the byte version for the same.

Importerror bad magic number
Importerror bad magic number


Data Science Learner Team


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Meet Abhishek ( Chief Editor) , a data scientist with major expertise in NLP and Text Analytics. He has worked on various projects involving text data and have been able to achieve great results. He is currently manages, where he and his team share knowledge and help others learn more about data science.
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