How to convert bytes to a string

0 votes

I'm using this code to get standard output from an external program:

>>> from subprocess import *
>>> command_stdout = Popen(['ls', '-l'], stdout=PIPE).communicate()[0]

The communicate() method returns an array of bytes:

>>> command_stdout
b'total 0\n-rw-rw-r-- 1 thomas thomas 0 Mar  3 07:03 file1\n-rw-rw-r-- 1 thomas thomas 0 Mar  3 07:03 file2\n'

However, I'd like to work with the output as a normal Python string. So that I could print it like this:

>>> print(command_stdout)
-rw-rw-r-- 1 thomas thomas 0 Mar  3 07:03 file1
-rw-rw-r-- 1 thomas thomas 0 Mar  3 07:03 file2

How do I convert the bytes value back to string? I mean, using the "batteries" instead of doing it manually. And I'd like it to be OK with Python

Nov 26, 2020 in Python by anonymous
• 10,440 points

1 answer to this question.

0 votes

You need to decode the bytes object to produce a string:

>>> b"abcde"

# utf-8 is used here because it is a very common encoding, but you
# need to use the encoding your data is actually in.
>>> b"abcde".decode("utf-8") 
answered Nov 26, 2020 by Gitika
• 65,870 points

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