This repo contains the Python package skempy, which provides functionality to facilitate Python development in Emacs. At the moment, skempy provides a single script that returns the method at a given line in a given Python file. You can call this script from Emacs to, for example, retrieve the test method at point and execute that test as a compile command.


In this section we describe how to install skempy as an end-user. If you want to easily fiddle around with the skempy source code, we refer to "For developers" section of the skempy documentation.

The easiest way to install skempy, is to directly install it from its GitHub repo. Execute the following command to install the bleeding-edge version from the master branch:

$> pip install git+


When you install skempy, the command line script skempy-find-test is installed:

$ skempy-find-test --help
usage: skempy-find-test [-h] [--version] file_path line_no

Retrieve the method in the given Python file and at the given line.

positional arguments:
  file_path   Python file including path
  line_no     line number

optional arguments:
  -h, --help  show this help message and exit
  --version   show program's version number and exit

Assume you have the Python file tests/

import unittest

class TestMe(unittest.TestCase):

    def test_a(self):
        print"Hello World!"

The following snippet shows the output of skempy-find-test:

$ skempy-find-test tests/ 7

Example Emacs integration

The root of the repo contains the Emacs Lisp file skempy.el, which provides a function to retrieve the test method at point and executes that test as a compile command:

(defun sks-execute-python-test()
  (let ((test-method (shell-command-to-string (format "skempy-find-test %s %d" (buffer-file-name) (line-number-at-pos)))))
    (compile (concat "python -m unittest " test-method)))

If you bind it to a key then running the test at point is a single keystroke away, e.g.:

(add-hook 'python-mode-hook
          '(lambda () (local-set-key [C-f7] 'sks-execute-python-test)))