Python Binary Data Tutorial | Binary Data In Python Tutorial

Binary Data can be manipulated in different ways by using the Python programming language. Learn more about import and implementation of data here.

Binary Data: Format a list of values into a byte object

from struct import pack
print(pack('I3c', 123, b'a', b'b', b'c')) # b'{\x00\x00\x00abc'

Unpack a byte object according to a format string

from struct import unpack
print(unpack('I3c', b'{\x00\x00\x00abc')) # (123, b'a', b'b', b'c')

Packing a structure

The module “struct” provides facility to pack python objects as contiguous chunk of bytes or dissemble a chunk of bytes to python structures.

The pack function takes a format string and one or more arguments, and returns a binary string. This looks very much like you are formatting a string except that the output is not a string but a chunk of bytes.

import struct
import sys
print "Native byteorder: ", sys.byteorder
If no byteorder is specified, native byteorder is used buffer = struct.pack("ihb", 3, 4, 5)
print "Byte chunk: ", repr(buffer)
print "Byte chunk unpacked: ", struct.unpack("ihb", buffer)
Last element as unsigned short instead of unsigned char ( 2 Bytes) buffer = struct.pack("ihh", 3, 4, 5)
print "Byte chunk: ", repr(buffer)


Native byteorder: little Byte chunk: '\x03\x00\x00\x00\x04\x00\x05' Byte chunk unpacked: (3, 4, 5) Byte
chunk: '\x03\x00\x00\x00\x04\x00\x05\x00'

You could use network byte order with data received from network or pack data to send it to network.

import struct
If no byteorder is specified, native byteorder is used buffer = struct.pack("hhh", 3, 4, 5)
print "Byte chunk native byte order: ", repr(buffer) buffer = struct.pack("!hhh", 3, 4, 5)
print "Byte chunk network byte order: ", repr(buffer)


Byte chunk native byte order: '\x03\x00\x04\x00\x05\x00'
Byte chunk network byte order: '\x00\x03\x00\x04\x00\x05'

You can optimize by avoiding the overhead of allocating a new buffer by providing a buffer that was created earlier.

import struct
from ctypes import create_string_buffer
bufferVar = create_string_buffer(8)
bufferVar2 = create_string_buffer(8)
We use a buffer that has already been created
provide format, buffer, offset and data struct.pack_into("hhh", bufferVar, 0, 3, 4, 5) print "Byte chunk: ", repr(bufferVar.raw) struct.pack_into("hhh", bufferVar2, 2, 3, 4, 5) print "Byte chunk: ", repr(bufferVar2.raw)


Byte chunk: '\x03\x00\x04\x00\x05\x00\x00\x00'
Byte chunk: '\x00\x00\x03\x00\x04\x00\x05\x00'

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