What Does if name == "main" do in Python?

Better Stack Team
Updated on January 24, 2023

The if __name__ == "main" is a guarding block that is used to contain the code that should only run went the file in which this block is defined is run as a script. What it means is that if you run the file as a script the `__name__variable will be equal to'main'`.

Let’s look at an example:


def say_hi():
    print('hi from the function')

if __name__ == 'main':
    print('the main block is being executed')

In the example above, we have defined a say_hi function that will simply say hi when called. Then there is a guarded block with the if __name__ == 'main': statement.

If you run the script in the console lie this:

python3 mylib.py

The output will be the following:

the main block is being executed
hi from the function

But if you include the mylib.py file in some other python file and run that file as a script, you will see that the guarded block will not be executed.


import say_hi from mylib

hi from the function
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