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Python interface to the LyXServer


An easy to use interface for external scripts enhancing LyX


A Python package with functions and classes to connect to LyX via the LyXServer and make LyxFunctions available to python scripts.

  • start_lyx() start a LyX session in a separate process
  • lyxpipe() open a lyxpipe for nonblocking access
  • LyXServer basic class for communication with the LyXServer. (provides a file-type like object)
  • LyXClient more high level LyX client using the serverpipes
  • a module wrapping lyx functions (LFUNS) to python functions

And the example "end-user" scripts

  • lyx-remote: Open a file in a running LyX or start LyX with the file
  • lyx-Mx: LyX with an interactive lyxclient ('minibuffer-console')
  • lyx-python: LyX with an interactive Python client
  • bindings help on keybindings and lyxfunctions

Tested on Linux only!


uploads:/Tools/PyClient/pylyx0.1.tar.bz2 python LyX package


  • Unpack to somewhere in your PYTHONPATH (will create the package directory LyX/).
  • Optionally copy/link the example scripts in LyX/examples to somewhere in your PATH (e.g. /usr/local/bin)
  • You can browse the embedded documentation with pydoc, e.g.:
    pydoc -p 1200 &; firefox http://localhost:1200 # or any browser of your choice


    Set Edit>Preferences>Paths>Server-pipe to "~/.lyx/lyxpipe"
For a different path, change the global variable SERVERPIPE.
  • At import time, the LyX package looks for a file ~/.lyx/scripts/python/ that can be used to override the defaults in


  • To use the new classes in a python script, do e.g.
from LyX.lyxclient import LyXClient
client = LyXClient()
  • or run LyX via one of the scripts in pyclient/examples/ to make use of enhancements.


Word count

Needs the `xclip` command line tool.

  • Start lyx-python [file]
(This will connect to a runnign LyX session or open up a new one if there is no LyX running.)
  • at the Python prompt write count_words()
  • Read the word count in the statusbar or at the terminal.

See also the scripts in LyX/examples/


2005-01-26 First public release (Python module),

2005-01-31 Bugfix release 0.2,

2005-05-06 First release of the LyX package.

Comments, Bugs

  • Testing is only partially done (and only on a Debian Linux system)
  • For some strange reason, LyX closes and reopens the serverpipes with every read/save operation. Polling the pipes will therefore be fooled and the LyXclient.listen method breaks with every buffer-save or buffer-read.

Send bugreports, feature wishes and comments to one of the LyX lists.


Copyright (c) 2005 GŁnter Milde

Released under the terms of the GNU General Public License (ver. 2 or later)


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Page last modified on 2008-09-27 14:49 UTC