./xx.py: line 1: import: command not found


I am trying to use this Python urllib2 Basic Auth Problem bit of code to download a webpage content from an URL which requires authentication. The code I am trying is:

 import urllib2, base64

request = urllib2.Request("http://api.foursquare.com/v1/user")
base64string = base64.encodestring('%s:%s' % (username, password)).replace('\n', '')
request.add_header("Authorization", "Basic %s" % base64string)   
result = urllib2.urlopen(request)

It's showing me:

./xx.py: line 1: import: command not found
./xx.py: line 3: syntax error near unexpected token `('
./xx.py: line 3: `request = urllib2.Request("http://api.foursquare.com/v1/user")'

I am wondering what I am doing wrong? I am using Python 2.7.5. How can I download file contents from an URL which requires authentication?

This question is tagged with python url

~ Asked on 2014-03-08 21:31:35

The Best Answer is


It's not an issue related to authentication at the first step. Your import is not working. So, try writing this on first line:


and for the time being run using

python xx.py

For you here is one explanation:

>>> abc = "Hei Buddy"
>>> print "%s" %abc
Hei Buddy

>>> print "%s" %xyz

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<pyshell#6>", line 1, in <module>
    print "%s" %xyz
NameError: name 'xyz' is not defined

At first, I initialized abc variable and it works fine. On the otherhand, xyz doesn't work as it is not initialized!

~ Answered on 2014-03-08 21:34:52


Are you using a UNIX based OS such as Linux? If so, add a shebang line to the very top of your script:


Underneath which you would have the rest of the code (xx.py in your case) that you already have. Then run that same command at the terminal:

$ python xx.py

This should then work fine, as it is now interpreting this as Python code. However when running from the terminal this does not matter as python tells how to interpret it here. What it does allow you to do is execute it outside the terminal, i.e. executing it from a file browser.

~ Answered on 2014-03-08 21:39:12

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