How to get line count of a large file cheaply in Python?

How to get line count of a large file cheaply in Python?

One line, probably pretty fast:

num_lines = sum(1 for line in open(myfile.txt))

You cant get any better than that.

After all, any solution will have to read the entire file, figure out how many n you have, and return that result.

Do you have a better way of doing that without reading the entire file? Not sure… The best solution will always be I/O-bound, best you can do is make sure you dont use unnecessary memory, but it looks like you have that covered.

How to get line count of a large file cheaply in Python?

I believe that a memory mapped file will be the fastest solution. I tried four functions: the function posted by the OP (opcount); a simple iteration over the lines in the file (simplecount); readline with a memory-mapped filed (mmap) (mapcount); and the buffer read solution offered by Mykola Kharechko (bufcount).

I ran each function five times, and calculated the average run-time for a 1.2 million-line text file.

Windows XP, Python 2.5, 2GB RAM, 2 GHz AMD processor

Here are my results:

mapcount : 0.465599966049
simplecount : 0.756399965286
bufcount : 0.546800041199
opcount : 0.718600034714

Edit: numbers for Python 2.6:

mapcount : 0.471799945831
simplecount : 0.634400033951
bufcount : 0.468800067902
opcount : 0.602999973297

So the buffer read strategy seems to be the fastest for Windows/Python 2.6

Here is the code:

from __future__ import with_statement
import time
import mmap
import random
from collections import defaultdict

def mapcount(filename):
    f = open(filename, r+)
    buf = mmap.mmap(f.fileno(), 0)
    lines = 0
    readline = buf.readline
    while readline():
        lines += 1
    return lines

def simplecount(filename):
    lines = 0
    for line in open(filename):
        lines += 1
    return lines

def bufcount(filename):
    f = open(filename)                  
    lines = 0
    buf_size = 1024 * 1024
    read_f = f.read # loop optimization

    buf = read_f(buf_size)
    while buf:
        lines += buf.count(n)
        buf = read_f(buf_size)

    return lines

def opcount(fname):
    with open(fname) as f:
        for i, l in enumerate(f):
            pass
    return i + 1


counts = defaultdict(list)

for i in range(5):
    for func in [mapcount, simplecount, bufcount, opcount]:
        start_time = time.time()
        assert func(big_file.txt) == 1209138
        counts[func].append(time.time() - start_time)

for key, vals in counts.items():
    print key.__name__, :, sum(vals) / float(len(vals))

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