Python package providing binary reading and writing functionality.

binarydata, io
pip install binaryio==1.0.0



Python library providing binary reading and writing functionality.


The package can be found on PyPI.

Using the library

The BinaryReader and BinaryWriter classes take readable and writable stream and contain methods which make reading from and writing to binary files easy.

Writing to a binary file

The code snippet below shows how to write to a binary file using the BinaryWriter class.

from import open_binary, BinaryWriter

# Open a binary file for writing
with open_binary('./example.bin', 'wb') as file: # type: BinaryWriter
    # Write a string to the file
    # Write a list of integers as 16-bit integers
    file.write_int16s([1, 2, 3, 4, 5])
    # Write a list of floats as single-precision
    file.write_singles([1.5, 2.5, 3.5])

There are three mehods to write a string:

  • write_length_prefixed_string(): This first writes the number of bytes the string takes up as an int16 and then writes the string.
  • write_zero_string(): This writes the string and then writes a null-byte to indicate the end of the string.
  • write_raw_string(): This simply writes the string with no indication of the length or end of the string.

I would recommend to use the write_length_prefixed_string() method as this offers the best balance between convenience and efficiency. The reader does not need to know the length of the string in advance as it is indicated immediately before the string and once the length is known the string can be read in one go. On the other hand, using write_zero_string() involves reading consecutive bytes one at a time until you reach a null-byte. Reading individual bytes is much less efficient than reading a chunk. write_raw_string() is inconvenient as it requires knowing the length of the string in advance.

Reading a binary file

The code snippet below shows how to read the binary file written in the previous section using the BinaryReader class.

from import open_binary, BinaryReader

# Open a binary file for reading
with open_binary("./example.bin") as file: # type: BinaryReader
    # Read length-prefixed string
    string = file.read_length_prefixed_string()
    # Read integers
    integers = file.read_int16s(5)
    # Read single-precision numbers
    singles = file.read_singles(3)
    print(f"String read: {string}")
    print(f"Integers read: {integers}")
    print(f"Singles read: {singles}")

The output of this is:

String read: Hello
Integers read: (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
Singles read: (1.5, 2.5, 3.5)