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What does if __name__ == "__main__": do?

__name__ is a global variable (in Python, global actually means on the module level) that exists in all namespaces. It is typically the module's name (as a str type).

As the only special case, however, in whatever Python process you run, as in


the otherwise anonymous global namespace is assigned the value of '__main__' to its __name__.

Thus, including the final lines

if __name__ == '__main__':
  • at the end of your script,
  • when it is the primary, entry-point module that is run by a Python process,

will cause your script's uniquely defined main function to run.

Another benefit of using this construct: you can also import your code as a module in another script and then run the main function if and when your program decides:

import mycode
#Your code goes here

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