EnSight Python scripts: Running and debugging#

EnSight supports the notion of a Python script, a parallel construct to the command language journaling script (.enc file). This script is a file of Python commands that can be directly run from the EnSight command line or via the Python script editor built into EnSight. Many EnSight Python scripts are written using the Python tab script editor in the command dialog, often by translating EnSight command language into Python via the built-in tools.

Here is an example of such a script:


The preceding script is effectively a line-by-line translation from the EnSight command language into the native Python bindings (EnSight command language native Python API). Such scripts can be executed by the script editor’s Run script or Import script as module commands. These scripts assume that the ensight module has been imported, making it difficult to run them from inside of a PyEnSight session, where the ensight module is a property of the Session object instance.

Running EnSight Python scripts#

To run scripts like the one in the preceding example in PyEnSight, you use the run_script method. For example, assume that you have an EnSight Python script named "/home/ensight/example.py". You can use this code to run this script via the PyEnSight module:

from ansys.pyensight.core import LocalLauncher

session = LocalLauncher().start()
_ = session.run_script("/home/ensight/example.py")

The preceding code imports the example.py file into the interpreter. This results in an example module being imported. The imported module has the symbol ensight set to the current session ensight property and uses that interface to execute the script commands remotely.

Debugging EnSight Python scripts#

A common request is to be able to write and debug EnSight Python scripts in integrated development environments (IDEs) like Visual Studio Code. Assume that you have a file named example.py:

for vp in ensight.objs.core.VPORTS:

In the same directory, assume that you have a launching script, runme.py:

from ansys.pyensight.core import LocalLauncher

session = LocalLauncher(batch=False).start()
_ = session.run_script("./example.py")

In Visual Studio Code, you can insert a breakpoint on the print() line and debug the example.py script when the runme.py script is run in debug mode from Visual Studio Code. Note that in this example, batch=False is specified in the LocalLauncher constructor. This causes the EnSight GUI to display as well, enabling direct interaction with the full EnSight app and debugging.


It is important to note that there are some important differences between an EnSight Python script run in EnSight versus in an IDE via the PyEnSight interface.

Using the run_script method causes the directory containing the EnSight Python script to be added to sys.path, if it is not already added.


There is a significant difference in the speed with which the code can be executed. This is because the ensight commands are executed remotely and the results are returned. The workaround for this is to use the exec method, but it requires that the code in the Python script be rewritten as a function. In debugging situations, this may not be a major issue.

ensight module#

Another difference is that the nature of the ensight object in the script is very different. When running in EnSight, it is a true Python module. When running via the run_script method, the object is an instance of the ensight_api class. In general, these both provide the same API, but they are not identical. This approach includes the general API limitations described in Python API differences in EnSight versus PyEnSight.

Import versus run#

The run_script method always uses the module import mechanism to “run” the scripts. EnSight Python scripts that do not run in the EnSight script editor using the Import script as module menu command cannot be used with this system.