Builtin Commands

Applications which subclass cmd2.Cmd inherit a number of commands which may be useful to your users. Developers can Remove Builtin Commands if they do not want them to be part of the application.

List of Builtin Commands


This command manages aliases via subcommands create, delete, and list. See Aliases for more information.


This command launches an editor program and instructs it to open the given file name. Here’s an example:

(Cmd) edit ~/.ssh/config

The program to be launched is determined by the value of the editor setting.


This command lists available commands or provides detailed help for a specific command. When called with the -v/--verbose argument, it shows a brief description of each command. See Help for more information.


This command allows you to view, run, edit, save, or clear previously entered commands from the history. See History for more information.


This optional opt-in command enters an interactive IPython shell. See IPython (optional) for more information.


This command manages macros via subcommands create, delete, and list. A macro is similar to an alias, but it can contain argument placeholders. See Macros for more information.


This command invokes a Python command or shell. See Embedded Python Shells for more information.


This command exits the cmd2 application.


This command runs a Python script file inside the cmd2 application. See Python Scripts for more information.


This command runs commands in a script file that is encoded as either ASCII or UTF-8 text. See Command Scripts for more information.


This command is hidden from the help that’s visible to end users. It runs a script like run_script but does so using a path relative to the script that is currently executing. This is useful when you have scripts that run other scripts. See Running Command Scripts for more information.


A list of all user-settable parameters, with brief comments, is viewable from within a running application:

(Cmd) set
Name                  Value                           Description
allow_style           Terminal                        Allow ANSI text style sequences in output (valid values:
                                                      Always, Never, Terminal)
always_show_hint      False                           Display tab completion hint even when completion suggestions
debug                 True                            Show full traceback on exception
echo                  False                           Echo command issued into output
editor                vi                              Program used by 'edit'
feedback_to_output    False                           Include nonessentials in '|', '>' results
max_completion_items  50                              Maximum number of CompletionItems to display during tab
quiet                 False                           Don't print nonessential feedback
timing                False                           Report execution times

Any of these user-settable parameters can be set while running your app with the set command like so:

(Cmd) set allow_style Never

See Settings for more information.


Execute a command as if at the operating system shell prompt:

(Cmd) shell pwd -P


This command lists available shortcuts. See Shortcuts for more information.

Remove Builtin Commands

Developers may not want to offer the commands builtin to cmd2.Cmd to users of their application. To remove a command you must delete the method implementing that command from the cmd2.Cmd object at runtime. For example, if you wanted to remove the shell command from your application:

class NoShellApp(cmd2.Cmd):
    """A simple cmd2 application."""

    delattr(cmd2.Cmd, 'do_shell')