Fix Python – How does Python manage int and long?


Asked By – luc

Does anybody know how Python manage internally int and long types?

  • Does it choose the right type dynamically?
  • What is the limit for an int?
  • I am using Python 2.6, Is is different with previous versions?

How should I understand the code below?

>>> print type(65535)
<type 'int'>
>>> print type(65536*65536)
<type 'long'>


>>> print type(0x7fffffff)
<type 'int'>
>>> print type(0x80000000)
<type 'long'>

Now we will see solution for issue: How does Python manage int and long?


int and long were “unified” a few versions back. Before that it was possible to overflow an int through math ops.

3.x has further advanced this by eliminating long altogether and only having int.

  • Python 2: sys.maxint contains the maximum value a Python int can hold.
    • On a 64-bit Python 2.7, the size is 24 bytes. Check with sys.getsizeof().
  • Python 3: sys.maxsize contains the maximum size in bytes a Python int can be.
    • This will be gigabytes in 32 bits, and exabytes in 64 bits.
    • Such a large int would have a value similar to 8 to the power of sys.maxsize.

This question is answered By – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams

This answer is collected from stackoverflow and reviewed by FixPython community admins, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5 , cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0