Part1: Introduction to Classic RPyC

We’ll kick-start the tutorial with what is known as classic-style RPyC, i.e., the methodology of RPyC 2.60. Since RPyC 3 is a complete redesign of the library, there are some minor changes, but if you were familiar with RPyC 2.60, you’ll feel right at home. And even if you were not – we’ll make sure you feel at home in a moment ;)

Running a Server

Let’s start with the basics: running a server. In this tutorial we’ll run both the server and the client on the same machine (the localhost). On my Windows box, running the server is as simple as double-clicking it in Explorer:

../_images/running-classic-server.png

Starting an RPyC server on WinXP

Note

Prior to version 3.1.0 rpyc_classic.py was known as classic_server.py. Also, try running rpyc_classic.py --help for more command-line options.

The first (and only) line shows the parameters this server is running with: SLAVE indicates the SlaveService (you’ll learn more about services later on), tid is the thread ID (tid if server is threaded, pid if it is forking), and 0.0.0.0:18812 is the address on which the server binds.

Running a Client

The next step is running a client which connects to the server. The code needed to create a connection to the server is quite simple, you’d agree

import rpyc
conn = rpyc.classic.connect("localhost")

Note

Of course you will need to change localhost to reflect the name of your RPyC host. If your server is not running on the default port (TCP 18812), you’ll have to pass the port = parameter to connect().

The modules Namespace

That’s about it, you are now connected to the server and ready to control it: say hello to modules! The modules property of connection objects exposes the server’s module-space, i.e., it lets you access remote modules with ease. Here’s how:

# dot notation
mod1 = conn.modules.sys # access the sys module on the server

# bracket notation
mod2 = conn.modules["xml.dom.minidom"] # access the xml.dom.minidom module on the server

Note

There are two ways to access remote modules, the more intuitive but limited dotted notation and the more powerful and explicit bracket notation. The dotted notation is works only with top-level modules or packages, but should you require access to deeper level modules (e.g., xml.dom.minidom), use the bracket notation.

Throughout this tutorial, we’ll normally only require the dotted notation.

And now for a short demo:

../_images/running-classic-client.png

A sample client

The first section in the above screenshot prints the current working directory of my interpreter. Nothing fancy here. But as you can see, two lines below, I’m invoking os.getcwd() on the server... It’s that simple!

Continue to part 2...