Python os.set_inheritable() Function

In this tutorial, we will discuss how to use the set_inheritable function from the os module.

Python os.set_inheritable() Function

The Python os module is a built-in library that provides a way to interact with the underlying operating system through a high-level, platform-independent interface. It offers various functions to perform operations related to file and directory management, process management, environment variables, and more.

The module abstracts the complexities of interacting with the operating system, making it easier to write cross-platform code that can work on different operating systems without requiring significant changes.

Python os.set_inheritable()

One of the functions provided by the os module is the set_inheritable() function. The os_set_inheritable() function allows us to control the inheritance of file descriptors across child processes.

Specifically, it allows us to set the inheritable flag on a file descriptor, which determines whether the file descriptor that is passed on to child processes created by the current process.

When a file descriptor is inheritable, child processes created by the current process will receive a copy of the file descriptor and can use it to access the same file or resource. On the other hand, if a file descriptor is not inheritable, child processes will not receive a copy of the file descriptor and cannot access the corresponding file or resource.

Using the os.set_inheritable() function, we can explicitly set the inheritable flag on a file descriptor to control whether it is passed on to child processes or not, which can be helpful in various scenarios such as managing file access permissions and resource-sharing between processes.

The function syntax is as shown below:

os.set_inheritable(fd, inheritable)


  • fd - refers to a file descriptor on which to set the inheritable flag.
  • Inheritable - A boolean value indicates whether the file descriptor should be inheritable. The file descriptor will be passed on to child processes if set to True. The file descriptor will not be passed on to child processes if set to False.

Example Usage

The following shows an example of usage of the Python os.set_inheritable() function.

>>> import os
>>> path = "sample.txt"
>>> fd =, os.O_RDWR | os.O_CREAT)
>>> print(os.get_inheritable(fd))

>>> inherit = True
>>> os.set_inheritable(fd, inherit)
>>> print(os.get_inheritable(fd))

In the example above, we first open a file sample.txt and get its file descriptor.

We then fetch the current file descriptor value using the get_inheritable() function. We then use the set_inheritable() function to set a new file descriptor.


In this tutorial, you learned how to use the set_inheritable() function to set the file descriptor of a file .

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