Reading input during debugging in Python with VSCode

The trick to getting this to work is on the extension's(Don Jayamanne's Python) wiki page. You have to include "externalConsole": true setting in your launch.json file's "name": "Python" section.

The extension's wiki confirms that this does not work by default:

This allows for capturing of input from the console/terminal window applications, which isn't possible in the standard VSCode debugger.

Here are the steps to getting this to work:

  1. From the Debug window (Ctrl+Shift+D), press the little gear icon to open (or to generate) a launch.json file. It gets placed into a .vscode directory in what ever folder you have selected as your "Open Folder" in VS Code.
  2. You have to add pythonPath parameter to the first configuration block. This is needed to have the debugger work at all.
  3. You also have to add and externalConsole parameter to the same block. This is what is needed to have the debugger accept input. When you debug, a separate window will open outside of VS Code but works well otherwise.
  4. After you add both settings, the block should look something like this. I did not have to change anything else in the rest of the launch.json file.

    {
        "name": "Python",
        "type": "python",
        "request": "launch",
        "stopOnEntry": true,
        "program": "${file}",
        "pythonPath": "C:/Users/igor/Documents/Tools/WinPython-32bit-3.4.3.7Slim/python-3.4.3/python.exe",
        "externalConsole": true,
        "debugOptions": [
            "WaitOnAbnormalExit",
            "WaitOnNormalExit",
            "RedirectOutput"
        ]
    },
    

The externalconsole directive is deprecated. Use console instead and indicate your preference for external this way:

"console": "externalTerminal"

The application output (and input) will go to a separate window so the VS Code debug console remains a pure python prompt where you can evaluate stuff during breakpoints.


VS Code has an option for you to Debug with Python console.

You just hit Ctrl + Shift + D and beside the blue play icon, click the down arrow, and choose Python Console App instead of just Python, like this:

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