This is a brand new LiveReload in version 2.0.0.

Download on PyPi


Python LiveReload is designed for web developers who know Python.

Install Python LiveReload with pip:

$ pip install livereload

If you don’t have pip installed, try easy_install:

$ easy_install livereload

Command Line Interface

Python LiveReload provides a command line utility, livereload, for starting a server in a directory.

By default, it will listen to port 35729, the common port for LiveReload browser extensions.

$ livereload --help
usage: livereload [-h] [-p PORT] [-w WAIT] [directory]

Start a `livereload` server

positional arguments:
  directory             Directory to watch for changes

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -p PORT, --port PORT  Port to run `livereload` server on
  -w WAIT, --wait WAIT  Time delay before reloading

Older versions of Python LiveReload used a Guardfile to describe optional additional rules for files to watch and build commands to run on changes. This conflicted with other tools that used the same file for their configuration and is no longer supported since Python LiveReload version 2.0.0. Instead of a Guardfile you can now write a Python script using very similar syntax and run it instead of the command line application.

Script example: Sphinx

Here’s a simple example script that rebuilds Sphinx documentation:

#!/usr/bin/env python
from livereload import Server, shell
server = Server()'docs/*.rst', shell('make html', cwd='docs'))

Run it, then open http://localhost:5500/ and you can see the documentation changes in real time.

Developer Guide

The new livereload server is designed for developers. It can power a wsgi application now:

from livereload import Server, shell

server = Server(wsgi_app)

# run a shell command'static/*.stylus', 'make static')

# run a function
def alert():
    print('foo')'foo.txt', alert)

# output stdout into a file'style.less', shell('lessc style.less', output='style.css'))


The Server class accepts parameters:

  • app: a wsgi application
  • watcher: a watcher instance, you don’t have to create one can watch a filepath, a directory and a glob pattern:'path/to/file.txt')'directory/path/')'glob/*.pattern')

You can also use other library (for example: formic) for more powerful file adding:

for filepath in formic.FileSet(include="**.css"):, 'make css')

You can delay a certain seconds to send the reload signal:

# delay 2 seconds for reloading'path/to/file', delay=2)


Setup a server with server.serve method. It can create a static server and a livereload server:

# use default settings

# livereload on another port

# use custom host and port
server.serve(port=8080, host='localhost')

# open the web browser on startup, based on $BROWSER environment variable
server.serve(open_url_delay=5, debug=False)


The powerful shell function will help you to execute shell commands. You can use it with

# you can redirect command output to a file'style.less', shell('lessc style.less', output='style.css'))

# commands can be a list'style.less', shell(['lessc', 'style.less'], output='style.css'))

# working with Makefile'assets/*.styl', shell('make assets', cwd='assets'))

Frameworks Integration

Livereload can work seamlessly with your favorite framework.


For Django there is a management command included.

To use simply

  • add 'livereload' to your INSTALLED_APPS and
  • then run ./ livereload.

For available options like host and ports please refer to ./ livereload -h.

To automagically serve static files like the native runserver command you have to use dj-static. (follow the simple instructions there).


Wrap Flask with livereload is much simpler:

# app is a Flask object
app = create_app()

# remember to use DEBUG mode for templates auto reload
app.debug = True

server = Server(app.wsgi_app)


Wrap the Bottle app with livereload server:

# Without this line templates won't auto reload because of caching.

app = Bottle()
server = Server(app)


class livereload.Server(app=None, watcher=None)[source]

Livereload server interface.

Initialize a server and watch file changes:

server = Server(wsgi_app)
  • app – a wsgi application instance
  • watcher – A Watcher instance, you don’t have to initialize it by yourself. Under Linux, you will want to install pyinotify and use INotifyWatcher() to avoid wasted CPU usage.
serve(port=5500, liveport=None, host=None, root=None, debug=None, open_url=False, restart_delay=2, open_url_delay=None, live_css=True)[source]

Start serve the server with the given port.

  • port – serve on this port, default is 5500
  • liveport – live reload on this port
  • host – serve on this hostname, default is
  • root – serve static on this root directory
  • debug – set debug mode, which autoreloads the app on code changes via Tornado (and causes polling). Defaults to True when is set, otherwise False.
  • open_url_delay – open webbrowser after the delay seconds
  • live_css – whether to use live css or force reload on css. Defaults to True
watch(filepath, func=None, delay=None, ignore=None)[source]

Add the given filepath for watcher list.

Once you have intialized a server, watch file changes before serve the server:'static/*.stylus', 'make static')
def alert():
    print('foo')'foo.txt', alert)
  • filepath – files to be watched, it can be a filepath, a directory, or a glob pattern
  • func – the function to be called, it can be a string of shell command, or any callable object without parameters
  • delay – Delay sending the reload message. Use ‘forever’ to not send it. This is useful to compile sass files to css, but reload on changed css files then only.
  • ignore – A function return True to ignore a certain pattern of filepath., output=None, mode='w', cwd=None, shell=False)[source]

Execute a shell command.

You can add a shell command:
    'style.less', shell('lessc style.less', output='style.css')
  • cmd – a shell command, string or list
  • output – output stdout to the given file
  • mode – only works with output, mode w means write, mode a means append
  • cwd – set working directory before command is executed.
  • shell – if true, on Unix the executable argument specifies a replacement shell for the default /bin/sh.


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