Generic (shallow and deep) copying operations
x = copy.copy(y) # make a shallow copy of y
x = copy.deepcopy(y) # make a deep copy of y
For module specific errors, copy.error is raised.
The difference between shallow and deep copying is only relevant for
compound objects (objects that contain other objects, like lists or
- A shallow copy constructs a new compound object and then (to the
extent possible) inserts *the same objects* into in that the
- A deep copy constructs a new compound object and then, recursively,
inserts *copies* into it of the objects found in the original.
Two problems often exist with deep copy operations that don't exist
with shallow copy operations:
a) recursive objects (compound objects that, directly or indirectly,
contain a reference to themselves) may cause a recursive loop
b) because deep copy copies *everything* it may copy too much, e.g.
administrative data structures that should be shared even between
Python's deep copy operation avoids these problems by:
a) keeping a table of objects already copied during the current
b) letting user-defined classes override the copying operation or the
set of components copied
This version does not copy types like module, class, function, method,
nor stack trace, stack frame, nor file, socket, window, nor array, nor
any similar types.
Classes can use the same interfaces to control copying that they use
to control pickling: they can define methods called __getinitargs__(),
__getstate__() and __setstate__(). See the documentation for module
"pickle" for information on these methods.