HOW TO: plot inline in ipython with iterm2

2019/04/22

Inline plotting in the terminal is useful if you want to do some quick analysis without launching a full jupyter notebook. I’m going to show you how to get inline plots in ipython console with iterm2.

First, install this python package called imgcat:

$ pip install imgcat

Second, fire up an ipython console and run:

import matplotlib
matplotlib.use("module://imgcat")
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
fig, ax = plt.subplots()
ax = plt.plot([1,2])
fig.show()

You should see the following:

example plot in ipython

There, now I’ve shown you how to get inline plots in the ipython console in iterm2. You should go out and do your data sciency stuff in the terminal.

Bonus, be friendly to your future self and add the first steps to your ipython default profile:

$ cd ~/.ipython/profile_default/startup
$ touch my_custom_startup.ipy #note the .ipy extension

My startup file looks like this:

%load_ext autoreload
%autoreload 2

import numpy as np
import pandas as pd
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt

import matplotlib
matplotlib.use("module://imgcat")