AttributeError module 'random' has no attribute 'choice'

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Borislav Hadzhiev

Last updated: Apr 20, 2022

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AttributeError module 'random' has no attribute 'choice' #

The Python "AttributeError module 'random' has no attribute 'choice'" occurs when we have a local file named random.py and try to import from the random module. To solve the error, make sure to rename any local files named random.py.

attributeerror module random has no attribute choice

Here is an example of how the error occurs in a file called random.py.

random.py
import random # ⛔️ AttributeError: module 'random' has no attribute 'choice' print(random.choice(['a', 'b', 'c'])) print(random.choices(['a', 'b', 'c'], k=2))

The most likely cause of the error is having a local file named random.py which shadows the random module from the standard library.

Make sure to rename your local file to something other than random.py to solve the error.

main.py
import random print(random.choice(['a', 'b', 'c'])) # 👉️ b print(random.choices(['a', 'b', 'c'], k=2)) # 👉️ ['b', 'a']

You can access the __file__ property on the imported module to see whether it is shadowed by a local file.

main.py
import random print(random.__file__) # ⛔️ result if shadowed by local file # /home/borislav/Desktop/bobbyhadz_python/random.py # ✅ result if pulling in correct module # /usr/lib/python3.10/random.py

A good way to start debugging is to print(dir(your_module)) and see what attributes the imported module has.

Here is what printing the attributes of the random module looks like when I have a file random.py in the same directory.

main.py
import random # ⛔️ ['__builtins__', '__cached__', '__doc__', '__file__', # '__loader__', '__name__', '__package__', '__spec__'] print(dir(random))

If you pass a module object to the dir() function, it returns a list of names of the module's attributes.

If you try to access any attribute that is not in this list, you would get the "AttributeError: module has no attribute".

We can see that the imported random module doesn't have a choice attribute, which makes it evident that we are shadowing the official random module with our local random.py file.

If you try to import the random module in a file called random.py, you would get a little different error message that means the same thing.

random.py
import random # ⛔️ AttributeError: partially initialized module 'random' has no attribute 'choice' (most likely due to a circular import) print(random.choice(['a', 'b', 'c'])) print(random.choices(['a', 'b', 'c'], k=2))

Renaming your file solves the error.

You can use the sys module to print all of the built-in module names if you ever wonder if your local modules are clashing with built-in ones.

main.py
import sys # 👇️ print all built-in module names print(sys.builtin_module_names)

Conclusion #

The Python "AttributeError module 'random' has no attribute 'choice'" occurs when we have a local file named random.py and try to import from the random module. To solve the error, make sure to rename any local files named random.py.

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