Pypy Tutorial – Complete Guide

In the vast realm of software development, speed and efficiency are major ingredients towards streamlined and effective production. Unleashing the power of optimized programming execution, PyPy emerges as a powerful tool for Python programmers of all levels. Today, we delve into the fundamentals of this fast and efficient interpreter, demonstrating how it can improve your Python programming experience.

What is PyPy?

PyPy is an alternative Python interpreter that aims to offer improved execution speed and better memory consumption. While standard Python, also known as CPython, executes each line of code bit by bit, PyPy uses a Just-In-Time (JIT) compiler, leading to significantly faster execution times.

Why PyPy Matters?

The allure of PyPy primarily arises from its amazing speed benefits. With PyPy, programs can run faster and use less memory. But its charm doesn’t stop there. Here are a few additional reasons why you should consider diving into PyPy:

  • Compatibility: PyPy maintains high compatibility with existing python code and libraries.
  • Simplicity: PyPy is simple to use and can be dropped in as a replacement for CPython.
  • Extending Python: PyPy provides RPython, a restricted subset of Python that can be statically typed and compiled to C, allowing the creation of Python extensions in Python.

The potency of PyPy goes beyond its speedy execution and impressive memory management. The bigger picture leads us to the reality of better productivity, smooth operation and overall efficiency in your Python projects.

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Getting Started with PyPy

Before we can jump into the magic of PyPy, we need to ensure it’s properly installed. The installation process is almost as straightforward as using PyPy itself.

Installing PyPy

There are varying methods depending on your operating system. Here’s a generic method that works with Unix-based operating systems:

sudo apt-get install pypy

Likewise, for windows users:

Download the PyPy version matched to your Python version from the PyPy official download page and add it to your path.

Running Python Code with PyPy

After successfully installing PyPy, you can now run your Python code with it. Simply replace python with pypy in the command line:


Examples of PyPy Benefits

Let’s engage in some practical examples to fully understand how PyPy can improve coding in Python.


def fib(n):
    if n<2:
        return n
    return fib(n-1)+fib(n-2)

If you’re running this using standard Python, you’ll notice it takes quite a bit of time. If you switch to PyPy:


The result will display almost immediately! This shows the impressive speed enhancements that the PyPy interpreter can offer.

RPython: A Powerful Extension of Python

Another fascinating aspect of PyPy is its extension language RPython, which augments Python with the possibility of static typing.

Let’s demonstrate a simple example. Consider a Python function which multiplies numbers:

def multiply(a, b):
    return a*b
print(multiply(5, 6))

Converting this into RPython, you can tightly type the function:

def multiply(a: int, b: int) -> int:
    return a*b
print(multiply(5, 6))

These subtle but powerful differences exemplify how PyPy and its underlying components create a faster, smoother Python development experience.

Optimizing Recursive Functions with PyPy

Recursive functions can gain a significant performance boost through PyPy. Let’s consider an example of a factorial computation:

def factorial(n):
    if n == 0:
        return 1
        return n * factorial(n-1)

Running this via the standard Python interpreter might take a noticeable amount of time. But when we switch to PyPy:


Execution will be significantly faster.

Loops and Iterations – A PyPy Strength

Loops and iterations, particularly in data-intensive applications, enhance PyPy’s benefits.

Let’s run a program that generates the first 1 million squares:

for i in range(1, 1000001):

Switch to PyPy:


The speed difference becomes more apparent with larger numbers or more iterations.

Testing Sorting Algorithms with PyPy

Sorting algorithms, notoriously slow in Python, run faster with PyPy. Take a look at the Bubble Sort:

def bubbleSort(arr):
    n = len(arr)
    for i in range(n-1):
        for j in range(0, n-i-1):
            if arr[j] > arr[j+1] :
                arr[j], arr[j+1] = arr[j+1], arr[j]
    return arr

arr = [64, 34, 25, 12, 22, 11, 90]

Let’s test it using PyPy:


Although the Bubble Sort algorithm isn’t the most efficient, you’ll notice a distinct improvement in its speed when run with PyPy.

Working with Large Data Sets

When handling large datasets, PyPy comes into its own. It not only processes the data faster but also consumes less memory.

Consider an example where you’re creating a list with 10 million elements:

numbers = [x for x in range(1, 10000001)]

With PyPy, the memory consumption is considerably less, even for such a large data set.

By exploring these practical examples, it is clear why PyPy can be an invaluable tool in a Python programmer’s toolkit. The speed enhancements, memory optimization, and extension possibilities with RPython provide a significant upgrade to python development encounter.

Where to go next?

As you begin to unravel the potential of PyPy and its profound impact on your Python programming journey, it’s essential to keep learning and pushing the boundaries of your knowledge.

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This Mini-Degree offers an array of courses – fundamentals of coding, advanced algorithms, object-oriented programming, building games, developing apps, and much more. The course material consists of interactive lessons, quizzes and coding challenges to ensure you grasp the concepts and can apply them practically.

Our curriculum is designed for both beginners and experienced programmers. The courses are accessible 24/7, allowing you to learn at your own pace. The syllabus is always updated to keep you up-to-date with current industry best practices. With no prerequisite knowledge needed, any eager learner can jump in and begin their journey to mastery.

In addition to the Python Mini-Degree, we offer a broad expanse of Python courses. From building data science programs and performing machine learning tasks to creating advanced games and applications, we’ve got you covered.


Code optimization is as crucial as code development – this is where PyPy steps in, enhancing your Python coding experience with superior speed and apt memory management. As you embark on your journey to become a skilled Python programmer, embracing tools like PyPy can significantly elevate your skillset.

At Zenva, we strive to provide the best learning experience. Be it through our comprehensive Python Programming Mini-Degree or our wide range of individual courses, we offer in-depth, project-based learning that prepares you for the real world. Thus, don’t just learn to code – code to create, innovate, and make a difference. Start your journey today with Zenva.

Did you come across any errors in this tutorial? Please let us know by completing this form and we’ll look into it!

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